STRUT Dance celebrates 20 years of supporting WA independent dance

STRUT turns 20

Ashley de Prazer

Steamworks is proud to be acknowledged by STRUT - National Choreographic Centre as part of their celebration of twenty years of service to the WA independent contemporary dance community. Memories shared in their recently published book include our very first Strut shortcuts #1 presentation in 2003, marking the evolution of a work that would establish Steamworks as a company with a distinctive voice in the WA arts scene.

It’s 4am, its still dark… and we are heading out to undertake a sunrise film shoot for a new dance theatre work we are developing - The Drover’s Wives. The full company are here together camping out in an old farmhouse on a property not far from Koorda in the drought stricken mid-west of regional WA. The ground is coarse and cracked, and clouds of dust swirl as we stride across the bone-dry paddocks in our grimy lace up boots…We laugh and joke, and rub our bare arms…we watch the dawn rise as we walk side by side.. (excerpt text - Koorda 2003)

We find the heart of the work, its imagery, its narrative,and embodiment in this place, and we will walk with this experience embedded within us as we create and recreate this work over the next 8 years.  Art and life merge, when sometimes creating is a deeply shared becoming, and so this is our experience. From blinding white salt lakes in searing heat, to climbing the great wall of China we experience a journey like no other, etched into our beings in ways we could have never imagined.   

The Drovers Wives premiered at the 2006 Festival of Perth, touring to China Shanghai International Arts festival and Beijing Dance Festival in 2007 and the WA Wheatbelt festival in 2008. For a group of independent artists it was an opportunity to experience collaboration, to create an original work of scale and share this with audiences far and wide.

...The Drover's Wives is a ground-breaking world premiere. Translating historical subjects via movement is always a challenge, but Steamworks under Sally Richardson's expert direction proves itself up to the task. In collaboration with her talented team, she has  multi-layered synergy of music, dance, adapted text and visuals that provides a compelling insight into our past and present cultures. A stunningly performed and perfectly realised work of art. Naomi Millet The West Australian

...Sally Richardson's The Drover's Wives is a knockout..You could laud it for it's polished production and fine design: Zoe Atkinson's costumes; Andrew Lake's set and lighting; Ashley de Prazer and Dank Micich 's video design; and Iain Grandage's music. They all create vivid, beautiful and evocative images that could only suggest the Australian outback, but more than that, the show touches the heart...Richardson brilliantly taps into the psyche of an immigrant society that has inherited the idea that where we find ourselves, physically and mentally, is not really home Rita Clarke The Australian

The 20th Anniversary book is available to purchase HERE



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Ten Days on the Island Festival Finale

JULIA in York

Steamworks Arts acknowledges the Traditional Owners of this country across Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past, present and emerging.

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