Posts filed under: Bodytorque

Bodytorque choreographers: Joshua Consandine
Photography Lynette Wills

Bodytorque choreographers: Joshua Consandine

Josh Consandine is a former principal artist with The Australian Ballet.  He returns to the company to make a work on our dancers for the Bodytorque season, and took time out from choreographing to chat with Jane Albert. 

What have you done since leaving The Australian Ballet?
I’d been at The Australian Ballet for ten years when I met Alexa Heckmann [the two are now married and have three young children]. We went over to Sydney Dance Company and did two-and-a-half years there. After a while Alexa wanted to keep dancing and I decided I needed to reskill so I did a post-graduate diploma in movement studies at NIDA, which I really enjoyed. I’ve worked in the industry with Jim Sharman, on his Cosi fan Tutte for Opera Australia, and as a movement consultant and choreographer with actors. I’m now working part-time at a Sydney highschool [SCEGGS Redlands] as the co-ordinator of ballet and I work casually at McDonald College and Alegria and Sydney Dance teaching ballet.

Why did you want to be part of Bodytorque?
Alexa and I entered the Australian Ballet’s 50th Anniversary Ballet Project, a competition where you had to submit a synopsis, and choreographic and music ideas for a full-length ballet. We didn’t win but we came very close and David McAllister told me he’d really loved it and suggested I come and do Bodytorque. I’ve done a lot of choreography but it’s usually making people who don’t have the best technique, or aren’t the best dancers, look good, which is pretty challenging! I’ve choreographed some classical dance and musicals like Thoroughly Modern Millie, and worked with actors doing musical interludes, but this is good for me, it’s outside my routine. (more…)

23 October 2013

Bodytorque choreographers: Halaina Hills

Bodytorque choreographers: Halaina Hills

Coyrphée Halaina Hills will be making her choreographic debut this month as part of our Bodytorque.Technique season. She spoke to Jane Albert about choreographing on colleagues, realising visions and working with Ratmansky.

Have you dabbled in choreography before?
I did a bit as a kid in choreographic competitions but I wouldn’t really consider that “dabbling”. What’s really led me to do Bodytorque was working with other choreographers and being inspired by what they do – the creation of movement and how something develops. Also whenever I listen to music, whether it’s the MSO or SSO or my iPod, I’m always seeing something, visualising movement, wondering: what sort of movement would work with it? Where’s the tension? Where’s the beauty? I hope I can bring the vision to life.

Tell me about your work, Mode.L.
[Pronounced "Mode-El"]. “Mode” is a synonym for technique and “model” as in the model dancer. The style is quite angular and neo-classical. My dancers are in pointe shoes so it’s quite classical, but there’s definitely some 21st -century movement to it. My music was composed in the 1920s so it’s very abstract. I’ve looked at artists like Kandinsky and Mondrian, movements in art that were about total abstraction, which is where I’m going with my piece. My dancers are in tunics (leotard with a skirt for the girls, boys in a unitard), with hair in a bun. There’s no obvious relationships, no story, it’s what the audience can make of it. I’ve chosen three girls (Ako Kondo, Jessica Fyfe and Benedicte Bemet) and two boys (Christiano Martino and Jack Hersee). (more…)

14 October 2013

  • Bodytorque choreographers: Richard House
    Richard House and Rudy Hawkes in rehearsal for Garry Stewart's Monument. Photography Lynette Wills
  • Bodytorque choreographers: Richard House
    Richard House and Rudy Hawkes in Garry Stewart's Monument. Photography Branco Gaica

Bodytorque choreographers: Richard House

The Bodytorque season pairs emerging choreographers with our dancers to make fresh new works. Our Corps de Ballet member Richard House will be choreographing a piece for the upcoming Bodytorque.Technique season called Finding the Calm. He talks to us about first beginnings, inspirations, and dancing on trains.

You were choreographing right from when you were a student, which is quite unusual – how did that come about?
I went to the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, where you do the same amount of contemporary technique classes and composition classes in a week as you do ballet. That’s probably where I discovered my passion for it. When I was in Year 10 I developed a bond with a teacher called Brett Daffy [a founding member of Chunky Move] and he did very different movement to what I’d seen in the past. I thought, “Hang on, contemporary can be really edgy.” When I was in Year 11, just before I was leaving to go to The Australian Ballet School, I was asked to choreograph a piece for my class – there was about 10 of us – for the creative production at the end of the year at Grant St, and the staff loved it so much they brought it back the following year for their main season at the school. So that was really cool as well, to also have the staff appreciating what I was creating. My main thought behind it was, I just want the dancers to have fun, and I think the more fun and coordinated the movement feels to the dancers on stage, it really is read well by the audience, so I think that’s why it was so successful. They’re still doing it to this day. (more…)

24 September 2013

  • Citizen review: Chengwu and Luke
    Chengwo Guo and Natasha Kusen in Alice Topp's Scope. Photo Jess Bialek
  • Citizen review: Chengwu and Luke
    Amy Harris and Luke Marchant in Kevin Jackson Encomium. Photo Jess Bialek

Citizen review: Chengwu and Luke

Our citizen reviewer Carolyn Dempsey has measured up four of the six Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominees in performances of Madame Butterfly and After the Rain©. Now she moves on to the Bodytorque.Muses program to see how Chengwu Guo and Luke Marchant interpret some brand-new choreography. (more…)

6 June 2011

Bodytorque: creation in action
Natasha Kusen. Photo by Stefan Duscio

Bodytorque: creation in action

Take a sneak peak at the visuals for Alice Topp’s brand-new work Scope, part of our new-choreography showcase Bodytorque, which opens at Sydney Theatre tonight. Not in Sydney but hankering to see the five fresh new works? The last performance of Bodytorque will be live streamed on bigpondvideo.com/ballet on the 29 May, 3pm. You can also watch it afterwards as a video on demand.

These behind-the-scenes shots were taken by Stefan Duscio as The Apiary (Gavin Youngs and Lily Coates) created visuals for Scope.

26 May 2011

Our 5 favourite grand pas de deux
Daniel Gaudiello and Dana Stephensen in Don Quixote. Photo Jessica Bialek

Our 5 favourite grand pas de deux

Fizzing firework displays of virtuoso technique, the extremes of masculine and feminine expression, soaring music, roaring applause – there’s nothing like a grand pas! Daniel Gaudiello (principal artist, choreographer, and stunning exponent of the Don Q pas) has been inspired to make a grand pas, Tristan and Isolde, in the style of Petipa for our upcoming Bodytorque season. For Daniel, “this format best shows off the dancers’ special abilities together and individually”. Which got us thinking about our favourite pas de deux! Here are some of ballet’s showiest showstoppers, and why we think they’re grand.

Christine Walsh and David Ashmole in The Sleeping Beauty 1988. Photo Anthony Crickmay

The Sleeping Beauty, Act III pas de deux, Petipa

The grand pas in The Sleeping Beauty, like so many of the genre, is the climactic wedding scene that ends the ballet. And, like so many of the classic pas, it’s choreographed by Petipa and scored by Tchaikovsky. Here we see the traditional form of the grand pas: an opening adage, a variation for both male and female dancers, and a coda in which they are reunited. Aurora is marrying the prince who’s kissed her back to life, and she’s transformed from a girl to a gracious woman. The two express their love with a royal dignity (although they’re not above showing off with a fishdive or three). Aurora’s stately but sensual variation, in which her twining arms seem to embrace the air, is a highlight.

(more…)

20 May 2011