10 young emerging dance artists are this year's Soft Landers: embarking on a 4-week intensive development program with Amelia McQueen, Gabrielle Nankivell, Natalie Abbott and Solon Ulbrich. QL2 Dance's Soft Landing program gives graduate dancers from tertiary courses around Australia a chance to find their feet in a mentored development project in Canberra. It is a unique opportunity to maintain and extend dance training, share knowledge and skills with interstate graduates, forge creative partnerships and launch a creative practice for the future. It has supported many recent graduates during the difficult transition from the tertiary course into the dance profession.
THE SOFT LANDERS: 2012
Anna Kallstrom has a strong interest in dancing and acting, recently completing a double degree in these fields at Deakin University. While studying she performed with Undercurrent Dance Company in Blur and in Project Y’s The Dream Machine. 2011 saw an array of projects for Anna, including working with Kim Lawrence in Independence (a site specific contemporary work), in the lead role of Alice in Lyrebird Dance Theatre’s Native Wonderland, for Melbourne Fringe Festival, and dancing for Heidi Mckerrow in Tombola, traversing the unknown, a contemporary work involving the element of chance. Anna performed as an improviser in Is this the Rooftop? with Deakin alumni at Melbourne’s “The Rooftop” bar, at The Little Con at Cecil St Studio and for the band “Scissorgrinder” at their final concert. 2012 sees Anna’s participation in Soft Landing and the foundation of “The Tuesday Club”, a contemporary dance project with fellow Deakin graduates.
Originally from Canberra, Ashlee was a senior member of Quantum Leap (QL2 Dance’s youth ensemble) before she relocated to Melbourne to pursue her career as a dance artist. At QL2 she choreographed short works for three “On Course” seasons and performed in several projects for choreographers including Ruth Osborne, Paul Zivkovich, Carol Wellman and Anton. In 2008, Ashlee worked with Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, performing with Mirramu Dance Company at the Canberra Multicultural Festival. Ashlee graduated from National Capital Ballet School before completing her Bachelor of Dance at VCA where she worked with choreographers such as Rosalind Crisp, Stephanie Lake, Sandra Parker and Anna Smith. She was also influenced by Rebecca Hilton, Carlee Mallow, Antony Hamilton and Tanja Liedtke and enjoyed developing her own interests in improvisation and choreography. Ashlee has performed as an improviser at the Little Con and Dancehouse and is a founding member of Menagerie; A Dance Collective.
Brie is a Melbourne based dance artist. Dancing from a young age, she discovered contemporary dance in her final years of high school. Brie went on to complete a B Creative Arts (Dance) at Deakin University. While studying, she found herself inspired by her teachers Shaun McLeod, Olivia Millard, Sally Gardner and Stephanie Hutchinson. In 2011, Brie performed in Adam Wheeler’s youth show It Sounds Silly which was presented by Chunky Move. She also performed in Homemade Dance Collective’s first public performance; Dance Class; choreographed by Adam Wheeler, Alisdair Macindoe, Jo Lloyd, Luke George and Stephanie Lake. In 2012 Brie was selected for a secondment at Chunky Move and she is currently redeveloping two shows; Leave the Light On and Everyday Virtuosities; with fellow Deakin graduates to perform at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Brie is excited to begin her career as a creative artist.
Chiemi was born in Japan, where her high school dance club was placed second in the modern dance section at the All Japan Dance Festival in Kobe in 2004, and third in 2005. She performed at Expo 2005 Aichi Japan with Japanese dance artist Kim Itoh. Chiemi moved to Melbourne in 2009 to study at Deakin University, graduating with a Bachelor of Creative arts (dance) in 2011. During her study, she did an exchange program at Lucia Marthus Dance Academy in Groningen, the Netherlands. In Europe, she performed with independent visual artist Michel Velt in Groningen. Chiemi and Michel created Dialectica and Sun Sucre for the Theatertapas and Nacht Van Kunst & Wetenschap festivals in 2011. In Melbourne, she actively explored dance experiences outside of University life, dancing with Undercurrent Dance Company in Black Ocean (2010). Chiemi also has experience in hip-hop with Bounczn Dance Company.
Courtney Scheu is an emerging dance artist based in Brisbane. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance Performance) at QUT and will be completing her Honours in Choreography in 2012. At QUT she was inspired by industry professionals including Zaimon Vilmanis, Grant Mclay and Shaaron Boughen. She also participated in the Guangdong Modern Dance Festival and Summer Camp (Guangzhou, China). During 2011, Courtney was selected to perform with Tami Dance Company (Israel) in the improvisation work PeepDance – Brisbane Tel Aviv during the Brisbane Festival. Courtney has been collaborating with Ashleigh Musk, presenting work at QL2’s On Course, Dance Compass and Platform Shorts Brisbane. They also choreographed and performed a 20 minute site-specific work for the 2High Backbone Youth Arts Festival. Courtney would like to develop new dance opportunities in Brisbane, in collaboration with local artists in alternative fields.
