Expressions Dance Company Premieres Double Bill
Ground Breaking Collab by Stephanie Lake and Ma Bo
It’s been created and performed in China, is travelling to Brisbane and now Matrix will continue to clock up the kilometres with shows in regional Australia.
Queensland tourist hotspot, Cairns, hosts the Australian premiere of the double bill on November 1, while Queanbeyan, in south-eastern New South Wales, has performances on November 7 and 8. It is EDC’s first tour to Cairns since 2014 and the fourth time EDC has performed in Queanbeyan.
Matrix is the result of an immersive creative development in Beijing in August and September, producing two new works by multi award-winning Australian choreographer, Stephanie Lake, and the highly-acclaimed Chinese choreographer, MA Bo.
Conceived during an immersive creative development in Beijing in August and September between Expressions Dance Company and BeijingDance/LDTX, Matrix is two new works by multi award-winning Australian choreographer, Stephanie Lake, and the highly-acclaimed Chinese choreographer, MA Bo. Created in just five weeks, with 20 dancers from two countries and two cultures, overcoming language barriers, differences in physiques and artistic sensibilities, Matrix is two breathtaking, and vastly different, dance works – Lakes’ Auto Cannibal and Ma Bo’s Encircling Voyage.
Lake describes her newest work, Auto Cannibal as “an ode to reinvention.”
“When creating new dance works, I’m conscious of the regurgitation of past choreographic ideas,” she explains. “We are all a product of our influences and experiences. Ideas are also part of a life cycle – they are born, they thrive, they degrade and deteriorate and become the fertiliser for the next batch of ideas. Our modern world is obsessed with newness and consumption but this work is an ode to re-using, re-purposing, re-invigorating.”
Renowned Chinese choreographer, MA Bo, has created Encircling Voyage – a poignant, intricate and powerful examination of ageing, life cycles and renewal.
“For me, the first cry when you were born may well be a promise – the destination of what you will become when you at last leave the world,” said MA Bo, highlighting the parallels between infants and the elderly.
“For this work, I’ve taken a dance-theatre approach, in the hope of incorporating a stronger narrative. It’s a process of discovery and exploration and I’m enjoying it immensely.”
As part of EDC’s commitment to enriching local communities and empowering the next generation of dancers and makers, the company will be holding a series of workshops, Q+As and Masterclasses during the tour.
“In the seven years EDC has been coming to Queanbeyan, we have seen a tangible rise in the interest in dance in our community,” The Q program manager, Stephen Pike, says. “The workshops have been such a sought-after and unique opportunity for the professional development of local dancers. They are now so popular, they fill up very quickly each time.”
EDC has long been passionate about sharing dance with regional communities and offering tangible, long-lasting opportunities to local artistic minds. It’s a philosophy that sits perfectly with new artistic director, Amy Hollingsworth, who grew up on a farm in country Victoria.
“For us, it’s about creating a genuine legacy, not just a one-off performance. We want to sow into the local communities,” she said. “The arts are for everyone – the way they connect us and give us shared experiences and reflect how we all think and feel.
“I remember what it was like on the farm, I was always craving experiences. So for me, the chance to connect to the next generation of dancers, designers, artists and choreographers is very special.”
CAIRNS – Cairns Performing Arts Centre
QUEANBEYAN – The Q, Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre
BRISBANE – Playhouse Theatre, QPAC
HONG KONG – City Contemporary Dance Festival