Big Dance 2018 has drawn to a close with generous and memorable contributions by around 500 participants on the day. Cathedral Square filled with dancers wearing red, black and white t-shirts, coming together to share the spirit of the Big Dance.
"The joy of Big Dance, is knowing that thousands of dancers around the country unified and performed the beautiful choreography of Frances Rings and Craig Bary - this year celebrating Australia - it's past, present and future; celebrating and recoginising our connection to the land, to each other and to this place we call our island home," Michelle Silby says, "Embodying this, Christine Anu (as Big Dance Ambassador) led the day singing her iconic "My Island Home". We welcomed the original director of Big Dance in the United Kingdom, Jacqueline Rose (Head of Arts & Culture in London) who officially handed over the baton of leading the Big Dance to Australia." Australia now leads Big Dance internationally, through Ausdance NSW, Ausdance Vic and its national partners, headed up by Michelle Silby, Director of Big Dance Australia.
Photos by Elise Lockwood.
Frances Rings, choreographer of Big Dance 2018 said of the project, “Big Dance provides us with the opportunity to gather… like we once did for ceremony. When we come together, we confirm what it means to be a part of a wider community. Our collective voices speak of the importance of Art and creative expression to all levels of society and our right to access this. Big Dance Australia gives us the opportunity as a community to celebrate Indigenous and Non Indigenous coming together as one voice.
When we dance together we are reminded that our similarities far outweigh our differences.
Our Art is a means for communication. It tells our stories of the past and present. Big Dance allows us one of those rare opportunities where for a moment we set aside differences and stand as a community to say, our art is powerful, our identity is strong and we acknowledge our ancient country and its original custodians. To grow and heal as a nation these steps affirm our commitment to a culturally rich and diverse society for future generations.”
Sarah-Vyne Vasallo lead the rehearsal process fearlessly and with great energy getting the dancers primed and pumped for the 2:30pm live across several states performance. "I loved the way Big Dance brought together a diverse community of participants. Different, ages, cultures and abilities uniting together to dance. There was so much joy and positive energy that filled Cathedral Square demonstrating how the arts are truly powerful," Sarah noted.
"Big Dance was such a wonderful collaborative experience that engaged communities to share their love of dance all around Australia," Lexy Panetta, Big Dance Administration Coordinator and Teaching Artist added. "From the workshops to the event day, the process was such a touching and colourful experience. It was special to teach and dance with people from all different ages, abilities, backgrounds and stories that lead them through the Big Dance. It was so powerful and energetic to see everyone unite on the day to dance together and share their love for dance."
Photos by Elise Lockwood.
For more information about Big Dance, head to www.bigdance.org.au