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April 24, 2017

Australian Dance Theatre’s Rough Draft

A chance to see art develop before your eyes.

  • Feature image: Chris Herzfeld
  • Words: Sharmonie Cockayne

We spoke to you about last year’s Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) Rough Draft program, in which ADT dancers Thomas Fonua and Felix Sampson performed pieces of their in-progress works.


The performance will take place this Wednesday 26 April, from 6pm. Entry is by donation at the door, but RSVP here.

ADT Studios – 126 Belair Road, Hawthorn.

Rough Draft is in its fourth year as part of the Australian Dance Theatre’s Professional Development Program. It’s a space for free thinking and feeling, in which the audience is invited to a low-key studio setting to witness the growth of the artists’ choreographic work and ideas as they are made.

In performing their work in the early stages of creative development, the artist is afforded a kind of feedback loop more often applied to start-ups than art troupes.

“It’s only when you put your work in front a live audience do you really begin to understand what it actually is,” says ADT Artistic Director, Garry Stewart.

This year, two of ADT’s newest dancers, Jana Castillo and Harrison Elliott, will performing solos.

Harrison, who first performed with the company a month ago in Doppelganger, says “it enables us to have a change of perspective.”

“It’s a really useful platform, because it provides an opportunity for ADT dancers to step into the role of choreographer, and to find our own choreographic aesthetic and values. Instead of just being a dancer and just create from the inside, it’s really nice to step outside and have that real change of perspective of seeing,” says Harrison.

“It’s very easy to make it feel comfortable and have it make sense in your own body, because you have your own little journey that you go through, but to kind of do that and then view it from the outside is extremely strange.”

The proceeds from this year’s Rough Draft will be donated to the NORPA Flood Relief Appeal. NORPA is one of the few remaining professional theatre companies creating new Australian works from regional Australia, but it suffered devastating property destruction and loss in the recent floods.

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