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Dancenorth: Attractor

Dec 30, 2018

Australian artists working across borders nationally and internationally captivate audiences and grow the profile and impact of Australian arts. The arts contribute to Australia’s international reputation and we take pride in our artists on the international stage – three in four Australians feel proud when our artists do well overseas.

Dancenorth Attractor. Image credit Gregory Lorenzutti.

Attractor brings together acclaimed Indonesian music duo, Senyawa, and two of Australia’s leading small to medium dance companies, Townsville’s Dancenorth and Melbourne’s Lucy Guerin Inc, to create a unique music and dance ritual. Choreographed by Gideon Obarzanek and Lucy Guerin, Attractor premiered in February 2017 in Melbourne as part of the first AsiaTOPA (Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts), and went on to be presented nationally at Brisbane Festival, Perth Festival and WOMADelaide. As a work of scale, the development of Attractor would not have been possible without a range of partners, including support through the Major Festivals Initiative.

Featuring eight dancers, two live musicians, and the unique opportunity for 20 unrehearsed audience members per night to join the company on stage, the performance breaks through the boundaries between audience and performer. This unique work received critical and peer acclaim including two Helpmann Awards. Reviewing the premiere season, The Age called Attractor ‘primal, electrifying contemporary dance at its best’.

Attractor was a highlight at the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) in 2018. Australia’s leading internationally focused industry event for contemporary performing arts, APAM is an international development initiative of the Australia Council that increases opportunities for national and international touring of Australian work.

With Attractor, both companies expanded into new international markets. The work toured to the USA in 2017, with presentations at Portland’s White Bird and the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, and was featured at the UK’s Brighton Festival 2018. The company’s high profile national and international seasons were attended by a number of international presenters, leading to many more invitations for international touring across 2018–2020.

There is strong international interest in contemporary Australian dance, partly due to the Australia Council’s support for sustained outward engagement with international networks and platforms (for example delegations to IETM and the European dance market Tanzmesse), as well as in-bound market opportunities such as APAM and Dance Massive.

Outstanding Australian companies and choreographers such as Dancenorth and Lucy Guerin Inc are further increasing the demand for Australian dance by securing programming in prestigious venues and festivals known for presenting high calibre international work. Venues and festivals include: Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Théâtre National de Chaillot (Paris), Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales (Paris), Tanz im August (Berlin) and December Dance – Concertgebouw (Bruges).

Dancenorth and Lucy Guerin Inc are supported through Four Year Funding 2017–2020.


Annual Report 2017-18, Australia Council for the Arts

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