Vincent - the man behind the brush
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.