Opening at the Fringe on Friday 23 September is Too Soon to Tell, the debut work of the newly formed Austinmer Dance Theatre. Artistic Director Michelle Forte took time out between rehearsals to give me the run down on the company and what audiences can expect from their Fringe performances.
Forte established the group earlier this year as a ‘stepping stone’ company for elite contemporary dancers aged between 17 and 25. Austinmer Dance Theatre gives young and promising dancers the opportunity to perform whilst still perfecting their art in a positive and nurturing environment with the ultimate goal of equipping them with the technical skills, resilience and independence that they will need to thrive in company life.
This new work very much reflects the ethos of the company, as the dancers have been required to contribute a section of improvised choreography to the development process.
“Improvisation is a strong component of my work. It can be both a daunting and empowering process, but one that is highly creative and aesthetically pleasing. Most of the major dance companies overseas demand improvisation of their dancers and since we are nurturing them for the professional world is a skill they need to have.”
Too Soon to Tell comprises of four incredibly diverse short works, each showcasing a different style of contemporary choreography. The show is set to open with Don’t Look Back, an expressive lyrical piece with live accompaniment by Triple J ‘Unearthed’ singer-songwriter Chloe Harrison. Next, set to the techno beats of German composer Boris. S. is the modern and angular Aggravated Disruption. The third number is titled Stolen Memories and promises to be spine-tingling, taking inspiration from the film Schindler’s List.
Dance connoisseurs will be thrilled to note that the final piece – Army of You – is by the internationally renowned dancer and choreographer Paul Selwyn Norton, who has worked with Stalker Theatre and William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt. His piece, choreographed to an eclectic musical selection including Courtney Love, John Cage and African drums, draws on the intense competition and friendship found in the high school yard.
This new work by the up and coming Austinmer Dance Theatre is a must see for the seasoned dance audience and the new and curious alike, with the variety showcased in the work making it the perfect tasting menu for anyone who has ever wanted to know more about this dance form.
Too Soon to Tell opens at the Newtown Theatre on Friday 23 September and runs to Sunday 2 October. Buy your tickets here.