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Spotlight on Expressions Dance Company’s Alana Sargent

'Propel', featuring Alana Sargent and Jake McLarnon, with costumes by Sargent. Photo by Fiona Cullen.
'Propel', featuring Alana Sargent and Jake McLarnon, with costumes by Sargent. Photo by Fiona Cullen.

Meet Alana Sargent. Sargent loves it when a dancer can make you “move in your seat while you are watching them”. She is a member of Expressions Dance Company (EDC) in Brisbane, and has been with the company for two years. Led by Artistic Director Natalie Weir, EDC is a contemporary dance company dedicated to creating new contemporary dance works. EDCs have been described by The Australian as a strong company producing some “extraordinary performances matching the best seen on QPAC stages”.

Sargent herself is a graduate of the New Zealand School of Dance. She joined Sydney Dance Company (SDC) in 2012, and performed with SDC for four years, working with Andonis Foniadakis, Alexander Ekman, Stephanie Lake and Rafael Bonachela. Her performances have included in Bonachela’s Frame of Mind, which won Best Dance Work at the 2015 Helpmann Awards.

Alana Sargent.

Alana Sargent.

“Starting my first job at Sydney Dance Company, the rehearsal director at the time, Amy Hollingsworth, became not only a very good friend of mine but a very important mentor in my life,” Sargent recalls. “She sculpted me into the dancer I am. She never ceases to amaze me with her never-ending talents.”

When pressed to describe her own strengths as a dancer, Sargent says her strengths lie in her fluidity, articulation, detail, focus and intention. 

Sargent also has a special interest in costume design. It is something she gets to explore at EDC. “It was amazing to dance and design costumes for Amy Hollingsworths’ piece with Expressions Dance Company, Propel, earlier this year,” she shares. “I have always had such a great interest in watching the way the body moves against fabric and shape. Costume design for me is like icing a really delicious cake. Personally, I love seeing the body as much as I can. That’s not necessarily seeing skin, but shape and articulation is so beautiful to watch.”

Sargent would also like to extend herself into choreography. “I would love the chance to choreograph on a company and, in particular, to make people laugh,” she says. “There needs to be more laughter in this world!”

As far as what is exciting Sargent at the moment, EDC is undertaking a collaboration with Queensland Ballet in 2018. “I’m sure we will all have so much to offer and learn from each other,” says Sargent.

We asked her if she had any advice for aspiring dancers. “Don’t dance just for the sake of dancing,” she says. “Dig deep, and find what it is that makes you love and enjoy it, because that is what will drive you.”

For more information on Alana Sargent or Expressions Dance Company, visit www.expressionsdancecompany.org.au.

By Tamara Searle of Dance Informa.

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