FORM Dance Projects and Riverside Theatres Present
Speaking from the heart of Western Sydney
Join Award winning Western Sydney slam poet Pola Fanous in lively duet conversations. FORMidables is about life, passion, the universality of dance language, what it means to be a young artist in a cosmopolitan Australia and the lessons we can take from the artists who contribute to the vibrancy of art making in Western Sydney.
EPISODE 1: Flamenco with Pepa Molina & Eliza Cooper
Monday, 11 May 2020
Award-winning flamenco dance artist Pepa Molina and young choreographic talent Eliza Cooper share their love of flamenco, visual arts and all things to celebrate in life from the Sydney Opera House to the Bolshoi Theatre, from Seville to Granville, Picasso to Gina Lollobrigida.
Running Time: 50 Minutes
Headshot Photographers: Heidrun Lohr, Cesar Lucas, Martyn Thompson
Pola Fanous is a young poet and performing artist from Western Sydney. An Egyptian-born immigrant, at age 21 Pola is a prominent figure in Sydney’s slam scene. In 2016, Pola competed in the Poetry Olympics and spoke at the City of Sydney’s Youth Leadership Conference. In 2017, Pola was published in ‘The Resurrection’ Anthology and performed at the Digital Writers’ Festival, The Plot Music Festival, and the Parliament House of Australia. His poem ‘Mr War (Palestine)’ incorporated into Warren Armstrong and Susannah Williams’ multi-sensory artwork ‘Listening Device VII: Felt Histories’, was awarded the 2017 Paramor Prize for Art & Innovation. In 2018, Pola began writing for Honi Soit, performed at the Sydney Writer’s Festival and made waves with his now-iconic ‘Westies’. Pola was the 2018 NSW Slam Champion in the Australian Poetry Slam National Final at the Sydney Opera House. In early 2019 he released his debut collection of poetry, STRONGSOFT. He was the Speaker in FORM Dance Projects’ 2020 Sydney Festival creation ENCOUNTER directed by Emma Saunders.
Pepa Molina is an Australian Flamenco artist with Andalusian heritage and a respected international profile. Her Flamenco productions have toured main theatre circuits in Spain, International music & dance festivals as well as Flamenco festivals across Europe, America and Asia, placing her amongst the leading international contemporary Flamenco dance companies. In 2004, she formed Compañía Pepa Molina. Her work Bush Bailando was premiered as part of FORM Dance Projects Dance Bites program and won the Dance Australia’s Critic’s choice award for Most interesting Australian group/artist in 2016. Pepa was to present her new work Perceptions in May 2020 with FORM Dance Projects at Riverside Theatres. The Dance Bites season has been postponed due to COVID-19.
Eliza graduated from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, then Sydney Dance Company Pre-Professional Year in 2016. She continued her study of dance with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (MASA 2017). In 2018, Eliza choreographed her solo works Solitudinem (PACT) and Salome: Dance of the Seven Veils (Town Hall Sydney). Her ensemble work DETKA (NIDA) won 3rd prize in the 3C Awards and LAZER BEAMS won the Outstanding Ensemble Performance Award in FORM Dance Projects’ Sharp Short Dance 2018. She performed in Opera Australia’s 2019 seasons of Graeme Murphy’s Turandot (Sydney Opera House & Melbourne Arts Centre). Her work Old Life/ Dead Life (Sydney Experimental Arts Ensemble) premiered in the FreshWorks Program (Old 505 Theatre) and was re-commissioned by Australian Centre for Astrobiology (Io Myers Theatre). Her next work Bat Lake is in development through the FloorPlan (Campbelltown Arts Centre), Ausdance DAIR and 2020 Dirty Feet Out of the Studio program.