Talking with Daniel Riley from Bangarra


  The latest creative work from Bangarra, one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies, has been receiving its fair share of critical acclaim after its debut in Sydney. Bennelong tells the story of Woollarawarre Bennelong, a senior man of the Eora, and how he and his people first made contact with white settlers. Ahead of the show coming to Canberra, we caught up with dancer and choreographer Daniel Riley who has been with the company for eleven years and plays the role of Governor Phillip in Bennelong. Like many of the professional dancers to come out of Canberra, Daniel grew… Continue Reading

Contact with Jack Riley


  We are lovers of dance here at Leiden and are always on the look out for interesting new artists and engaging new performance works to go and see. Contact is a new contemporary dance work made by Jack Riley in collaboration with a number of other artists working across multiple disciplines. Jack grew up here in Canberra before moving to Melbourne to study dance further at the Victorian College of the Arts. He recently returned to showcase his new work at the Gorman House Arts Centre before it goes on to be performed in the Melbourne Fringe Festival. We… Continue Reading

A Chat with Sam Young-Wright of Sydney Dance Company


  Having grown up dancing in Canberra as part of the city’s own youth dance company Quantum Leap, I eagerly anticipate the arrival of each contemporary dance performance that comes to town. I find these performances even more enjoyable when they feature a familiar face. Such is the case for Sydney Dance Company’s latest offering Orb, a double bill comprising Ocho (meaning eight in Spanish) to mark artistic director Raphael Bonachela’s eighth year with the Company, and Full Moon, a piece choreographed by Taiwanese choreographer Cheng Tsung-lung. Amongst the beautiful dancers who will perform in Orb is Canberran Sam Young-Wright.… Continue Reading

BOLD – A New Dance Festival


While Enlighten festival sets Canberra alight, activating the city in innovative and engaging ways,  another festival is unfolding; this one focusing on the intersection between movement, history, multiculturalism, and art. BOLD, a new dance festival curated by a committee of celebrated dance artists, will examine the legacy of dance across both professional and community practice spanning different cultures, age groups and backgrounds. Over four days, the festival will bring together speakers, performers and facilitators from a range of backgrounds to deliver workshops, talks, forums, film showings and performances. Legends of dance including Meryl Tankard, Dr Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, Dr Garry Lester, Dr Stephanie Burridge, Vicki can Hout, Annie… Continue Reading

An Interview with Alex Carson


  Alex Carson, one of Australia’s most successful commercial dance exports, has forged an incredible career overseas performing for the likes of Janet Jackson and Gwen Stefani. We had the privilege of sitting down with her to talk about a workshop Alex lead in her hometown of Canberra, 11:Eleven. We also chatted about growing up in Canberra, her amazing career and what’s coming up next for her.   Naturally I started our conversation by asking how Alex got into dance. ‘I was always dancing when I was little,’ she explained. ‘I always watched a lot of dance movies. I was… Continue Reading

6th Position – A Dance Studio For Adults


  Not only is taking a dance class a great way exercise, it has got to be one of the most fun ways there is to break a sweat.  So attention Canberra, there is a new dance studio in town for adults and it launches next week. We caught up with founder of 6th Position Gen Chan to get all the goss.   Leiden: What is 6th Position? Gen: It is the parallel position of your feet – but it is also Canberra’s newest ADULT dance studio!   L: What classes do you offer? G: We offer classes for adults… Continue Reading

An Interview with Eliza Sanders – Dancer, Creator, Innovator


  After recently seeing a double bill of two thought-provoking dance works pedal and Castles, to say the least we were intrigued. Presented by emerging theatre company House of Sand,  these innovative works mixed dance, theatre and cabaret seamlessly, deftly exploring subject matter often left untouched by the medium of dance. Each work was created and performed by Eliza Sanders and directed by Charles Sanders, the bother and sister behind House of Sand.  We sat down with Eliza, to find out more about the making of these works as well as her and Charles’ critically acclaimed new company.   What… Continue Reading

QL2 Connected – Contemporary Dance Explores Connection


‘In this digital age we are so connected to our phones, our computers and social media that it can create a physical disconnection. The digital age is a fabulous thing, but in some ways it is not. In being so connected through our devices we are losing the human-to-human connection and also the connection to ourselves.’ – Ruth Osbourne, Artistic Director QL2 Centre for Youth Dance   We at Leiden have recently been talking about the benefits of creating and maintaining connections within our community in our Building a Healthy Lifestyle series so when we found out the theme behind… Continue Reading