Vin­cent - the man be­hind the brush

Life & Style Weekend - - ADVERTISIN­G FEATURE - Melissa Lan­ham RIGINALLY FROM THE SUN­SHINE COAST, AND NOW WORK­ING NA­TION­ALLY AND IN­TER­NA­TION­ALLY IN DANCE, CHORE­OG­RA­PHY AND PRO­DUC­TION, MELISSA LAN­HAM IS BRING­ING HER SHOW VIN­CENT HOME TO WHERE IT ALL BE­GAN. Vin­cent: Sat 2 Sep, 7:30pm, The Events Centre,

OWe caught up with Melissa to learn more about what in­spires her and what led to the cre­ation of her in­cred­i­ble and mov­ing dance theatre work based on the life of Vin­cent van Gogh. “I’ve been danc­ing since I could walk,” Melissa re­calls. “I can­not re­mem­ber a time when I wanted to do any­thing else. “Even as a lit­tle girl, move­ment and dance to me was a form of lan­guage, a way to ex­press my­self, par­tic­u­larly when words would never suf­fice! “This form of com­mu­ni­ca­tion is per­fec­tion to me - one move­ment of a shoul­der or a head can evoke a mood, at­ti­tude or emo­tion for ex­am­ple.” Artis­tic in­flu­ence comes in many forms, for Melissa it’s peo­ple, poetry and the hu­man psy­che. “I’m in­spired by peo­ple’s sto­ries, their lives, what mo­ti­vates them to do what they do and their ac­tions and re­ac­tions to life’s events. “I’m fas­ci­nated by the hu­man psy­che, its strengths and weak­nesses and how cre­ativ­ity can come from such pain. “I also love poetry and the writ­ten word - how a soul can play with words on paper, a one-di­men­sional space, and trans­form­ing words into a multi-sen­sory 3D ex­pe­ri­ence.” These in­spi­ra­tions were all sparked when, dur­ing an art gallery visit in Eng­land, Melissa first saw the Vin­cent van Gogh paint­ing, Sun­flow­ers. “I was so moved and in­trigued when I first saw the paint­ing of Sun­flow­ers hang­ing on the wall of a Lon­don art gallery al­most a decade ago that I be­gan study­ing Vin­cent’s life in depth, which then be­came my in­spi­ra­tion for the show, Vin­cent.” Con­cept de­vel­op­ment for the show be­gan in 2013, fol­lowed by two years of work­shop­ping, show de­vel­op­ment, char­ac­ter anal­y­sis and ex­plo­ration. Vin­cent is an ex­traor­di­nar­ily mov­ing dance theatre piece about the man be­hind the brush, his re­la­tion­ship with his brother Theo, his own in­ter­nal strug­gle of in­ner-self and self-ex­pres­sion and his con­stant battle with his in­ner psy­che. Vin­cent kicked off a na­tional and in­ter­na­tional tour at the Ade­laide Fringe Fes­ti­val in 2016 and we can’t wait to see it here on the Sun­shine Coast, where it all be­gan, dur­ing Hori­zon Fes­ti­val. “Fes­ti­vals like Hori­zon bring to­gether a beau­ti­ful mix of artists from across a re­gional area, as well na­tional and in­ter­na­tional artists, to cel­e­brate the arts in all its forms. “I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to bring­ing Vin­cent home to the Sun­shine Coast for the fes­ti­val.” “I could not have be­gun a pro­fes­sional dance work here with­out the sup­port of RADF (Re­gional Arts De­vel­op­ment Fund) and many other dance and theatre lov­ing peo­ple. ” “Vin­cent has a mon­strous in­ter­na­tional fu­ture ahead, and to know that ‘he’ started here on the Sun­shine Coast with the help of RADF and many other sup­port­ers, is won­der­ful.” LJ Projects pre­miered 'Vin­cent' at the 2016 Ade­laide Fringe Fes­ti­val to rave re­views and awards be­fore tour­ing into NSW and Mel­bourne to sim­i­lar stun­ning re­views. Vin­cent is tour­ing to Europe and the U.S. in 2018.

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