New di­rec­tor is locked and loaded

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Dance - Tanya MacNaughton

RAEWYN Hill feels ev­ery stage of her ca­reer has been pre­par­ing her for be­com­ing the found­ing artis­tic di­rec­tor of Perth’s new con­tem­po­rary dance com­pany, Co3.

Hill grew up on New Zealand’s South Is­land and moved to Welling­ton when she was 15 to at­tend the New Zealand School of Dance.

Af­ter a suc­cess­ful ca­reer, she re­tired from per­for­mance in 2006 be­fore work­ing in Hong Kong and most re­cently North Queens­land prior to her ap­point­ment at Co3, a merger of STEPS Youth Dance Com­pany and Buzz Dance Theatre, at the end of 2014.

“STEPS re­ally nur­tured the cre­ativ­ity of our young peo­ple and Buzz was pre­dom­i­nantly about ed­u­ca­tion, cre­at­ing dance work for schools,” Hill, of Su­bi­aco, said.

“But there wasn’t a full-time pro­fes­sional con­tem­po­rary en­sem­ble of dancers. The big­gest chal­lenge for me was al­ways go­ing to be how I could bal­ance hon­our­ing that legacy of 54 years of com­bined his­tory, as well as cre­at­ing this pro­fes­sional en­sem­ble.”

The re­sult is a pro­fes­sional com­pany of six core dancers and two artists in de­vel­op­ment, with Hill’s dream to even­tu­ally grow the com­pany to 16 dancers.

There is also Co:Youth fea­tur­ing 58 young dancers in­her­ited from STEPS.

The com­pany will launch at the end of Oc­to­ber with a sea­son of re:Loaded 2015 fea­tur­ing a triple bill per­formed by the core com­pany and chore­ographed by Hill (Car­ni­vale), Larissa McGowan (Trans­ducer) and Gavin Web­ber (What’s Left).

The dancers of Co:Youth will open the per­for­mance with a re-imag­in­ing of Hill’s 2012 work Fugue.

“The artis­tic pro­gram phi­los­o­phy of the com­pany is cu­rate, com­mis­sion, cre­ate,” Hill said.

“So for me it was im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge those three parts of the com­pany and present work un­der each of those philoso­phies.

“Cu­rate is about bring­ing a sec­ond life to work that has al­ready had a sea­son so that’s Larissa McGowan’s work Trans­ducer.

“Com­mis­sion is about pro­vid­ing an en­vi­ron­ment to cel­e­brate an ex­pert maker - Gavin Web­ber - and then cre­ate is pre­dom­i­nantly where you’ll see my work, where we talk about find­ing dance in un­ex­pected places or with un­ex­pected partnerships.”

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