Dance Advice

FORM Dance Projects offers programs and performances for artistic development

Choreographic Workshop 2016 with Shaun Parker. Photo by Heidrun Lohr.
Choreographic Workshop 2016 with Shaun Parker. Photo by Heidrun Lohr.

What’s going on in Western Sydney? There are all sorts of performances and professional development programs at FORM Dance Projects. FORM’s mission is to foster dance culture in Western Sydney.  FORM commissions, produces and programs new work, and is particularly interested in culturally diverse performers and styles and integration of culturally diverse styles with contemporary dance sensibilities.

'Learn the Rep' with Dance Makers Collective. Photo by Dom O'Donnell.

‘Learn the Rep’ with Dance Makers Collective. Photo by Dom O’Donnell.

Carl Sciberras, an artist and creative producer at FORM, says that the company is unique because “FORM provides the space and resources for independent artists to present works in a full season at Riverside Theatres. In Australia, dance works are usually premiered in festivals, but FORM has an annual program of dance works that presents dance throughout the year. It invests in artists across their careers and provides a hub for artists to connect, provides the marketing, documentation and publicity support to ensure the work gets out there, gets reviewed by major publications and put in the spotlight.”

FORM has access points for artists at many stages of their career. Sharp Short Dance is a program for emerging artists under 21, which presents five-minute dance works each year. Sciberras says he works “very closely with the dancers who present their works in the festival. Sharp Short Dance is a really unique platform for young choreographers to present dance in a professional context. There are exciting opportunities for these young people to meet professional artists, and some of them get placements with companies as a result.”

'Learn the Rep'. Photo by Gavin Clarke.

‘Learn the Rep’. Photo by Gavin Clarke.

HSC dance students can participant in an annual choreographic workshop. The last one was this past May and had Dance Makers Collective artists facilitating. “The program is a full day of workshops in the generation and manipulation of dance material by professional companies and artists, focused on a specific work made by that company,” Sciberras explains. “The program is delivered in partnership with a professional company. In the past, we have worked with Sydney Dance Company and Shaun Parker & Company, and in 2018, the workshop will be delivered in partnership with Force Majeure.”

Choreographic Workshop 2016 with Shaun Parker. Photo by Heidrun Lohr.

Choreographic Workshop 2016 with Shaun Parker. Photo by Heidrun Lohr.

You can also try a workshop with an artist who is presenting a work with FORM, in the Learn the Repertoire: See the Show workshop series, during which aspiring dancers and dance students can learn technique and repertoire from the presenting artists, to build a deeper understanding of the work, then witness the performance, which is followed by a Q&A.

Sciberras, who is one of the presenting artists this year, says, “As a presenting artist in Dance Bites this year, I will be running a workshop as part of the Learn the Repertoire: See the Show program, on Friday November 3rd prior to the matinee performance that day. I love working with FORM, as it really does give me the opportunity to flex all my muscles as a teacher, producer, performer and choreographer. No other organisation in Sydney delivers all of these programs in such a comprehensive way.”

For more information on FORM Dance Projects, visit

By Tamara Searle of Dance Informa.

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