The Space Dance and Arts Centre, Melbourne.
21 June 2019.
Flexible Intensive Industry Training (FIIT) at The Space Dance and Arts Centre in Melbourne, is a new and exciting addition to the Melbourne professional dance training scene. So attending its mid-year dance showcase was a new experience for the audience and one that was spectacular in its organisation and showcase of young talent.
The well thought-out night of entertainment, featuring the FIIT students in their Mid Year Show, Halfway to Somewhere, showcased a variety of dance styles with a diverse display of lyrical, hip hop, contemporary, jazz and musical theatre. The show was a seamless interweaving of short works with clever cast transitions between the numbers.
The performances were short and shot straight into a display of the students’ strongest skills, true to the purpose of a showcase. The majority of performances were student-devised, new works. Student works created by the FIIT students were guided by teacher mentors and allowed young artists to spread their wings and become dance thinkers, makers and movers.
Amongst the performances were two stand-out pieces that are worth a huge hurrah. The first was a duet called Ashes and was about a celebration of friendship through dance. It was a piece that swept you out of your seat and into the dancers’ movement through space, completely present to the offering of dance they gifted us. Ashes dancers, Ebony Bullard and Ellie Mulcahy, created a stunning work with costumes that served the work with exactly the right flavour.
The second outstanding work was I See Fire danced by soloist Xander Soh. His ability to effortlessly loose himself in dance most certainly resounded loudly on the empty stage. I See Fire was a dynamic solo based on improvisation, and I believe Soh has a great future ahead of him in dance.
There were also two professionally choreographed performances that gave the students a chance to perform in larger group pieces. These two ensemble works allowed them to display their skills within a larger cast. The opening to the evening was one of these opportunities and was a contemporary work choreographed by Hadassah Wallis, and a fun closing number by Australian musical theatre choreographer Kirsten King.
The concept of the FIIT program is clever, particularly for professional dancers who have completed training elsewhere and want to maintain technique, flexibility and strength after their courses finish. It provides performance practice, guidance and mentoring for students to create their own work. FIIT is, quite simply, clever.
By Lara Bianca Pilcher of Dance Informa.