Featuring five new dance works from acclaimed Australian choreographers, groundbreaking new dance collective, Project Animo, has announced their premiere season, And Now We Move On, at Arts Centre Melbourne in January 2022.
Led by acclaimed choreographer and Project Animo’s creative director Alice Topp (Resident Choreographer – The Australian Ballet), And Now We Move On features new work by some of the country’s most iconic dancers and choreographers including Cass Mortimer-Eipper (Sydney Dance Company), Izzac Carroll (Studio Wayne McGregor), Deborah Brown (Bangarra Dance Theatre) and independent artist Kristina Chan.
In a first for Australian dance, Project Animo brings together newly retired and independent dancers who have previously performed with the country’s best dance companies including The Australian Ballet, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Sydney Dance Company, Queensland Ballet, West Australian Ballet and the UK-based Studio Wayne McGregor.
“And Now We Move On is an electric collaboration between some of Australia’s most exciting creative voices. Each world premiere work is the result of a unique and rare cross-pollination of ideas, talent and skill between Australian dance’s best homegrown voices,” says Topp.
“The season challenges both artist and audience alike, teasing the dance vocabulary and presenting arresting work that explores themes on the human condition – ageing, loss, identity, and deconstructs the idea of what it means to be in your “prime” in the dance industry” she continues.
Topp says she founded Project Animo to create room for new Australian stories to be told. “Project Animo exists to give homegrown voices and talent a stage, and to share that abundance of creative energy with Australian audiences,” she said.
“By supporting our most dynamic artistic voices to engage in an ongoing creative dialogue, Project Animo will provide a vital platform for explorative collaboration.”
“After a year when Australia’s performing arts industry was so heavily impacted, we’re excited to present a new and dynamic model of dance company that lets audiences in on a rare fusion of artistic excellence,” said Topp.
Dancers joining Project Animo include recently-retired Principals of The Australian Ballet, Andrew Killian and Madeleine Eastoe, and Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Deborah Brown. The collective is bolstered by the addition of leading choreographers, including Topp, as well as local composers and costume designers.
Project Animo is co-founded by Topp’s collaborator Jon Buswell, Technical Director of The Australian Ballet, who created the lighting and set design for Topp’s works Little Atlas (2016), the Helpmann-Award winning Aurum (2018), and Logos (2020).
Topp and Buswell are supported by an esteemed board of directors, including recent Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet David McAllister AM and Australian Dance Theatre Executive Director Nick Hays.
“After a year when live performances were put on hold and the impact that had on the performing arts industry, it’s incredibly exciting to see Alice merge her exceptional talent as a choreographer with a strong community of fellow artists to create another platform for Australian storytelling through dance,” says McAllister.
And Now We Move On
Playhouse – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 12 – 16 January 2021
For more information, visit: www.projectanimo.com.au for details.
Image: Izzac Carroll – courtesy of Project Animo