Dance Dialogue: Focus on Angela Conquet

PrueLang_StellarProject_PippaSamaya_2017

Prue Lang Stellar Project (Dance Massive, 2017), photo by Pippa Samaya.

Established by a working group of independent dance practitioners in 1992, Dancehouse has since become the epicentre of the Australian independent dance sector and is the only presenting venue in Australia dedicated solely to contemporary dance. From its base in Melbourne, its reputation and influence has crossed state boundaries to shape the art form nationally and internationally. Representing a diversity of visions, practices and generations, Dancehouse is equally committed to the development of dance artists, dance audiences and the artform itself. Still solid, resilient and responsive after 27 years, we have a reputation for curatorial excellence and for the relevance and responsiveness of our opportunities. Presenting and touring works as part of our flagship initiatives (Keir Choreographic Award, our Housemate year-long residency program and Dance Massive Festival), Dancehouse is committed to the circulation of works and ideas of independent choreographers.

I was appointed Artistic Director of Dancehouse in July 2011 after working as Artistic Director for Dance at Mains d’Oeuvres Paris – a major multi-arts cultural centre and a pioneer amongst independent art spaces in France – where I presented and commissioned over 100 works by mainly emerging dance artists. I am the Artistic Director and CEO of Dancehouse.

Eschewing a singular creative vision, we bring together and nurture the individual visions of a varied and diverse community of artists and thinkers who span dance and its expanded fields. We look for choreographers and works that traverse the boundaries of space and discipline – works that emphasize discursive processes and practice beyond product(ion), interrogate traditional narratives and take creative risks. Above all, we value practices that connect the moving body with social, political and ethical discourse. I also ensure that the artists and works presented resonate with the Australian context.

We welcome all practices and like to interrogate what choreography, in its expanded sense, can be today. We also like to welcome particular approaches to space and audience and often present works off-site or site-specifically. And we deeply encourage works that challenge and provoke, that sit in between genres, and that also invite engagement with the world sensorially.

Our programming is both national and international in scope. The focus remains on Australian artists, given that we are the only house of dance in Australia, but we regularly invite international artists to engage with themes that we explore. We also have a program of international residencies which is the best platform to connect with the local dance communities. These are devised in partnership with like-minded organizations and involve some reciprocity.

If an artist is interested in participating in our venue, they can drop us an email. They should be prepared to tell us why Australia may be important for their research or career path. I would also recommend listening to our series of podcasts which sit on our soundcloud:

www.soundcloud.com/dancehousemelbourne.

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