‘Dance Life’: A front row seat to Brent Street

Brent Street in 'Dance Life'.
Brent Street in 'Dance Life'.

Step into the studio with Dance Life, the TV series that’s lighting up Amazon Prime, giving you a front-row seat to the hustle at Australia’s dance powerhouse, Brent Street. It’s not just about dance, it’s a fierce journey into the world of elite dancers striving for the spotlight – but not everyone will steal the show.

Get the inside scoop on the Class of 2022 Cohort as Dance Life spills the tea on the highs, lows and jaw-dropping moves of full-time students at Brent Street. Each dancer’s unique journey unfolds, fuelled by unshakeable determination to prove they’ve got what it takes. Yet, the road to success isn’t a walk in the park. Overcoming self-doubt, they push their limits, showing off gravity defying skills, emotion, endurance and resilience, all leading up to the make-or-break Grad performance where they hope to catch the break that can turn dreams into reality – they must not let one moment go by where they are not fighting for their lives. 

Lucas Newland and Cassie Bartho in 'Dance Life'.
Lucas Newland and Cassie Bartho in ‘Dance Life’.

If you haven’t dived into this binge-worthy series yet, you’re missing out! Dance Life is blowing up on socials, featuring the faces of Brent Street, including the mastermind Lucas Newland and the dance dynamo Cassie Bartho, who takes us behind the scenes in an exclusive interview with Dance Informa. The cast, with names like Tiana Vassallo, Max Ostler, Emily Smith, Archer Rose, Arabella Meleo, Kim Naylor, Conor Bann-Murray, Erin Gaw and Max Simmons, is creating waves in the dance scene. The burning question: who among them will snag an agent and a golden ticket to the professional dance world?

When asked how long production took from concept to delivery, Newland shares, “I was approached by Creative Bubble and Biscuit Tin Productions in December 2021, and we quickly started planning and started filming at the end of January 2022.” Filming for the entirety of 2022, all the way up to the graduation performance at the end of November, he states, “Since then, it’s been over a year of editing and approvals until the premiere and launch which just happened in January this year.”

A day in the studio? Newland describes it as “pure magic at Brent Street – every day brings something new and epic.” From impromptu interviews to capturing the vibe of critical days, “the crew stayed rolling, capturing the electrifying energy of an entire year.” He continues, “Part of the magic of Brent Street is that every day is different; however, this meant a challenge for the film crew. Anything ‘epic’ could happen at any time, so most days were spent endlessly rolling with at least a few staff and students mic’d up. Other days, we’d have specific shoots– Jazz Grading day, for example – with many more cameras and crew filming every inch of every room.” Mixed with plenty of interviews, he notes, “Some were on the fly, some were in a studio setting, or some followed the cast to their homes and lives outside of the studio. We filmed a lot – an entire year – so it was a very busy yet electric time for the whole community.”

As for the impact on the students, the whole Class of 2022 got their moment in the spotlight, with nine key students taking center stage, and the cast is already feeling the love from fans. “It’s a wild ride, and they’re loving every moment,” says Newland. “The production team interviewed every single student in the Class of 2022 (that opted in) – to boil down to nine key students that they wanted to showcase: Tiana, Max S, Max O, Erin, Conor, Arabella, Emily, Archer and Kim. With a variety of Brent Street choreographers and teachers shown throughout the show, our Head Choreographer and Teacher Cassie Bartho was the core featured in every episode.” While the show only released last month, he says, “The cast have already been flooded with DMs, support, followers, reviews, comments, interviews, write-ups and critique from right across the globe. It’s new to them all and it’s an exciting ride!”

Lucas Newland in 'Dance Life'.
Lucas Newland in ‘Dance Life’.

Bartho spills the beans on her experience, admitting nerves at first but quickly feeling at home with the cameras. For her, it was a chance to share the daily grind and showcase a glimpse into their world. Grateful doesn’t even cover it! “Originally, I was so nervous about being filmed everyday. But, the cameras and crew quickly became a part of the furniture, and I got over the nerves! I honestly loved the whole experience. Having the opportunity to show the world a little insight into our every day is one I will always be grateful for.”

When asked about Brent Street’s trajectory, Newland paints a picture of endless energy and passion. With top-tier teachers and the cream of the crop students, Brent Street has the best walking through its doors. The legacy is set, and they’re ready to keep it going strong. “There has always been an indescribable feeling at Brent Street – a certain energy,” Newland says. “Both teachers and management staff are endlessly devoted and passionate – and simply the best at what they do.” As a result, “we attract the best-of-the-best students – in whatever their speciality is –  from right across the country.” Excellence combined with passion and you’ve got “a high paced, exciting and magical place…where anything is possible for anyone,” he states. “The company is cemented in the Australian performing arts landscape and respected worldwide as the finest standard for a performing arts centre. This is the brand’s legacy and what we hope to continue for years to come.”

After over a year of editing, high nerves and endless endurance, the series finally dropped in January this year – talk about a build-up! From perfectionists to prodigies, underdogs to the entitled, Dance Life brings you into the world where doubts clash with drive. 

Stream it now and join the global conversation with #DanceLife @brentstreet

Don’t just watch, be inspired!

By Renata Ogayar of Dance Informa.

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