Co3 Contemporary Dance has secured support for one of the most significant choreographic commissions in Australia through a new Commission Fund.
Established this past May, the Commission Fund will directly support Co3’s Pathways Program IN RESIDENCE, providing valuable career opportunities for Western Australian dance makers. A key outcome will be to provide independent artists the opportunity to develop and present their work, as part of the company’s annual artistic program from 2021-2023.
The Wright Burt Foundation has generously committed to supporting the Pathways Program with a contribution of $150,000 over three years. Co3 will seek additional funds to grow the program in coming years to an estimated $300,000. The inaugural commission for 2021 has been given to WA artist Mitch Harvey for his new work, MindCon. Harvey is one of Co3’s founding artists whose career within the company and rise to prominence in the independent dance sector has been extraordinary.
MindCon, created by Harvey and composer Louis Frere-Harvey, will be staged at the European Food Warehouse in Northbridge, merging the boundaries between dance and sound. The set, designed by Jackson Harvey, captures the distortion of a not-too-distant dystopian future. Audiences will enter the space and roam freely, responding and reflecting on their place in the constructed world.
The Wright Burt Foundation is a key supporter of arts and cultural organisations. Co-Founder Alexandra Burt said, “I have always had a passion for dance and am proud that our foundation can support Co3 to develop the choreographic talent in this State.”
Co3 Artistic Director and Co-CEO Raewyn Hill is thrilled by the generosity of the foundation toward this new Commission Fund and said, “The significant seed contribution made by the Wright Burt Foundation to the Commission Fund has ignited our ambition to what we can achieve – for our local dance makers, our sector as a whole and our community. My entire career was as an independent artist. When I was given the investment of time, space and financial stability, the work I produced elevated to another level. I expect that this will be the same for our recipients. Alex and Julian’s gift to us will be career defining for many WA artists.”
Chair Margrete Helgeby Chaney added, “Over the next three years, the extraordinary leadership shown by Alex and Julian here will help pave the way for Co3 to lead a thriving WA dance ecology. Their support immediately increases our ability to provide creative opportunities for local dance makers, giving them a professional platform to develop and stage their work with the State’s contemporary dance company. Naturally, the benefits of this also flow to our audiences and the communities that engage with us.”
The annual choreographic commission aims to build capacity in attracting and keeping artists in Western Australia and provide a professional pathway opportunity. Co3’s Pathways Program is supported by a panel of industry experts, including Helen Carroll (manager, WESFARMERS ARTS and Co3 board director), Anna Reece (director, FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE), Jeremy Smith (general manager, PICA), Gavin Webber (co-director, THE FARM) and Rachael Whitworth (senior producer, PERFORMING LINES WA).