SDC’s New Breed

Sydney Dance Company Returns to the Stage with New Breed 2021

4 Choreographers Announced

Sydney Dance Company, in partnership with Carriageworks and New Breed Principal Partner The Balnaves Foundation, is proud to announce a return to the stage with the eighth edition of New Breed, continuing a collective commitment to emerging choreographers.

New Breed will mark Sydney Dance Company’s first live, on-stage performance since Sydney’s 2021 lockdown commenced in June. Four talented choreographers will create new works featuring a rich diversity of choreographic ideas to be performed by Sydney Dance Company’s dancers in an extended season of 15 performances.

New Breed is well established as Australia’s most exciting showcase of raw talent and fresh ideas from some of the country’s most gifted emerging choreographers. The New Breed 2021 choreographers are: Jasmin Sheppard (Sydney), Jacopo Grabar (Sydney), Lilian Steiner (Melbourne) and Rhiannon Newton (Sydney).

Sydney Dance Company’s Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela said: “This year’s New Breed is very special for Sydney Dance Company, as after a long six months of disruption, we are returning to live performance. New Breed is such an important program supporting the development of new work and emerging artists, and I’m thrilled that after such a difficult year for the arts in Australia, we will be able to share the work of four talented artists, who represent the next generation of Australian choreographers, with audiences this year.”

Carriageworks CEO Blair French said: “For the eighth year, Carriageworks is proud to collaborate with Sydney Dance Company and The Balnaves Foundation to support the development of new choreography by Australia’s best emerging talent. New Breed reflects Carriageworks’ commitment to present artist-led programs that are innovative, ambitious, and risk-taking contemporary work. To be able to present such impressive and boundary-pushing live work to on-site audiences after such a challenging year is especially thrilling.”

Victoria Balnaves of The Balnaves Foundation said: “The Balnaves Foundation is excited to be supporting Sydney Dance Company’s New Breed in its eighth year with an extended season of 15 performances. After what has been a difficult year for all we cannot wait to get back to the live performance space and see what these young, dynamic choreographers will bring to the stage. The Balnaves Foundation remains committed to fostering the future of the Arts in Australia, and we believe New Breed is the perfect platform to showcase our next generation of choreographic talent.”

Jasmin Sheppard

Jasmin is a contemporary dancer, choreographer and director, a Tagalaka Aboriginal woman with Irish, Chinese and Hungarian ancestry.  Jasmin spent 12 years with Bangarra Dance Theatre performing numerous lead roles such as ‘Patyegarang’, in which critics described her performance as “powerfully engaging, fluent dexterity” (Sydney Morning Herald). She choreographed a major work for the company, MACQ, on the 1816 Appin Massacres under Governor Macquarie which toured Australian capital cities, regional Australia and Germany.

In 2012 Jasmin was nominated for an Australian Dance award for ‘Best Female Contemporary Dancer’. Her work MACQ was nominated for a Helpmann Award for best dance work as a part of OUR Land People Stories in 2017, and in 2018 received a Helpmann for best regional touring program. Other works include: No Remittance for Legs on the Wall and Choice Cut for Yirramboi festival, which was presented at Toronto’s ‘Fall For Dance North’ Festival, 2019.

Jasmin premiered her first full-length work The Complication of Lyrebirds in 2020 at Campbelltown Arts Centre. The work Premiered at Sydney Festival, 2021.

Jacopo Grabar

Italian born Jacopo trained at Ateneo della Danza in Siena. In 2012 he joined Balletto di Siena as an apprentice, graduated to full time dancer in season 2013/14. Jacopo received his American Ballet Theatre NTC diploma in 2013, before joining Baltic Dance Theatre (Gdańsk, Poland) the following year where he worked with choreographers including Jiri Kylian, Patrick Delcroix and the director, Izadora Weiss.

In 2015 he joined ImPerfect Dancers Company (Pisa, Italy), directed by Walter Matteini and Ina Broeckx and in August 2016 he joined Ballet des Stadttheater Bremerhaven, under the direction of Sergei Vanaev, where he worked with Itzik Galili and Ed Wubbe.

Jacopo joined Sydney Dance Company in August 2018. This is his first choreographic engagement with Sydney Dance Company.

Lilian Steiner

Lilian Steiner is a Narrm/Melbourne-based choreographer, dancer and performer. Her practice champions the deep intelligence of the body in movement and its unique ability to reveal and comment on the complexities of contemporary humanity. Her interests extend into visual arts and experimental sound practices where the body is the base for questioning and expression.

Lilian’s work has been presented both within Australia and internationally. Local presentations include Dance Massive, the Keir Choreographic Award, Next Wave Festival, Melbourne Fringe, Melbourne Now (National Gallery of Victoria) & Lucy Guerin Inc.’s Pieces for Small Spaces.

International presentations include B.Motion Festival (Bassano del Grappa), Deltebre Dansa (Spain), Rencontres Chorégraphiques de Seine-Saint-Denis (Paris), Fête de la Musique (Geneva), Les Plateaux de la Briqueterie (Paris), Constellations Festival (Toulon) & Hong Kong International Choreography Festival. Her first full-length work Noise Quartet Meditation (2014) received a Green Room Award for ‘Concept and Realisation’.

Lilian is a long-term performer-collaborator with Melbourne-based company Lucy Guerin Inc. and has worked on numerous projects with choreographers Phillip Adams, Shelley Lasica and Melanie Lane amongst others, as well as with visual artists working with performance and sculpture/film (Sally Smart, Bridie Lunney, Brook Andrew, Matthew Bird, Ash Keating, Mikala Dwyer & Arini Byng) and experimental sound performance (Anna Homler, Richie Cyngler & JLin).

Lilian received the Green Room Award for Best Female Dancer in both 2017 and 2018, as well as the Helpmann Award in 2017.

Rhiannon Newton

Rhiannon is an Australian dancer and choreographer who grew up on Dunghutti Land on the Mid-North Coast of NSW. Her creative work draws attention to ways of understanding interdependence between bodies and the world. Currently working from Gadigal Land (Sydney), Rhiannon makes contributions to community and culture through creation, performance, collaboration, teaching, research and curation.

Her recent projects include Explicit Contents (Sydney Festival, Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2021); A Strange Place (Dance Nucleus, Singapore; Performance Space, Sydney, 2021); Long Sentences (Performance Space, Sydney, 2020; Sydney; Baltic Circle Festival, Helsinki, 2019 ); We Make Each Other Up (Dancehouse, Melbourne, 2018; Dance Massive, Melbourne, 2019) and Doing Dancing (Powerhouse, Brisbane 2018; Firstdraft, Sydney, 2017).

Rhiannon has developed her practice through residencies, commissions and research platforms throughout Australia, Europe and North America, including The Unconformity (Tasmania, 2021); Australia Council HIAP International Residency (Helsinki, 2019); Trois C-L (Luxembourg, 2019), Dancehouse Housemate (Melbourne, 2018); Critical Path’s Responsive Residency (Sydney, 2016, 2018, 2020) and Movement Research (New York, 2013).

Rhiannon also works as a collaborator and performer with artists such as Mette Edvardsen (BE), Martin del Amo, Lee Serle, Rebecca Jensen, Amrita Hepi, Rosalind Crisp, Paea Leach, Angela Goh and Brooke Stamp.

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