Australia’s premier festival of contemporary dance Supercellhas a new home at HOTA, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast with the debut of The Makers Program and Mini Fest, running from 20 to 22 May 2021.
Returning for its fifth year after a COVID-induced pause in 2020, Supercell 2021 introduces The Makers Program, a commissioning program for the development of new dance works and the first of its kind in Australia.
The Makers Program commissioned more than 100 artists from across Australia to travel to the Gold Coast and create original works from 10 to 20 May, resulting in 17 brand-new dance works to be performed at HOTA over the next five years.
Supercell attracted more than $165,000 in funding through Arts Queensland and Australia Council for Arts to support the development of new works from Australian artists.
Festival Director Kate Usher said the Gold Coast is at the confluence of Queensland’s major dance companies and an independent dance scene with an artistic community and active lifestyle that sets the stage for the city to become Australia’s dance hub. “We are delighted to be based on the Gold Coast as a Home Company at HOTA, a reflection of our long-standing relationship and one that allows us to take risks in order to support artists and present their new works,” Ms Usher said.
“Supercell 2021 is about the joy of gathering and being with each other. We want to deeply embed ourselves on the Gold Coast and make friends and that’s what we hope to achieve with The Makers Program this year.”
In its inaugural year, The Makers Program will explore themes that address a post-COVID world and encourage participation from diverse cultures and communities to counter perceptions of contemporary dance as an elite artform. “Dance connects us all – we can all dance and all bodies are dancing bodies,” Ms Usher said.
“The Makers Program aims to partner artists from First Nations, street dance and different cultural backgrounds with leaders in our artistic community to make exceptional and exquisite new works that everyone can participate in.”
With artists and dance companies from every state and territory, prominent makers include Chunky Move x Restless Dance Theatre, collaborating on an ambitious work; regional North Queensland’s Dancenorth; and dancer-choreographer Larissa McGowan, who is creating a hybrid cabaret and performance piece with ARIA award-winning artist Washington.
Under the mentorship of Supercell choreographer Meryl Tankard, the inclusive and diverse Makers Program also features Drea Choreo (Andrea Lam), a Bollywood artist examining social issues through contemporary dance; Brisbane’s NUDO, a new fusion company grounded in Afro Cuban dance; and an intimate dance piece from Bundjulung and Ngapuhi dancer-choreographer Amrita Hepi among many other original works from Australian artists.
Supercell 2021 Mini Fest will take over the entire HOTA precinct with a two-day micro-festival that invites the public behind studio doors to witness the creative process with free showings of the artists’ works in development and participate in ticketed workshops spanning from Afro Cuban and Bollywood contemporary dance to movement experiences.