On 14 July, Sydney Opera House in association with YouTube and Sony launched MyMutation: a global online dance competition.
MyMutation video was posted on Sydney Opera House’s new branded channel, www.youtube.com/sydneyoperahouse and aspiring dancers from around the world hit the site in record numbers. Over 97,000 visits from more than 100 countries and territories registered on the new Sydney Opera House YouTube platform. 91,000 of those visitors clicked through to the competition video. Highlighting the universal appeal of dance, in the first round, 75 entries were received from as far afield as India, Brazil, Germany, Italy , Mexico, Hawaii, UK, Canada, Russia, Malta, USA, Estonia, South Africa, New Zealand, Portugal and of course, Australia.
The winners of the first round are: Chaz Cummings(Aus), Courtney Hale (NZ), Ellie Swiatkiwsky (Aus), Emma Watkins(Aus), Erica Fletcher(Aus), Kay Armstrong(UK), Kristyn Bilson(Aus), Leigh Beard(UK), Morgan Holt(Aus), Sally Hillier(Aus), Sarah McCreanor(Aus), Nobel Lakave ( Aus) and Simone Chivas (Aus). Go to www.youtube.com/sydneyoperahouse to check out their winning round one entry and video blog. Hopeful entries included some seriously talented individuals. An Englishman, replete with bowler hat and tails, danced on a crowded corner in London during shopping hours, a young ballet dancer flaunted her incredible ‘Sylvie Guillem’ extensions, an Indian engineer begged a friend to lend him his studio and posted his entry just in the nick of time whilst the shawl of a flamenco dancer seemed to have a heartbeat of its own, so adept was the technique. Showcasing the diversity of the artform, belly dancing, Irish jigs, hip-hop, children, animals and tributes to Michael Jackson were all featured!
Renowned choreographer, Kelley Abbey judged the first round and chose 14 finalists who will go through to the second round. Abbey said, “I was so thrilled to see all the entries that came in from across the globe. A mutating global cyber dance conversation! I’ve loved seeing the interpretations of the first solo and also the diverse styles that came to the mutation dance floor. I’m also amazed at the creativity and the effort that people have gone to with their presentation. The bravery of the English businessman free forming in a busy London street, the fun of an Indian child dancing in her lounge room, the ‘Fosse’ dancer cutting a shape in front of a white studio wall. It’s all been fantastic fun and great to see everyone’s individual expression. I can’t wait to see what people will do next.” The 14 finalists have a week to choreograph another solo and submit back to Sydney Opera House by 24 August, when the public are invited to vote for their favourite dancer. Voting opens on the 24 August and closes on the 30th. Five finalists will be selected to compete in the final round. To vote, go to the ‘vote tab’ on the YouTube website. Everyone who votes can enter a prize draw to win a Handycam camcorder from Sony.
In addition to the thrill of performing their own work live at Sydney Opera House, the winner will receive $2000 in cash and a prize pack from Sony including a Handycam camcorder, Cyber-shot camera and a VAIO notebook. MyMutation is part of Spring Dance – an inaugural dance celebration at Sydney Opera House (27 Aug – 27 Sept).