CriticalDance Forum

Dance in Canberra
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Author:  grace [ Sun Jul 02, 2000 7:48 am ]
Post subject:  Dance in Canberra

hi Canberrans! (does that word exist?)<P>i thought i'd take advantage of the fact that i know you are there, to update my knowledge about dance in canberra.<P>what DID i know? <P>i visited human veins dance theatre when they were at gorman house - i believe that's where the choreographic centre is now? i know HVDT no longer exists, but does canberra have any dance company left?<P>i used to know that janet karin was a very good teacher there, but ross stretton picked her out to be his assistant, i believe, so i assume she's no longer there. is that correct?<P>can you fill me in, on what companies there are, if any, and the best teachers/schools?<BR>"tia": i learned this one today - thanks in advance!

Author:  Danni [ Sun Jul 02, 2000 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dance in Canberra

Hi there - yep, there is such a word as Canberrans and although I'm new to the ballet scene this year I can fill you in a bit....<P>Janet Karin was the founder and head of National Capital Ballet School (where I study) and after Ross Stretton nabbed her, Kylie Hunter took over as artistic director. Kylie is a beautiful dancer who started at National Capital when she was 16 and ended up at the Australian Ballet School (wow!). Anyway, she eventually returned to National Capital and worked closely with Janet in running the school and took over as Principal when Janet left.<P>Okay - big dislclaimer, as I said I'm new to this, but the word (and my experience watching the dance schools gala performance in Dance Week in May), is that the big classical schools are National Capital (which has a company called the National Capital Dancers associated with it - they're putting on Cinderlla in December by the way), Kim Harvey School of Dance and Lisa Clarke School of Ballet.<P>I'm not aware of any other classical compamy but there may very well be modern dance companies and the Choregraphic Centre is alive and well.<P>Hope more experienced and well informed Canberra dancers can fill us in and correct any mistakes I've made!! <P>Danni Image

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Jul 02, 2000 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dance in Canberra

Danni, what a great first post. Welcome and I'm sure everyone here will look forward to further contributions from you. Has seeing anything in particular in the past year turned you on to ballet?

Author:  Danni [ Sun Jul 02, 2000 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dance in Canberra

Hi - thanks for the welcome. Actually, I've always wanted to dance - when I was about 6 my Mum took me to ballet classes but the teacher suggested I stop coming because I was distracting the other students by twirling around and talking (ouch! - I have no memory of this - all I remember is loving the shoes and being very excited). Anyway, both Mum and I took it that I should stop forever and I did numerous other activities including years of physical culture, drama, piano and finally, martial arts and yoga. I loved these things but secretly wanted to dance and didn't think I could, until finally I kept having dreams about dancing that made me long for it when I woke up. Finally, having finished uni (and gotten an income!), I heard about adult ballet classes and decided that no one was going to stop me and I haven't looked back since. Sorry that was a bit long winded!! It's nice to be here.<BR>Danni Image

Author:  grace [ Sun Jul 02, 2000 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dance in Canberra

oh danni, that's really VERY sad...<P>"the teacher suggested I stop coming because I was distracting the other students by twirling around and talking (ouch!"<P>i'm glad you have no memory of it, but what a shame you didn't try again, maybe at a more lively form of dance like jazz, when you were young and wanting to.<P>thanks very much for the info. i hadn't heard of kylie hunter, so that's a very valuable piece of information. (you might know that i write for dance australia, so i need to keep informed...) i take it that would be quite a big school then - the National Capital?<P>two things i'm curious about:<P>1. what's the 'gossip' about janet karin's possible movements once ross stretton goes to london? (i.e. stay in melbourne, go to london, return to canberra, other?) did she retain ownership of the school?<P>2. is the presence of the national choreographic centre having any effect on, or interaction with, the canberra community at all - or do they just keep to themselves?<P>oops - almost forgot to say welcome and glad to see you here! Image

Author:  Danni [ Sun Jul 02, 2000 5:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dance in Canberra