Hannah Wong Su-En
Born in Singapore, Hannah trained in classical ballet under Ms Sandra Ho, completing her RAD Advanced 1 with Distinction. Between 2004 and 2005, she performed with the Singapore Dance Theatre in The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. In 2009, Hannah moved to Melbourne to complete her Bachelor of Dance at the VCA, where in 2010, she received the Norma de Gruchy Award for Most Talented Classical Ballet Student. Whilst at VCA, she worked with artist Wanda Gillespie in the Next Wave Festival 2010, and was coached by Annabel Knight from Sydney Dance Company on the opening solo of 360°. She worked with many choreographers including Stephanie Lake, Brooke Stamp, Anna Smith, Wang Feng Feng, Jade Dewi Tyas Tunggal and Dr Neil Adams. In 2012, she worked with Amelia McQueen and Natalie Abbott at Soft Landing in Canberra, and is a founding member of the dance collective, Menagerie.
Jamie has extensive experience in areas of the arts including dance, musical theatre and acting. Originally from Young, NSW he has studied at NIDA (The Presenters Studio) and recently graduated from WAAPA (Bachelor of Arts - Dance). Jamie has been a member of QL2 Dance’s youth ensemble, Quantum Leap, for 8 years as a performer and presenting his own works. He performed in the Toes On The Edge tour across Thailand in 2011. Jamie has performed in Meryl Tankard’s VX18504 for ATYP, Kate Champion’s My Mutation for Sydney Spring Dance Festival, performed an intervention in Les Ballet’s C De La B’s production of Out of Context: For Pina and most recently in a guest role as the Bear in LINK Dance Company’s East Coast Tour of I Said Ha Ha choreographed by Ross McCormack. He is passionate about choreography and has presented his own works and dance films in Canberra, Perth and Sydney.
Kelly’s first major experiences in dance were made possible as a Youth Leader for Tracks Dance Company in the NT, performing in works such as Mr Big (2006) and You Dance Funny (2007). In Darwin she was also mentored by Indigenous artist Gary Lang. A recipient of a Melbourne National Scholarship, Kelly continued her training through the VCA, Bdance (2011), where dance artist Brooke Stamp became an important influence. While studying, she also formed a creative relationship with her peer Joshua Lowe as a member of his company, DRILL Performance Company. In 2012 Kelly will be involved as a founding member of Menagerie; A Dance Collective, and will participate in secondments with Lucy Guerin Inc and BalletLab, alongside the development of her own practice as a dance artist. Kelly is excited to be returning to work with Tracks later in the year on the project Milpirri, based in Indigenous community Lajamanu.
Rhiannon Ferris is an emerging artist based in Melbourne, with a B. Contemporary Arts with Distinction (Dance) from Deakin University. During her course she completed a year-long internship with Olivia Millard, and performed works by Sela Kiek and Shaun Mcleod. Since graduating, she has participated in workshops by Ros Warby and Balletlab, while continuing to participate and perform in Olivia Millard’s PhD work. In 2011, Rhiannon performed works by Tina Evans in the Melbourne Fringe Festival and Antarctic Music Festival and Conference (Canberra), as well as works by Sela Kiek, Olivia Millard, and Kim Lawrence’s "IndepenDance" project. She has been an improviser at The Little Con and is a 2012 participant in the QL2 Dance Soft Landing program under direction of Amelia McQueen. Rhiannon is developing her personal aesthetic and is keen to collaborate with other artists to develop new performance work.
Sarah completed a Post Graduate Diploma (Choreography) at the VCA in 2010 and a Bachelor of Art (Dance) at Deakin in 2004, while simultaneously gaining teaching qualifications. In 2008, she collaborated with two colleagues to form Muted Dialogue, and subsequently created Dislocated which was performed at several small events. In 2009 she held a lead solo role in the The Violin by Geelong based youth company Room2Move. Her own work includes deCompositions and Tales of Love performed for her postgraduate studies in 2010. Sarah also collaborated with choreographer Daniel Louie for his postgraduate studies in 2011. Her styles and influences are diverse and she enjoys incorporating this diversity into her training, viewing and life. In 2012 she will be the Dance Trainer for fLiNG Physical Theatre in Bega NSW, and she hopes to be actively contributing to the performing arts for many years to come.
Independent dancer and choreographer Amelia McQueen is full-time director for Soft Landing 1 for 2012. Amelia has had extensive experience in previous Soft Landings, working closely with Solon Ulbrich in developing and refining the program. Project Assistant Natalie Abbott (VIC) is a dancer, choreographer and performance-maker whose interdisciplinary practice actively encourages audience participation and sensory immersion, often through the use of video and sound. Visiting Artists Gabrielle Nankivell and Solon Ulbrich have each worked intensively with the group for 2 days: sharing their process, revealing their working life, challenging physically, and stimulating new perceptions of participants’ dance future.
6 years of successful participants are now at the forefront of dance in Australia and overseas, in companies and independent practice.
“It gave me back the confidence that I lost in dance school and helped me believe in myself.”
“… gave me not only a new kind of inspiration but also the necessary knowledge and tools to survive in this tough industry.”
“… gave me a confidence in my performance practice and I made invaluable professional connections … really expanded my view of dance practice and the industry”
“… a launching pad for those who have just finished full time study and will benefit from reflection."
“I had such a powerful transformation … I found the courage required to source my own opportunities and ensure I was stepping closer towards my goals.”
“… Soft Landing taught me how to overcome fears with my dancing and as a person. It allowed me to break through walls I had around me. It set me up with new connections.”
“… the group … feels more like my peers than my year group from university… because they were committed to developing into professional artists.”
Soft Landing 2013
The next Soft Landing will be in early 2013. Contact QL2 Dance for more information.