Expressions Dance Company

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Expressions Dance Company
Type Theatre group
Purpose Contemporary Dance
Location
  • Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts,Level 3/420 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD, 4006
Membership
Michelle Barnett, Daryl Brandwood, Benjamin Chapman, Cloudia Elder, Rebecca Hall, Elise May and Jack Ziesing
Artistic director(s)
Natalie Weir

Expressions Dance Company is an Australian contemporary dance company based in the The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, in Fortitude Valley.[1] It was founded in 1984 by Maggi Sietsma, Artistic Director and Abel Valls, General Manager (and composer for many works).[2] Expressions has experienced 30% reductions in funding by the Arts Queensland,[3] subsequently Sietsma and Valls announced their intention to finish and Natalie Weir took over as Artistic Director in January 2009.[4]

Between 1984 and 1989, the company has danced the work of a number of choreographers. These choreographers include Natalie Weir, Don Aske,[2] Shaaron Boughen, Eleanor Brickhill, Jacqui Carroll, Julie Chenery, Rosetta Cook, Michelle Ferrier, Garry Lester, Brian Luca], Angus Lugsdin, Gail McIntosh, John Nobbs, Rober Osmotherly, Sue Peacock, Cathy Quinn, Deborah Saxon, Garry Stewart, Jonathan Taylor, Graeme Watson and Margaret Wilson; in later years, Kristen Bell, Guy Detot, Jennifer Flowers, Nik Hills, Ross Hounslow, Jane Pirani, Jaime Redfern and John Utans.
By the 2000s, Expressions Dance Company had performed works of Tiina Alinen, Emily Amisano, Tsung Lung Cheng, Dan Crestani, Peter Furness, Luke Hockley, Vanessa Mafe-Keane, Elise May, Justin Rutzou, Zaimon & Elizabeth Vilmanis, Jim Vile, Sally Wicks and Lisa Wilson.

Tours and Festivals[edit]

Expressions Dance Company has toured extensively and performed internationally, including:

  • 1997 - Karmiel Dance Festival in Israel.
  • 1997 – A regional tour of Western Australia followed by the Northern Territory (Youth Dance Festival).
  • 1997 – Toured Wales & Singapore.
  • 1998 – Performed in New York.
  • 1999 – World Dance Alliance in Philadelphia, USA.
  • 1999 – Performed at the Kaye Playhouse in New York.
  • 2000 – Korean International Modern Dance Festival.
  • 2001 – Performances in Basel, Switzerland.
  • 2002 – New Orleans Biennial Festival and the German Ludwigsburg Dance Festival.
  • 2002 – Beijing for the 4th China Modern Dance Festival.
  • 2004 – Mexico for the prestigious Festival de Mexico en el Centro Historico.
  • 2005 – Guangdong Modern Dance Festival in China.
  • 2006 – Performance at Stanford University in San Francisco as part of the Live Arts Program.
  • 2007 – United States Tour; performed in five cities.
  • 2009 - Busan, South Korea – premier of Raw
  • 2010 - Beijing for First Ritual, in collaboration with LDTX and WIlly Tsao; the work was a profound comment on what ties us together as a human race*
  • 2011 - Basel, Switzerland for Scripsi Sciptumin collaboration with Cathy Sharp Dance Ensemble
  • 2011 - Busan International Dance Festival & the Seoul Pocket Dance Festival in South Korea
  • 2012 - Melbourne for Don’t; performed alongside ADT, Dancenorth, Sydney Dance Company, TasDance, Queensland Ballet & West Australian Ballet.
  • 2012 - Redland Bay & South Australia for R&J
  • 2013 - Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland (18 venue tour) for R&J
  • 2013 - Singapore for 4 seasons & Carmen
  • 2014 - Ipwisch, Queensland, for Carmen Sweet
  • 2015 - Ipwisch, Queensland, for The Host
  • 2015 - Guangzhou, China, for Celebration (an open rehearsal of Sino-Australian partnership). Works performed are excerpts from The Host and Black in collaboration with Guangdong Modern Dance Company]by Xing Liang.
  • 2015 - National Tour (16 venue tour) for Carmen Sweet

Apart from performing, Expressions Dance Company also undertakes significant school and community dance education activities.[2] The beginning of a groundbreaking partnership, Queensland University of Technology Creative Industries was recognised as Expression Dancer Company's training partner in 2010. In the same year, the Brisbane Contemporary Dance Intensive (BCDI) and up-skilling day (Focus) for high school teachers were introduced, and remain respected programmes for the dance industry.

Broader impact[edit]

Expressions Dance Company has employed many people within Australia's cultural industry. These include critically acclaimed dancers, choreographers, designers and dramaturgs:

  • Drama Consultant Jennifer Flowers — directing credits include Sydney Theatre Company as Associate Director to Cate Blanchett, Queensland Theatre Company, Grin and Tonic Theatre Company, Harvest Rain
  • Costume Designer Deslye Kruck — a director, actor and costume designer, also lectured Drama and Speech at the Queensland University of Technology
  • Choreographer Natalie Weir — choreographed for the Hong Kong Ballet, Australian Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Dance Theatre, Dancenorth and Tasdance[5] and to return to Expressions from January 2009.

