After 35 years as Expressions Dance Company, the Brisbane-based ensemble will now be known as Australian Dance Collective.
With collaboration and artistic excellence at its heart, Australian Dance Collective Chair, Marian Gibney, said the name change was part of the evolution of the company, aligning its history and vision.
“The board is incredibly proud of what the company has achieved under the guiding vision of original artistic director, Maggi Sietsma, and, in the recent decade, Natalie Weir. We have been leaders in investing in dance education and development, and renowned for our commitment to collaboration with a wide range of artists in the production of high quality dance works,” she said.
“These hallmarks of the company will continue to be at the centre of its work under the leadership of new artistic director, Amy Hollingsworth. Amy is a passionate curator, with a clear vision around harnessing shared energies and imaginations to produce thrilling dance works and to nurturing a love of dance in our community.
“With Amy’s appointment, and as we enter a new decade, the board believes that the time is right to refresh the company’s name, to ensure that it speaks clearly of what has been achieved and what the company seeks to do in the future.”
Unveiling the new name at the company’s season launch at QPAC tonight, Amy Hollingsworth said Australian Dance Collective was committed to being “collectively extraordinary”.
“Working collectively gives us like-minded individuals and visionaries to debate with, ensuring our ideas are robust and that our collaborations crackle with artistic energy. I dream of creating an environment that generates exhilarating dance to capture the imaginations of many,” she said.
“2020 sees us embody this vision of collective excellence – through showcasing a diverse range of Australian artists, exposure to international industry leaders and innovative collaborations.
“We want to help our audiences feel differently about dance, shifting perceptions of what contemporary dance is and does.”
Founding artistic director, Maggi Sietsma said the company had always been a collaborative endeavour and welcomed the evolution to Australian Dance Collective.
“Thirty five years ago, Abel (Valls) and I dreamt of establishing a company of like-minded creative artists, dancers, musicians, choreographers, lighting designers, poets, set designers, collaborators of all kinds. That dream grew from a germ of an idea into Expressions Dance Company,” she said.
“Today, what was Expressions Dance Company, then EDC, will continue the dream under the new name Australian Dance Collective. Together they will foster new links, test new creative boundaries and bring joy to countless thousands who get to experience this new chapter of the company’s evolution.”
Former artistic director, Natalie Weir, also embraced the new era for the company.
“Contemporary dance has to evolve, it has to change and that’s a really, really healthy thing,” she said. “It feels like the perfect time for a name change.”
“I think the new name Australian Dance Collective is beautiful and the idea of being ‘collectively extraordinary’ is a fantastic vision for the future of the company.
Hollingsworth also announced her ambitious debut program, which includes bringing the work of Hofesh Shechter to Brisbane for the very first time.
Presented in association with Hofesh Shechter Company, Australian Dance Collective will take to the stage for the Australian premiere of Cult – the short work for six dancers that propelled Shechter into his globally-renowned career. Instinctive and raw, it is a powerful illustration of his unique and acclaimed choreography.
Cult will be performed in April as part of a triple bill, THREE, alongside world premieres from Jack Lister and Melanie Lane.
Lane is one of the strongest female choreographic voices in Australia and her works seamlessly fuse elegance with edgy physicality. Sexy and cool, she will be joined by long-term musical collaborator Clark in this must-see production.
Brisbane-born and a rising star of the choreographic world, Lister is also joining the collective as a company dancer, from Queensland Ballet.
Hollingsworth also welcomed Marlo Benjamin and Lonii Garnons-Williams to the collective alongside company dancers Josephine Weise, Jake McLarnon and Bernhard Knauer.
Following the success of the critically-acclaimed season of Matrix, Australian Dance Collective will collaborate with Shenzhen’s Round House Dance Company as part of the Chinese Australian Dance Exchange Project in August.
Succession sees our Youth Ensemble perform two works – one created especially for them and the other – a once in a lifetime experience – of performing alongside the main ensemble as 36 dancers take to the stage together.
Australian Dance Collective 2020 Season
THREE – 1-4 April, Playhouse Theatre, QPAC
SUCCESSION – 21-23 May, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts
CADEP – 5-8 August, Playhouse Theatre, QPAC