Janessa's dance blooms onto Sydney stage
THE Sydney Dance Company's latest work may be premiering on stage in Sydney, but its origin lie very firmly in Yamba.
Former Yamba local and now Sydney Dance Company dancer Janessa Dufty will make her choreographic debut with her work Telopea, as part of the company's New Breed showcase.
"Growing up in Yamba NSW, I was surrounded by many beautiful wildflowers. I've always loved nature and been grateful for what it shares with us. If I didn't become a dancer my childhood dream was to become a florist,” Ms Dufty said.
"It was only recently that I discovered all the street signs surrounding the home I grew up in are all named after wild Australian flowers. Across the road from where I lived there's a street called Telopea, and another named Waratah. That was a sign for me to begin this choreographic journey.”
Her premiere Telopea is inspired by the Australian waratah and the strength, endurance and beauty of its bloom. The work takes improvisational cues from the dancers and includes live performance from opera singer Tobias Merz.
Ms Dufty has been performing with the Sydney Dance Company for the past 10 years after training at the New Zealand School of Dance, the Queensland Dance School of Excellence, and originally under local teacher Adele Lewis.
And while she has been collaborating with dancers in performance for a long time, Ms Dufty siad she she was still finding her groove in choreography.
"For Telopea I've found myself using my intuitive response to energy in movement and space, much like free painting on a blank canvas. My guide is trusting my artistic ability and allowing the dance to grow and unfold over time,” she said.
"The dancers play a huge part collaborating with me, which keeps the space open for individual creative expression and their incredible knowledge and bodily intelligence. Their individuality is what makes this work so unique.
"I am passionate about combining other art forms, which is an area I'd like to discover more of in the future. For Telopea, I've used live singing elements as well as some structured improvisation moments for the dancers, which allows for new pathways to experience each show.”
Ms Dufty said that her work with the Sydney Dance Company has given her many highlights which has grown her passion for her work
"There are moments of true presence, like when my heart is full and happy after a performance,” she said.
"(The thing I love about contemporary dance) is the individual interpretation and true expression that flows through the body, and the imagination's endless ideas which bloom to creation.”
New Breed is on at Carriageworks, Sydney from November 29 - December 8. For more details visit www.sydneydancecompany.com