Western Sydney Youth Dance Company

Are you ready for something really exciting? WE ARE HERE is happening!

The WE ARE HERE Company will be a new, breakthrough contemporary dance company like no other. It is open to Western Sydney dancers aged between 16-30 years. We are looking for open minded and confident performers with previous dance training in any style of dance and who exhibit performative and choreographic potential.

The WE ARE HERE Company will hold artistry, performative range and collaboration in its work, contributing and redefining the current look, approach and style of Australian contemporary dance. At its helm is Emma Saunders, our ‘formidable’ and award winning Associate Artist. Emma is hot off the heels from directing the highly successful ENCOUNTER season at Sydney Festival 2020 and will bring her wealth of dance experience, energy and generosity to the company

Fill registration form HERE

If you have any further questions please email: weareherecom20@gmail.com or phone 9806 5609

AUDITION DATE: Saturday 15 August 10AM-3.30PM (this will be divided into 1 hr blocks – see registration form)
CALL BACK: Saturday 15 August, 4PM-5.30PM – compulsory attendance for all dancers selected
AUDITION LOCATION: Riverside studio, Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

*Open to all dancers, secondary school to tertiary and professional aged 16 – 30.
*Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse dancers are encouraged to apply.
*FORM DANCE PROJECTS has two Indigenous scholarships available.
*Fees apply to company workshops, masterclasses and training.
* Auditions and classes will adhere to CovidSafe best practice and NSW Government Public Health Covid-19 regulations and social distancing.
* Connection to Western Sydney includes participants who were born in Western Sydney, grew up in Western Sydney, currently reside in Western Sydney, attended school or tertiary institute in Western Sydney, have an artform practice connected to Western Sydney, are working in Western Sydney.

Dates & Activities

Led by Emma, we offer you an extensive range of opportunities to experience, develop and broaden your dance practice through the following exciting programs:

  1. Ongoing Dance Workshops
    In Emma’s signature theatrical and distinct style that explores instinct, charge, weight, breath, gravity, emotional realities, spoken text, performative tasks, action, humour, composition, improvisation and the tools and skills you need to develop your own dance style and practice.
  2. New Dance Work, Creative Development & Performance
    In collaboration with Emma, you will develop a new short live dance theatre OR dance film work, plus a range of short digital pieces to be presented at Sharp Short Dance 2020.
  3. ENCOUNTER Repertoire Re-examined
    A week intensive where we re-examine ENCOUNTER (2020 Sydney Festival) repertoire in collaboration with original cast and perform excerpts as part of new sites and collaborations through Parramatta Laneways project (pending funding).
  4. Starting Points
    Opportunity to develop your own creative and choreographic voice under the guidance and mentorship of Emma Saunders with an informal showing.

$220 Registration fee includes all the above activities
Creative Kids Registered provider, claim your $100 voucher HERE
Payment plans available

Child Safe Environment
FORM Dance Projects is committed to providing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all young dancers. We prioritise the safety and well-being of children and young people participating in our programs and creative projects. All of our staff and artists have a valid Working with Children Check and adhere to our Child Protection Policy

Dates & Times
NB: All dates compatible with NSW secondary school calendar

Term 3
10AM-4PM : Saturdays 5/9, 12/9, 19/9

October Holidays
10AM-4PM : Monday 28/9- Friday 2/10 (5 days)

Term 4
4.30PM-7.30PM: Tuesday rehearsals:13/10, 20/10, 27/10, 3/11, 10/11, 17/11, 24/11
1/12, 8/12, 15/12
10AM-4PM : Saturday rehearsals 31/10, 7/11, 21/11

Starting Points Showing
Tuesday December 16 2020 or 1st week of February 2021 (tbc)

Note: If you are unable to do all these dates please let us know.

Company led workshops and classes:

Northmead Girl Guides Hall
Northmead Reserve
Elizabeth Crescent (opp. No. 18)
Northmead NSW 2152

Emma Saunders

Emma Saunders has been described as a “formidable” (Realtime, 2010) Australian dance artist who works as a dancer, choreographer, director, educator and curator. She 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.

Emma is a co-founding member of the award-winning Sydney based trio, The Fondue Set, alongside Jane McKernan and Elizabeth Ryan, who have created 10 full length works including Green Room Award-winning No Success Like Failure presented at the Sydney Opera House (2008) and Dance Massive, Arts House (2009). The Fondue Set have also performed in the Melbourne International Arts Festival (The Bar, 2008) and Sydney Festival First Night (The Hoofer, 2010). The Fondue Set has toured nationally in Australia and internationally to the UK, Europe and Japan.

Emma was the inaugural Dance Curator at Campbelltown Arts Centre (2008 – 2012). Emma has created two large-scale outdoor site-specific dance works, The Bankstown Dancing Project, commissioned by Urban Theatre Projects for Sydney Festival 2015, and The Austinmer Dancing Project 1.1.18, commissioned by Wollongong city Council exploring where dance and community can intersect.

In 2019, Emma was commissioned by FORM Dance Projects to create a new outdoor large scale dance work, Encounter, for Sydney Festival 2020 which involved a 50 piece live orchestra (WSYO), 16 dancers, original 1hr composition by composers Jodi Phyllis (The Clouds) and Amanda Brown (The Go-Betweens), Miles Franklin nominee writer Felicity Castagna and slam poet Pola Fanous. Emma is now 2020 Associate Artist for FORM Dance Projects where she is currently creating a new Western Sydney Youth Dance Company she has entitled the WE ARE HERE Company.

She graduated with a BA in Dance and Grad Dip Ed (Dance/Drama) from the University of Western Sydney (1996) and lectured in Movement, Performance Art and Generative Performance Practice at the University of Wollongong (2010-2019).

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