South Australian Dance Festival is fast approaching. Now a staple on the SA dance calendar, the festival brings together young dancers from all across Adelaide and surrounds to learn from the industry’s best choreographers. Into its third year, the festival promises to provide exciting, hard hitting classes in a variety of styles across the June long weekend. Two of the many talented artists coming to share their knowledge are the popular Mitchell Woodcock and Amy Campbell.
Woodcock has been seen in or choreographed for Kinky Boots, Wicked, Karl Largerfeld X Modelco, The Aria Awards and So You Think You Can Dance, and he is gearing up to create for the TV Week Logie Awards and be Dance Captain of Chicago in the coming months.
Woodcock is excited to visit SA Dance Festival, saying, “This will be my first time attending the Festival! I am most looking forward to working with a new group of dancers and seeing the talent in South Australia.”
Campbell, choreographer of Guilty Pleasures and In the Heights for Blue Saint Productions, Wicked for Packemin Productions, Dance Academy, The X Factor, Giggle and Hoot and Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Porgy and Bess and Funny Girl The Musical, is also coming to the festival for the first time.
“I cannot wait to meet and dance with SA dancers! I can’t wait to see the energy they bring to class,” she says. “It’s really important for me to get to know the next generation of dancers around Australia. As a choreographer, I am always looking and seeing who is coming though, and young dancers are always pushing me to explore more.”
The chance to work with these two renowned dancers and choreographers is not to be missed. Woodcock, who is currently working as the resident choreographer on Saturday Night Fever, as well as creative producer for The Voice, understands what it is like to be a dancer in a smaller city, with fewer opportunities.
“Having grown up in Perth, I always enjoy travelling outside of Melbourne and Sydney to work with the next generation of dancers, as they’re always so eager and hungry to learn, as they don’t always have the opportunity to work with Sydney-based choreographers,” he reveals.
Woodcock will be teaching commercial, and Campbell will be teaching musical theatre.
“My choreography blends a range of different styles so dancers can be prepared for something a little quirky and a lot of fun,” Woodcock describes. With a focus on musicality, he adds, “The music gives us everything we need to know about executing choreography and should always be driven with intent and feeling, not counts.”
Campbell, who is about to start choreography for the 50th anniversary Australian tour of HAIR, plans to immerse students in a full musical theatre experience, advising dancers to “bring your water and all your energy! We may sing and dance and act all at the same time! My choreography is always a mix of technique, style and storytelling.”
And her tips for a successful dance weekend, and possible theatre career? “Drive trumps talent. Your willingness and dedication will serve you more than you will ever know, and musical theatre is only one of the amazing paths in dance. Let’s explore your actor, too!”
So, get ready, Adelaide! The June long weekend is your chance to dance!
For more information about SA Dance Festival, to be held 9 – 10 June, and the full list of leading choreographers, visit www.sadancefestival.com.au. Dance Informa is proud to support the festival, and Adelaide dancers, as a Platinum Sponsor. Come and meet us there!
By Deborah Searle of Dance Informa.