Stirling Times - - Lifestyle - Tanya Mac­Naughton

THE ad­di­tion of The Edith spiegel­tent as a per­ma­nent fix­ture to WAAPA’s Mt Law­l­ey­cam­pus has opened up even greater pos­si­bil­i­ties when it comes to de­vis­ing a site­spe­cific work.

WAAPA’s grad­u­ate Link Dance Com­pany has taken full ad­van­tage of this for its fi­nal per­for­mance sea­son in what has been a tran­si­tion year be­tween train­ing and pur­su­ing a pro­fes­sional dance ca­reer.

Im Spiegel is a 45-minute con­tem­po­rary dance work based on the theme of identity and cre­ated to bring the mag­i­cal mir­rored palace to life.

WAAPA act­ing and per­for­mance move­ment lec­turer and di­rec­tor Sam Ch­ester is co-col­lab­o­rat­ing with spe­cial guest artist Natalie Allen, who has re­turned to WAAPA fol­low­ing time with Syd­ney Dance Com­pany.

Allen will join the cast of 10 Link dancers on stage, who will share their sto­ries with the au­di­ence.

“Im Spiegel means mir­ror or in re­flec­tion, so it’s about their identity and con­nec­tion to fam­ily,” Ch­ester said.

“We’ve looked at ge­net­ics and what we carry from our fam­i­lies in even sim­ple things, like who in your fam­ily do you look most like? They’ve in­ter­viewed their fam­ily about fam­ily and made fam­ily trees; it’s been beau­ti­ful.”

Ch­ester, who grew up in Syd­ney, said it was her job to pro­vide the dancers with a frame­work for their imag­i­na­tion so they felt they could make work they were proud of and loved per­form­ing.

“I want them to leave this feel­ing re­ally em­pow­ered,” she said.

“I think it’s im­por­tant that we cre­ate work, es­pe­cially in ed­uca­tive in­sti­tu­tions, that em­power the artist to have agency and their own voice in terms of what they can make and how they can make a dif­fer­ence in their ca­reers, in the sec­tor and in the greater com­mu­nity.

“Im Spiegel is con­structed around the main cir­cu­lar floor and I’m try­ing not to see the spiegel­tent as lim­i­ta­tion but rather in­vi­ta­tion, shall we say, to help in the con­struc­tion of the piece.”

They’ve in­ter­viewed their fam­ily about fam­ily and made fam­ily trees; it’s been beau­ti­ful.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d475525

Natalie Allen, cen­tre, with LINK dancers at re­hearsals.

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