The Innovating Dance Practice grant is an initiative of Ausdance NSW to assist professional dance practitioners residing in NSW to develop and innovate their practice through funds made available by Create NSW on behalf of the NSW Government. The grant provides assistance to realise an opportunity that inspires new work, knowledge, and skills, for example, a program of activity that develops your professional practice; secondment with an organisation; mentorship with an individual; residencies involving innovative approaches to your working practice.
The overall standard of submissions received was impressive and applications reflected the high standard of arts practice in the NSW dance sector. We would like to congratulate the 6 IDP recipients for 2020, Gabriela Green, Lee Serle, Lisa Maris McDonnell, Omer Astrachan, Rhiannon Newton and Robert Tinning.
Gabriela will be heading to Europe for a professional development program with DanceAbility by Alito Alessi, the founder of the method. She will then travel to Germany to connect with Ensemble BewegGrund Company. She will then head to London and Candoco Dance Company.
Gabriela Green is an emerging choreographer and community dance artist working as the dance development officer with the professionally supported youth dance company fLiNG Physical Theatre, Bega Valley Regional NSW. Since graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance (2014) she has been developing a practice rich in social engagement. Her ethics and vigorous passion for dance and art being accessible for all beings is crucial to her work.
Lee will be undertaking two weeks of research on dramaturgy with Zoukak Theatre Company and Cultural Association in Beirut, Lebanon. He will study the working process of theatre director Maya Zbib in the creation of the company's new theatre work.
Lee is a Victorian College of the Arts graduate (Bachelor of Dance, 2003) and is a highly sought after performer and collaborator in Australia and abroad. Lee began his professional career dancing for two of Australia’s preeminent companies, Lucy Guerin Inc, and Chunky Move (Gideon Obarzanek), performing in numerous award-winning productions for both companies, touring extensively worldwide. Lee has performed in the work of many other Australian choreographers notably, Stephanie Lake, Antony Hamilton, Shelley Lasica, and internationally for Trisha Brown (USA), Tere O’Connor (USA), and Kota Yamazaki (Japan). Lee has choreographed and presented work in USA, France, Colombia, Lebanon and Australia, and performed for many notable choreographers including; Trisha Brown, Lucy Guerin, Tere O’Connor, Gideon Obarzanek, among many others. Lee has been nominated for multiple Greenroom and Australian Dance awards and received Fellowships from Creative Australia (Australia Council for the Arts) and the Rolex Arts Initiative.
Lisa will be spending two weeks at the world's largest 'Flamencoevent.' During these two weeks, she will be participating in classes, workshops, and seeing performances presented by the world's leading Flamenco practitioners. On return from Spain, she plans to use her research from her trip to develop a new experimental Flamenco solo to be presented in 2020.
Lisa Maris McDonell is a dance artist whose practice embraces performance, choreography, video, sound, and therapeutic dance. She is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Lisa has been creating and presenting performance works in various contexts in Australia and internationally since 1996. Her recent projects include Home Truths, supported and presented by Merrigong Theatre Company’s Merrigong X program for a cast of mature, established dance artists, Five Kinds of Paradise which was presented as part of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre's 2016 performance season, and in 2017, Lisa was commissioned by Wollongong Art Gallery to create the durational work Chamber Dances in response to WAG's Bluescope Gallery space. As an educator Lisa has worked for WAAPA, NAISDA Dance College (Course Coordinator), Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Dance Company public classes and Accessible Arts amongst others.
Omer will be undertaking residencies in both Canada and Sydney. The 2-week residency in Vancouver will be mentored by Artist Director Idhan Cohen as part of Ne. Sane, whose work re-connects opera and dance and is an associate company of The Dance Centre, Vancouver. While there he will deliver a workshop at the companies studio as a way to connect with the broader Canadian dance sector. Upon returning home Omer will spend a week with FORM Dance Projects, in which he will share his experience from his trip, and hold a workshop for dancers of Western Sydney.
Omer Backley-Astrachan is a Sydney based independent dancer, choreographer, researcher and Sydney DanceCompany's Pre-Professional Year Course Coordinator. Originally from Israel, Omer has worked extensively overseas with an array of choreographers and dance companies such as Kamea Dance Company, KibbutzContemporary Dance Company, Idan Cohen DanceCompany, Jerusalem Dance Theatre, Jerusalem Ballet, Maya Levi, and Rotem Tashach.
Omer's recent work Terrarium was presented as part of the March Dance Festival in 2019 in a double bill with Patricia Wood at The East Sydney Community and Arts Centre in Darlinghurst (BrandX) with two sold-out performances.
Rhiannon will undertake a period of international professional development, followed by international and regional residencies. She will participate in an IETM Plenary Meeting, attend programs as a part of Kunsten Festival des Arts and undertake key residencies in France and regional NSW.
Rhiannon is a choreographer and dancer. She creates performance works for theatre, gallery and public spaces that draw attention to patterns of change and stasis within the body and our world. Her works have been presented in contexts such as Dance Massive, Dancehouse, Brisbane Powerhouse, Eyes Wide, Tanzhaus Zurich (Switzerland), Nagib (Slovenia) and The Judson Church (USA). Rhiannon has been a part of international exchange projects involving Croatia, Singapore, and Switzerland. Rhiannon works as a performer and collaborator with artists such as Mette Edvardsen, Brooke Stamp, Martin Del Amo, Amrita Hepi and Rosalind Crisp; caretakes the artist-run-space, ReadyMade Works; and facilitates programs such as Talking Bodies and First Run.
Robert will be undertaking a mentorship with dancer, Choreographer, Poet and Painter Lazaro Godoy (Jiří Kylián) and a mentorship-residency
with Visual/Conceptual Artist Don Lambert, both based in Miami. He will research innovative and cross-disciplinary approaches for his dance practice. He will consolidate the information with workshops alongside Norpa’s associate artist/producer and Dream Bigger's Creative Arts & Culture Facilitator Mitch King.
His current creative practice stems from a desire to develop a rich, multi-disciplinary, and research-based process. His dance history includes working for dance and physical theatre companies such as Shaun Parker & Company, Tasdance, STRUT Dance, Jukstapoz, artists such as Gabrielle Nankivell and Guy Shomroni & Rachael Osbourne (Batsheva Dance Company). He has performed works/remounts including Batsheva’s ‘Decadance,’ Jukstapoz’s ‘Fragile Matter,’ and toured with Shaun Parker & Company’s ‘King’ internationally.