COMMISSIONED AND PRODUCED BY FORM DANCE PROJECTS
IN DEVELOPMENT 2019
DIRECTOR: EMMA SAUNDERS
ASSOCIATE ARTIST: ROB McCREDIE
WRITER: FELICITY CASTAGNA
COMPOSERS: JODI PHILLIS & AMANDA BROWN
WSYO CONDUCTOR: JAMES PENSINI
VISUAL ARTIST: DAVID CAPRA
DANCERS: SARAH KALULE, LAWRENCEA MATEARIKI, SABRINA MUSZYNSKI, JOSHUA O’CONNOR, NAOMI REICHARDT, FERAS SHAHEEN, CAYLAN SPENDLOVE, XARA ZAINEDDINE, TEGAN J. RUSHTON & FLING SENIOR ENSEMBLE DANCERS
MUSICIANS: WESTERN SYDNEY YOUTH ORCHESTRA
ENCOUNTER is a series of moments about the everyday lives of young people in Parramatta, Western Sydney and the Bega Valley, in regional NSW.
Encounter is a multidisciplinary site-responsive festival production with young people and about young people from Western Sydney and south coast NSW.
Through this commission FORM is providing the opportunity for a group of outstanding NSW and Western Sydney independent artists from various art forms to collaborate, experiment and develop their areas of practice.
Key artists include Emma Saunders (Director), Rob McCredie (Associate Artist), Felicity Castagna (Writer), Amanda Brown and Jodi Phillis (Composers,) James Pensini (Western Sydney Youth Orchestra Conductor) and David Capra (Visual Artist).
The project provides young Western Sydney performers, musicians and dancers with the opportunity for mentorship, professional and performance skills development with leading Australian artists.
Referred to as a “formidable” Australian dance artist, Emma Saunders, Director and Choreographer, is interested in the simplicity of dance and the complexity of choreography. Utilising a visceral, instinctive attack, her work is immediate, often working with humour, everyday movement, text, repetition, deconstruction, duration and abstraction.
ENCOUNTER references both urban and natural worlds, from natural movement of kangaroos to the hanging about of young people in concrete carparks and shopping malls, in Parramatta and Bega valley. The audience will experience an encounter with the dancers at times touching on the unknown, the other, a bit dangerous, reckless; and at other times curious, joyful, timid, awkward and playful.
Multi-award-winning novelist, Felicity Castagna, (Finalist, Miles Franklin Award 2018) has always been interested in writing with a focus on place. ENCOUNTER is a series of moments about the everyday lives of young people in Parramatta, Western Sydney and the Bega Valley, in regional NSW. These stories are drawn from discussions and workshops that Felicity Castagna undertook with dancers from Western Sydney and Bega region.
Amanda Brown (The Go Betweens) and Jodi Phillis (The Clouds) are collaborating to create an orchestral score for the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra that is original, vibrant and contemporary.
The two composers draw on their experiences as songwriters and composers from the worlds of popular and screen music to write a series of musical vignettes to accompany and support the choreography and narrative arc of Encounter. The musical score celebrates the indomitable spirit of young people and the world they find themselves in. At times the orchestra provides a monumental soundscape for the dancers; at other times it reflects the wild spirit and rhythms of young people in urban and natural landscapes
ENCOUNTER is focused on young performers (aged 10-25) and the creation of a project that appeals to young adults. This is both FORM Dance Projects’ and Western Sydney Youth Orchestra’s objective – to engage artistically and creatively with young artists and audiences from Western Sydney. ENCOUNTER is a gateway providing long-lasting impact for young Western Sydney emerging artists’ careers.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
FORM Dance Projects is a dynamic hub for Australian contemporary dance based in Parramatta. Since 2011 FORM has grown into one of Australia’s leading dance presenters. Its aim is to support Australian choreographers in all stages of their career, develop artists’ national profiles, provide professional development opportunities, engage with the local community in meaningful ways, including Western Sydney young people and cultural performers, and connect with audiences.
FORM’s program encompasses successfully commissioning and producing genre-defying large-scale festival productions with the aim to provide professional development for artists, create opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaborations and develop new audiences. The first production was PUNCTURE, directed by Patrick Nolan, commissioned by FORM Dance Projects and co-produced with Legs on the Wall and Vox, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs delighting critics and audiences with its mix of choral music, physical theatre and contemporary dance. This was followed by commissioning and producing CHAMPIONS, directed by Martin del Amo, positioning 11 highly skilled female dancers into a football stadium to challenge pervasive notions of who qualifies as a champion. Martin del Amo won the 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance for CHAMPIONS.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER
Emma Saunders is an artist, who works as a dancer, curator, choreographer and educator. She graduated with a BA in Dance and Grad Dip Ed (Dance/Drama) from the University of Western Sydney. Her work is immediate, often working with humour, everyday movements, repetition, duration and abstraction. She is a co-founder member of The Fondue Set, and was the inaugural Dance Curator at Campbelltown Arts Centre (2008 – 2012), where she co-curated a series of dance projects that examine community, location, exchange, culture, age and the interdisciplinary nature of making dance work. She is currently an Associate Artist of NORPA, Lismore, NSW.