Seeing Red with ACT Artist of the Year Liz Lea

Photo: Lorna Sim Photography   After taking out the 2017 ACT Artist of the Year at the end of last year you might think choreographer and performer Liz Lea may be content to rest on her laurels, at least for a couple of months. Instead, on International Women’s Day she unleashed RED, a fearless one-woman show exploring intensely personal experiences through the mediums of dance, film and word. Through captivating moments that vary from brash and bawdy to show-stoppingly minimal, Liz bravely shares her story of living with endometriosis and the difficulty of coping with the associated pain of this… Continue Reading

6th Position is Back for 2018

  When I think about ballet an expression my old dance teacher used to describe it always springs to mind. The Pink Dream. Contemporary dance has never enjoyed the mass appeal of its ballet cousin so the term, however apt, may have been intended as derisive. What draws little girls and boys to ballet as children is indeed that elusive pink dream: pink tights, pink shoes, pink tutu, all wrapped up in a pink bow of grace and beauty. Although I have danced since the age of four I somehow escaped the pink dream and instead chased what my brother and I now… Continue Reading

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