Last week we had the pleasure of having acclaimed choreographer and dancer Narelle Benjamin for two weeks at our studios as part of her Australian Council Fellowship.
Narelle is a long term supporter of ADT and has worked with many other Australian and international choreographers and companies. She has worked on award-winning films as choreographer, director and dancer and won the award for best short film in 1999 at the Sydney film festival and an Australian Dance Award for Dance on Film for Restoration. Narelle has choreographed two works for The One Extra Company, Inside Out (2002) and Out of Water (2004); Gossamer for Sydney Dance Company’s Directors Cut season (2006); The Dark Room for The Australian Ballet’s Bodytorque (2007); Figment for the Sydney Festival (2008); Lulie (2007) and Pixel (2008) for Theatre of Image; In Glass with performers Kristina Chan, Paul White and video artist Samuel James for contemporary dance festivals Spring Dance (2010) and ‘Dance Massive’ (2011). Narelle’s work ‘In Glass’ won the Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance in 2011. Recently Narelle won the 2015 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for her piece Hiding in Plain Sight.
Read about her recent time with ADT below:
It has been a real treat to work with the ADT dancers to further explore and lead them through improvisation explorations inspired by my somatic research which was made possible through my Australia Council Fellowship. Through leading explorations into physiological systems, anatomy, and imagery within the body, the work informs movement and awakens the imagination to one’s own expression and perceptions. The deep connection to these processes also informed our group yoga practise.
The dancers were such a pleasure to work with and it was also exciting for me to see choreographic possibilities emerge through this way of working. To observe these explorations and to see how the dancers responded to the incoming information was invaluable. It was interesting to look at how this stimulus could inform the creation of structured choreography and to see what could emerge through this shared, distributed mode of thinking.
For me this represents a new way of working and opens a door to a movement research methodology that I will no doubt develop further beyond this point.
During my two week stay in Adelaide I also made a solo for Ice Cube as part of ADT’s Adelaide Embedded initiative. Ice Cube, is a pop-up performance that featured at the South end of Victoria Square – Adelaide. As the name suggests it is a clear perspex cube in which dancers perform within. It has been so enjoyable and inspiring to participate in this project with ADT. It has been 15 years since I danced in Birdbrain – Garry’s inaugural work for the company.
The company would like to thank Narelle for her sharing her insights with our dancers, her stunning solo in Ice Cube and her continued inspiration and generosity.
Photography © Sofia Calado