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Make A Dance in a Week

Tangle. Untangle. If you were outdoors, what would you like to discover?

These simple concepts form the beginning of Make A Dance in a Week, Tracks Dance’s youth-driven choreography program that sees spoken ideas transformed into creative dance performances, created by kids and teenagers.

“We don’t place any restriction on how much dance experience the kids have, so we often get a diversity – some who might go to dance school and others who have no dance experience other than just joyful life dancing,” says Tracks Dance’s Kelly Beneforti.

Over the course of a week in the school holidays, primary, middle and senior students (in separate classes) work intensively with Beneforti and Leanne Eltagonde to devise a short dance piece based on shared narrative and movements.

Technical skill isn’t the focus of the program, says Beneforti, rather it’s the concept and story that the young dancers arrive at, that shapes the final piece.

“We definitely work task-based. That might be working with physical ideas, be it words like ‘tangle’ and ‘untangle’ and that’s kind of how they create the movement. The final product is a performance and it’s something that the students feel very much that they’ve created and had a lot of input in.”

This year the dance pieces will be performed at the Deckchair Cinema, before the Tracks Dance fundraiser screening of the Jerome Robbins-choreographed musical Westside Story.

The Deckie isn’t your typical stage- and-curtains performance space, so the young dancers will work with the environment to create something a little different.

“We’re looking at making choreography that can be a lot more fluid, it might happen on the decking, or down the centre aisle. And then there might be something on the Deckchair stage beneath the screen,” says Beneforti.

All students have “ways of expressing themselves that are really different,” she says.

“When they’re performing the piece they’re thinking what kind of narrative or concepts or ideas are behind the piece rather than what the movement is...they’ve got a lot more going on beneath the surface than just the dance steps.” 

Performance and Movie Fundraiser | Sun 8 Oct | 7pm | Deckchair Cinema 

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