Awards[edit]

  • 1996— Awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award for outstanding achievement in the performing arts[6]
  • 1998 – Nominated for the Premier’s Awards for Export Achievement
  • 2001 – ‘Most Interesting Australian Group’; Most Outstanding Choreography for Virtually Richard; Most Promising Choreography for Jaime Redfern’s Echo and Out of Sight by Lisa Wilson; and Sophie Bowen was nominated ‘Most Outstanding Dancer.’ (The Dance Australia National Critics’ Survey)
  • 2002 – Maggi Sietsma was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her services to dance education and dance as a performer, choreographer and artistic director.
  • 2002 – ‘Most Interesting Australian Group’, Dan Crestani & Lisa Wilson both as ‘Outstanding Dancer’, with Wilson also nominated as ‘Dancer to Watch’ alongside Lizzie Vilmanis. (The Dance Australia National Critics’ Survey)
  • 2002 – Dan Crestani nominated in the ‘Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer’ for the Australian Dance Awards.
  • 2007 – Tour Management Excellence Award and the Special Panel Award for Innovation (Drover Awards, the National Touring Awards).
  • 2007— Awarded two Drover Awards: Tour Management Excellence and Special Panel Award for Innovation[7]
  • 2011 - Where The Heart Iswon Expressions Dance Company 'Most Outstanding Performance' from the Australian Dance Awards, 'Best New Dance or Physical Theatre Work' and 'Best Choreography' from the Helpmann Awards
  • 2012 - Expressions Dance Company won 'Best Choreography' and Elise May won 'Best Performance by a female dancer' from the Australian Dance Awards with R&J

Works[edit]

Works performed by Expressions Dance Company include:

  • Snow Drops, (1985), choreographer: Maggi Sietsma at the national conference of the Australian Society for Education in the Arts.
  • Alone Together, (1995), choreographer: Maggi Sietsma
  • Decadances (1999)[8]
    • Alone Together
    • Jigsaw, choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • Vanities Crossing, (1999), choreographer: Maggi Sietsma
  • Virtually Richard3, (2000), choreographer: Maggi Sietsma
  • Rites of Spring, (2002), choreographer: Maggi Sietsma
  • Flight!, (2003), choreographer: Maggi Sietsma
  • The 5th Door, (2004), choreographer: Maggi Sietsma
  • On Thin Ice, (2008), choreographer: Maggi Sietsma
  • Memory[9]
    • Jigsaw (previously performed in 1999)
    • Fragments of Memory, (2007), choreographer: Cheng Tsung-Lung formerly a dancer with Cloud Gate Dance Theatre
  • Remount of Score!, (2009), choreographer: Maggi Sietsma
  • Dance Makers (2009):
    • House Project, (2009), choreographer: Natalie Weir
    • Message Me, (2009), choreographer: Timothy Brown
    • Skin Graft, (2009), choreographer: Vanessa Mafe-Keane
  • Ricochet, (2009), choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • Raw, (2009), choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • Where the heart is, (2010), choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • While Others Sleep, (2010), choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • First Ritual, (2010), choreographer: Natalie Weir in collaboration with BeijingDance/LDTX
  • R&J, (2011), choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • Scripsi Scriptum, (2011), choreographer: Natalie Weir in collaboration with Cathy Sharp Dance Ensemble in Switzerland
  • Scripsi Scriptum (Brisbane Season), (2012), choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • Don’t, (2012), choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • Dance Energy, (2012), choreographer: Cameron Mcmillan in collaboration with Queensland Ballet & Dancenorth
  • Carmen, (2012), choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • Where the heart is (Return season), (2012), choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • When Time Stops, (2013)
  • 4 Seasons, (2013), choreographer: Natalie Weir in collaboration with Singapore Dance Theatre
  • Carmen, (2013), choreographer: Natalie Weir in collaboration with Singapore Dance Theatre
  • The Red Shoes, (2014), choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • The Host, (2015), choreographer: Natalie Weir
  • 7 Deadly Sins, (2015), choreographer: Natalie Weir (UPCOMING)

Other Productions[edit]

Launch Pad[edit]

'Launch Pad' provides emerging choreographers with the opportunity to create new short works with the professional dancers in a professional company situation.

The choreographers for the 2010 season were:

  • Liesel Zink
  • Timothy Brown
  • Zaimon Vilmanis
  • Gina Rings


The choreographers for the 2011 season were:

  • Tim Farrar
  • Nerida Matthaei
  • Miranda Zeller
  • Lucas Jervies

The choreographers for the 2012 season were:

  • Gareth Belling
  • Lisa Wilson
  • Claire Marshall

Propel (the next step)[edit]

The choreographers for the 2013 season[10] were:

  • Liesel Zink
  • Lucas Jervies

SOLO Festival of Dance[edit]

  • 2011
  • 2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. "Resident Cultural Organisations". The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  2. ^ a b c National Library of Australia (2008-09-24). "Australia Dancing — Expressions Dance Company, (1985 - )" (text). Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  3. ^ Clarke, Suzanna (2008-09-23). "New artistic director for Expressions". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 2008-10-04. [dead link]
  4. ^ Clarke, Suzanna (2008-09-27). "Natalie Weir is Expressions Dance Company artistic director". The Courier-Mail. ISSN 1322-5235. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  5. ^ Sorensen, Rosemary (2007-08-24). "Maker of Unconventional Moves". The Australian. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  6. ^ "Award Winners' Showcase" (flash). Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards. Retrieved 2011-04-30. 
  7. ^ "2007 Drover Winners". Australian Performing Arts Centres Association. Retrieved 2011-04-30. 
  8. ^ Anderson, Jack (1999-07-12). "DANCE REVIEW; No Escape From Solitude Despite Close Encounters". New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  9. ^ Stewart, Olivia (2007-08-25). "Double bill one to remember". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  10. ^ Wills, Gillian (2013-05-03). "Propel (the next step)". Retrieved 2015-06-23. 

External links[edit]