Discover the latest news and events from our national elite training organisations in the performing arts.
31 October 2019

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National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA): Graduates to represent Australia at international circus festival

NICA graduates Liam Dummer and Jordan Twartz will represent NICA and Australia this month at the International Circus Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Liam Drummer will perform a straps act and Jordan Twartz will perform diablo at the festival hosted by Vietnam's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam Stage Artists Association.

Liam and Jordan will be accompanied by NICA's Head of Circus, James Brown. The festival gathers elite circus artists and arts managers from around the world and is an important opportunity for NICA to connect and exchange with international peers. The festival includes programming to allow art managers and circus artists to share, connect and engage in professional development.

NICA graduate Liam Dummer at the International Circus Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo credit: NICA
NICA graduate Liam Dummer at the International Circus Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Photo credit: NICA

The Australian Ballet School: Go behind the scenes of The Australian Ballet School and discover the 2019 Summer Season

On Saturday 16 November members of the public will have the unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of Australia's premier dance training facility to see the talented students of The Australian Ballet School at work.

Held annually at The Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre in Melbourne, Public Access Dayis a great chance to get an inside look at the School's world class training and facilities, and experience a day in the life of The Australian Ballet School.

In their final performance of the season, The Australian Ballet School will present a selection of works for their 2019 Summer Season, including the spectacular Aurora's Wedding from The Sleeping Beauty and positively uplifting Who Cares? by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust, set to the songs of George Gershwin. A truly exciting way to end the year!

The Summer Season will be performed at the Art Centre Melbourne Playhouse on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 December 2019.

Flying Fruit Fly Circus: Celebrating 40 years of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus

Borderville Circus Festival, Albury-Wodonga's summer celebration of circus for families is back in 2019, with a special anniversary program celebrating 40 years of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.

The 2019 Borderville Circus Festival will have at its heart a circus big top in Hovell Tree Park, the location of the original Flying Fruit Fly Circus tent in 1979.

Back in the Big Top is the festival's main event, a new work featuring every one of the 81 students of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus. There are 6 performances from 4 to 7 December.

Now & Then is a documentary created by 2 local film makers on the history of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, what has changed and what has stayed the same. It will be screened at 10am on 7 December.

Fruities at 40 is a hilarious night under the big top with performances from 40 years of alumni. This concluding performance is at 9.30pm on Saturday 7 December.

Celebrations will also include a street photography exhibition and workshops for children new to circus.

National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA): Unearthing new talent with triple J collaboration

The NIDA student collaboration with triple J Unearthed artists has become a major event on the NIDA calendar. Students are matched with seven emerging Australian bands to create music videos for ABCTV's Rage program.

The films are directed by Master of Fine Arts (Directing) students with production design by third-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Design for Performance) students. All students from NIDA's Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialist Make-up Services) and Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services work on the films as part of the screen focus of their course.

The students and musicians spent months collaborating on the concepts and storylines of the clips, casting actors, editors, extras, researching and reworking locations, studios and backgrounds and collaborating with guest videographers and cinematographers. Students are guided in their creative process by NIDA's Head of Directing along with the Executive Producer for triple j Unearthed to make sure music videos were of the highest industry standard.

The clips were previewed at NIDA and premiered as a broadcast on Rage on ABCTV in September to great acclaim. The project casting included several NIDA actors, alumni and volunteers.

NIDA Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services student Alexandra Moon on the set of Daniel Charbel's song. Photo credit: Lisa Tomasetti.
NIDA Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services student Alexandra Moon on the set of Daniel Charbel's song.
Photo credit: Lisa Tomasetti

Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM): Music education matters

Throughout 2019 ANAM in partnership with independent classical and new music magazine CutCommon explored how music education can help shape lives by speaking with ANAM faculty, musicians and alumni to uncover the true stories behind the power of music education from the perspective of emerging and established industry figures.

Current ANAM musician, Sophie Spencer, recently spoke to CutCommon about how music education can benefit the community as a whole:

'Music brings people together to create strong communities. Music benefits communities as it teaches individuals patience, attentiveness, determination, resilience, and time management—all skills that are imperative to develop as they are needed in everyday life.

'In primary school, music ensembles are one of the few activities that connects students in different year groups. This encourages teamwork and teaches the older students to act as role models.

'Playing in ensembles and orchestras throughout school and beyond has helped me grow as a musician and as a person. In addition to creating lifelong friendships through these groups, being surrounded by supportive and welcoming communities, as well as music-making in general, can provide relief from stress or hardship.'

ANAM Concert: brass instruments: trumpets, trombones and tuba. Photo credit: Pia Johnson.
ANAM Concert
Photo credit: Pia Johnson

Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO): New commission performed by Momentum Ensemble and 40 years on from AYO's the first tour to China

Momentum Ensemble provides AYO musicians with unique performance opportunities outside of the traditional concert hall for young musicians on the cusp of their professional careers.

Last month Momentum Ensemble premiered a newly commissioned work by composer Lachlan Skipworth and photographer Greg Barrett. The latest edition of the Meet the AYO podcast catches up with them both to discuss their creative process, working together from a blank canvas.

2019 marks 40 years since AYO's 1979 tour, when it became the first Australian orchestra ever to visit China. In 1979 the orchestra visited Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Beijing, Nanking, and Shanghai, with a special performance alongside the Shanghai Symphony and the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, Beijing.

In 2019 the AYO International Tour returned to China, with the orchestra performing in Beijing and Guangzhou.

A reunion event was held in Sydney upon the 2019 orchestra's return to Australia, presenting the opportunity to reflect on both tours while celebrating the 40-year anniversary. Musicians and alumni were able to share their experiences and hear speeches from musicians from both international tours.

NAISDA Dance College: Ngoenakap (Nga-Na-Kup)

NAISDA Dance College is partnering with Carriageworks to present its 2019 Sydney season, Ngoenakap (Nga-na-kup).

This year's production is a powerful and deeply personal celebration of connection to Torres Strait Islander Country, culture and community.

"Ngoenakap means 'heart' in my Torres Strait Islander language of Kala Lagaw Ya," said Director and NAISDA graduate (2000) Sani Townson.

"My heart to dance, my heart for homeland and my heart to teach and share,"

"Ngoenakap is also about NAISDA Dance College itself. For me, and many others, it is the heartbeat of our creative practice which gave us our professional springboard into the arts Industry."

This year's showcase will feature special guests from Wug Village, Mua Island, Torres Strait, in collaboration with Dujon Niue, NAISDA graduate and Mua Island Cultural Leader, Deon Hastie NAISDA Head of Dance and NAISDA Developing Artists.

Ngoenakap will be performed at Carriageworks from 20 to 23 November 2019.

Ngoenakap, image credit: Jamie James