Australia has some amazing dance talent that deserves to be seen on the global stage, says Bessie Kay of Created Media. In 2017, she created a program that gives Australian dances an opportunity to perform internationally to millions of viewers. The program is called Dance Immersive, and it exposes local dancers to some of the world’s best dancers and choreographers.
Dance Immersive 2017 resulted in a massive day of dance in Melbourne and Sydney, with eight dancers receiving the opportunity to spend two weeks in Los Angeles with top industry professionals. The final product was a music video for Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s “Finesse”, with choreography by Alexander Chung:
Dance Immersive 2018 is in the works and needs the support of the dance community to make it happen again! Here, Dance Informa chats with Kay about the program and how you can participate.
Tell us about Dance Immersive Down Under.
“Dance Immersive Down Under was a one-day dance program in both Melbourne and Sydney with a huge opportunity attached. From both our workshop days, we chose eight of the most outstanding dancers to fly to LA all expenses paid, to feature in a major YouTube concept video with Alexander Chung and some of LA’s top names in dance. The program was created by Created Media and sponsored by Hollywood Immersive to connect Aussie talent to the source of the dance industry.
My reasons for persisting with this program were based on a very passionate desire to see Australian talent platformed to a global audience. We have some of the best talent in the world down under; however, our internet culture is still in its infant stages compared to the rest of the world. As dancers, we often have to search for better paying or more stable dance jobs outside of our own country. With that comes the often gruelling process of attaining a visa or relocating. I realised that aligning with already profiled talent in the industry would be the ideal situation for young outstanding dancers. So that is what I set out to do.
Australian dancers paid a registration fee for our Melbourne and Sydney workshops. All of that money, plus sponsorship money from Hollywood Immersive and my own investment, went into the opportunity we created, producing the video and allowing our eight Aussie dancers to be involved. While in LA, our dancers developed great relationships with some of the most influential dancers in the world.”
Who are the dancers you took to LA?
“Skye Ladell, Mikee Carlo, Jayden Wall, Ben Scarmozzino, Sophia Laryea, Shivawn Joubert, Olivia Carniato and Jade Quirici.”
How does the dance scene in LA compare to the scene here in Australia?
“It’s a completely different industry to Australia at the moment, but I do see potential for it to flourish here. For starters, America has a very successful and thriving music industry. Having a strong music industry spills over to a sustainable dance industry.
There are so many music artists in the USA and especially music artists that include back-up dancers. These artists can tour for months on end, taking their dancers with them. In Australia, we have only a handful of pop artists who tour with dancers, if that.
It’s also a very exciting scene, especially in LA and New York. I feel in Australia we might lack the electricity that the USA has, not because we don’t have the talent, however. It’s very competitive, and as I mentioned quite a thriving industry over there, so with that comes a body of people who are so beyond passionate about their craft, they try new things, they push the boundaries of dance, they are excellent dancers who exude confidence, and mainly because their industry sustains them. We don’t have that just yet, but again I do feel we could get there one day, and I’m excited to see our talent shine.
Side note: It was actually a really cool thing watching our Aussie dancers be so majorly inspired by the American dancers. I feel it really took them to another level of dance!”
What is planned for Dance Immersive 2018?
“We are already planning our next program and are excited to be able to continue to offer Australian dancers unique and awesome opportunities.”
How can dancers get involved?
How can the dance community support the program?
“By attending the next workshop and registering early. Also, I feel the dance community’s support is essential. We created an opportunity that has never been done before because we don’t want to flood the Australian dance market with the same kind of programs that already exist. I took a huge leap of of faith with this, and now it’s exciting to see that many schools, choreographers and organisations are recognising our program and the good that it can do for Dance Down Under!”
By Rebecca Martin of Dance Informa.