Mmmm - tricky questions. I've wondered what Janet Karin will do now that Ross Stretton has gone too. I know she retains ties with National Capital, visiting and taking the vocational classes when she can, but I suspect she'll stay with Australian Ballet, - I'll endeavour to find out. The National Choreographic Centre certainly puts on works each year and they're in close touch with ACT Ausdance - they also hold wokshops. I suppose you could say that those who are interested in dance and theatre know about it, but the message doesn't penetrate to the community at large, which I suspect is the case in most cities.<P>Sorry my ballet story made you sad - I guess it IS, but then, as an adult I'm revelling in having finally found ballet and I'm hoping to make as much progress as possible given my lack of experience and my age (at 28 I certainly won't be a ballerina but I DO hope to reach my full potential).<P>I don't know how many students National Capital has but it is pretty big, with a lovely new Centre with four well equipped studios. They run adults program in classical, contemporary and jazz, and have everything from pre ballet to vocational groups and the attached company. Jazz has gotten really strong there in the last couple of years and they recently hired Thomas Stanborough who, among other things, teaches Pilates. I'm delighted, because next term there is an extra adult beginners classical class!<P>Cheers, Danni Image

Author:  Katharyn [ Tue Jul 04, 2000 12:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dance in Canberra

Well how on earth did I miss this thread?? (lovely topic grace, I'm glad you brought it up... Image Image . And a big hello to Danni, a fellow canberran! (yes grace, I believe there is such a word - as found in the new oxford book of australianisms)<P>Really, if you want to see it happening here in canberra, take a trip to gorman house and see whats happening at the choreographic centre. I think the last thing I saw from there was Nounder(standing) which I found to be hilarious (partly because people around me were nodding sagely as though the performers expanding tuxedos were trying to make a "statement" and partly because it was so funny) but other than that its rather quiet at the moment. We do have a modern company - danged if I can remember what its called. Its a good point Danni, nobody does find out about what the NCC does, (I have a subscription- when they send me tickets, I go) because advertising is so expensive... but if you keep an eye out you can usually find little postcard sized pamphlets... and if you subscribe to ausdance you find out whats happening then as well.<BR>However lately, Ruth Osbornes creation Quantum Leap- a dance troupe of youth from around canberra got a fantastic amount of coverage...<BR> <P>Danni- its good to hear whats happening over there at National Capital (incidentally where did you guys move to after woden? I am kind of happy about the move because it means canberra RAD major exams are now in our studio! I never could go from tarkett to wooden floor boards effectively!) because we don't tend to hear a lot about what happens there (because you don't do RAD) and we never see you because all of the organised autumn/winter/spring schools are RAD organised. And I was happy to see you note my ballet school (lisa clark) with Kim Harvey- did you happen to catch Canberra Youth at the gala? Our 3 schools are all closely tied to each other...<P>PS. Glad to hear you and ballet became reacquainted... Image<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Katharyn (edited July 04, 2000).]

Author:  grace [ Tue Jul 04, 2000 6:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dance in Canberra

this is excellent. i'm learning a lot. i just KNEW you were out there! Image<P>1. ruth osborne came from perth where she was pretty much queen of jazz dance for the last twenty years. <P>she had a highly respected studio for jazz & contemporary dance - mostly show-style jazz. she choreographed shows for TV, for wrest point casino when it was new (in tasmania), that sort of stuff.<P>more recently, she became more, shall we say, 'politically active' in the dance scene, and lead the youth dance group here, so it's not surprising that is what she is doing in her role in canberra.<P>2. so Lisa Clarke is your teacher, katharyn?<BR>and THAT is an RAD school, i take it. what are the others, syllabus-wise....?<P>3. for those who don't know, Woden is a place, not a mis-spelling of wooden! Image (i THINK!)<P>4. "We do have a modern company - danged if I can remember what its called." - so, it's REALLY popular and well-publicised, then, i take it?!? Image<P>thanks guys for all this...keep it coming!

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