The second season of Fast+Fresh Dance has concluded a sell-out season with an exciting grand final and gala awards night.
The festival of short dance works choreographed and performed by Sydney’s finest young dance talent under 21 showcased 30 pieces and featured 11 in the gala final at the Riverside Theatres, Parramatta on Saturday 21 November.
This year’s festival received more than 80 entries from all over Greater Sydney; that’s twice as many as last year’s inaugural season and their choreographic styles range from ballet, hiphop, jazz, contemporary, tap, krumping, parkour, physical theatre and lyrical.
Winner of most outstanding choreographer was Amber McCartney whose solo work Beak was praised by the industry judging panel as ‘contemporary and sophisticated’. Her prizes included direct entry to the senior Short Sweet+Dance season March 2010; secondment with youMove dance company for 2010 and a mentorship with a leading Sydney choreographer for 2010.
Winner of best new talent were Sutherland Shire pair Neale Whittaker and Aimee Regan for their self-choreographed performance “Difettosa Mente”. Their prizes include a Dance Compass performance opportunity, a two night showing at IO MYERS studios UNSW to a panel of dance industry professionals including Solon Ulbrich, Leigh Warren, Shaun Parker and
Most outstanding male dancer was young Penrith talent Lowe Napalan for “Slow Me Down”. He won a twelve month secondment to the youMove dance company. Outstanding female dancer was North Shore dancer (training in the Sutherland Shire) Ivey Wawn for “Wildcat”. The audience-voted People’s Choice award went to Lindfield choreographer Natasha Sturgis for her large scale work “All I Have”. Youngest choreographer of the festival, 14-year-old Brandon Atoui of Peakhurst received a special commendation for his wonderfully original and entertaining piece “Get Back in Here”. All award winners received numerous classes, products, theatre tickets to a variety of dance-related activities.
Festival director Olivia Ansell hailed the season huge success and predicted great things for the fresh young talent who had featured.
“A recent addition to the Short+Sweet dynasty of festivals, Fast+Fresh Dance presents short, new and innovative dance works, up to five minutes in length, by the dance industry’s best up-and-coming talent. Many participants of 2008’s inaugural season of Fast+Fresh Dance have gone on to perform with companies such as youMove, Sydney’s only youth contemporary dance company, (Sean Marcs – winner of Most Outstanding Choreography and Sheridan Mouawad – winner Best New Talent and co-winner Audience Choice Award for her work River Flows In You) and dirtyFeet (Sean Marcs). Sean Marcs’ Fast+Fresh Dance festival works Sup-port and The Office were also performed as part of the 2009 season of Short Sweet+Dance at the Seymour Centre in March. Simone Chivas, the 2008 People’s Choice Award choreographer, was a finalist in My Mutation Online for the Sydney Opera House”.
For more information regarding the program visit www.wsda.org.au and www.shortandsweet.org