I had the pleasure of sitting down with Marko Panzic last week to discuss his brilliant new plan to boost employment for our Australian dancers through his new ‘DREAM DANCE COMPANY’. It is always a pleasure spending time with Marko and soaking up his incredible passion for this Industry and it’s future. This interview was particularly inspiring … !
Where did the idea come from for your new ‘Dream Dance Company’?
‘When I did Tannos & Choice I saw this gap in the industry where there is all these incredible dancers leaving full-time and didn’t have the aspiration to go to established Contemporary companies because they were more than just a Contemporary dancer. There’s nothing in this country that celebrates the versatile dancer! I would love to go and see a show that has more than just one art-form, that pushes your thought of dance from Hip Hop to Ballet, to Jazz, to someone on pointe to someone breakdancing … There’s a million full-time schools now and they’re turning out so many amazing dancers at the end of every year … and there’s not much work in this country!
I saw the vibe of Tannos & Choice and it was one of the most amazing experiences for me sitting in the audience, producing something and feeling the audience’s energy. I love seeing people going ‘Oh my god that changed my life’ so I thought ‘Why not, life’s short’ … ‘someone’s got to do it. So I created ‘The Dream Dance Company’ .
I’m taking it step by step. I think the more it organically grows, it will happen. I don’t want to push it being something specific straight away … it’s just going to evolve into something and what it evolves into is up to what happens.
We’re going to be having dancers that can do everything. A perfect example of that was getting Stephen Tannos on board because he is someone that fuses every genre into one count of eight!
I thought ‘who do i want to start this company off with a bang’ and who understands what the Dream Dance Company is about. I thought it would be great to collaborate with Stephen and get him on board because his passion for dance is out there with mine. I can really vibe off him and dancers really appreciate him so I think Tannos is amazing because I love the emotion he gets on stage … I don’t want people to just come and watch steps … I want people to leave the show really feeling something. I think that’s something that’s really missing from a lot of live theatre these days.
There is a real duty for us to educate the younger audience to show that performance and AFFECTING people is more than just the steps. That’s what is frustrating me at the moment because people are focussing too much on being perfect and technique and having the right steps where your first job as a dancer is to perform and entertain and make people feel something.’
So Tannos will be choreographing with you on this show?
‘I run the company as Artistic Director but every year or two I will be getting new choreographers in and creating new shows. Tannos will be choreographing this ‘GENESIS’ Show …, it’s the birth of something new so realistically this is the beginning of something incredible … CREATION!
Getting Stephen in, he’ll be collaborating with me as Director and Choreographer – we’ll be putting the show together from beginning to end which is great because we both bring something different to the table as well. WE pick each other up in what each other lack like I love the business side of things – the black and white of it and making things possible – where Stephen reminds me of the ‘youthful’ me. His passion and his excitement is great for me to have around. It’s a really good ‘Ying & Yang’ to have in the company for its first season.’
The OPENING will be in Sydney, but will you be touring Australia-wide with the Company?
‘Hopefully touring yes! We’re starting in Sydney to gather the vibe and see how it all goes. It’s already starting to sell and people’s interest is really awesome. Obviously dancers will want to come and watch this show but we want to get it out there that it’s a show for everyone. My dream is for it one day to reach places like Perth and Gold Coast and Melbourne and other places around Australia. How I’m setting it up is I’m going to have the ten core dancers in the company and I’m holding auditions soon which will create eight more positions for internships. So everyone in the Company is paid – no-one pays to be a part of it. So the internships will get an allowance that makes it all possible for them to get to rehearsals and get everything. I’m hoping that the interns will bring in their fresh approach with the ten company dancers and then from there my hope is that we could take the ten core dancers say to Perth and then audition and have eight interns from Perth which will create work AROUND the country. There’s so much talent in each state and it’s a big move … you want to stay with your family and friends … you shouldn’t miss out on opportunity and I think opportunity needs to be created all across Australia.’
Do you feel that this show will be something that our young performers can aspire to?
‘Nothing beats watching a dancer LIVE! We all need – especially dance teachers – to encourage our young dancers to go and see theatre LIVE! Our kids nowadays are mimicking off TV shows … that’s why the soul of dance is disappearing … because you can’t get the same FEELING from just watching a dancer on a screen. This creates something that kids can be actually FEELING something from!’
When and where will ‘Genesis’ be opening?
‘It’s at the NIDA Parade Theatre and we open on the 1st of May … There are five shows:’
Friday night, 1st May
Saturday 2nd May Matinee 3pm, 7pm
Sunday 3rd May 3pm, 7pm
Cost: $61 –Group bookings available for groups of 12 or more get $5 per ticket discount
Contact Marko at markopanzic.com for group booking information.
GET TICKETS HERE
‘AT both of the matinees on Saturday and Sunday we’re encouraging aspiring dancers and full-timers, dance studios etc to come along because there will be a Q&A at the end of the show … we’ll be opening it up so people can walk away with a bit of education and people can learn more about what’s going to happen. It’s scary but it’s exciting!
I’ve spoken to a lot of dance teachers around Australia and said to them ‘the more we get behind this, the more work there is for dancers’. I feel like this is more of a profit for the industry than it is for me! My profit is seeing people walk away inspired! Tannos and Choice last time changed my career as a dancer and made me want to be a producer and made me love being behind the scenes. So that’s my profit. The profit to the industry is that we need to get behind it because at the end of the day it will give our dancers work. WE can do this! We have the power, the funds, the students to make this work! We’re not lacking of training … the training here is top-notch … there’s almost too many dance schools and not enough work. I may be starting this but EVERYONE needs to start thinking about creating something that will change the game … make things happen! I feel like everyone’s jumping on the teaching wagon and we need to educate and inspire people to go out and make a difference! Start something! Everything is possible!’
We NEED to create more work!
‘MY question of 2015 is ‘what’s your intention?’ Anything done with the right intention will always trump the wrong intention. If you’ve got the right intention and your heart is in the right place … if you want to make a difference, you give and we all give so much, if the right intention is there it’s more rewarding than doing it for the wrong reasons!
I’ve had people ask me ‘why are you paying interns to be in this company’. There is too much of dancers paying for things these days … there needs to be money going back to them.
I’m the type of person who can’t go on in life unless there’s some kind of risk involved and this is a massive risk for me personally! I feel like if you believe in something enough it will happen!
It really inspires me when I see the dance schools that come and support because it makes me realise that they’re in it for the right reasons – it’s nice that they’re educating their people!’
Who are the dancers you have involved in the Company so far?
Myself and Tannos, Lauren Seymour, Cat Santos, Natasha Marconi, Eden Petrovski … an incredible contemporary dancer … and Rob & Dave McLean – they are just hip hop powerhouses in Australia at the moment – there are more to be announced!!
On the 28th January we are doing an audition at Brent Street for new interns!
It will be Wednesday 28th of January at Brent Street Studio’s.
10am – 1pm & 3pm Audition Sessions.
Register at firstname.lastname@example.org
‘The Dream Dance Company presents GENESIS, the birth of a new Australian commercial dance company featuring an all star cast of the top professional dancers in Australia.
Founded by one of Australia’s most esteemed creative choreographers Marko Panzic. GENESIS explores the creation of dance in which genre does not exist. Fusing an interlay of styles which will push boundaries, explore innovative movement, breaking down stereotypes and leaving audiences exhilarated.
Directed and choreographed by two of Australia’s leading creative forces Marko Panzic and Stephen Tannos this show is set to redefine dance in theatre!’