End of an era at ADT

Australian Dance Theatre’s season of G this week will be a poignant one for the company, marking the final act of both long-time artistic director Garry Stewart and dancer Kimball Wong before they each move on to new ventures.

Stewart revealed in January that he would step aside at the end of 2021 after more than 22 years as AD, with Indigenous dancer and choreographer Daniel Riley appointed as his successor, while Wong announced late last week that he is also moving on.

Wong is the company’s longest-serving dancer. He joined 14 years ago when he and his partner, Kialea-Nadine Williams, were the only two selected from an Australian Dance Theatre audition in London attended by around 500 dancers.

“It has been a revelation to witness Kimball’s astounding development and growth over the years,” Stewart says, describing him as “one of the most stellar dancers of this generation”.

The return season of G – Stewart’s deconstruction of the classical ballet Giselle ­– will be Wong’s final performance with ADT and is being presented at Her Majesty’s Theatre from November 25-29. First performed by the company in 2008, G focusses on the “mad scene” in the original ballet, exploring themes of “class, gender and the culture of classical ballet” with a score composed by Luke Smiles.

Stewart says it is both a marathon for the dancers and “a thrilling ride for the audience”.

The art of giving

Nick and Sophie Dunstone, founders of Adelaide venue Light, have been awarded Creative Partnerships Australia’s 2021 Emerging Philanthropy Leadership Award.

The honour is one of four Creative Partnership Awards presented nationally to recognise Australians who are “dedicated and invested allies helping create an impact within Australia’s vibrant and adaptable arts sector”.

Light founders Nick and Sophie Dunstone. Photo: Jack Fenby

The Dunstones, who returned to South Australia in 2018 after 20 years living interstate and overseas, established the Light Cultural Foundation in Adelaide in 2020 as a not-for-profit arts charity. They bought the premises at 63 Light Square and turned it into a place where creativity, hospitality and immersive technology could combine, with Light now housing performance space The Lab, Aurora restaurant, a café, and newly opened venue Ellipse, which is currently hosting the 360-degree animated experience Immersion.

Creative Partnerships Australia CEO Fiona Menzies says recipients of this year’s awards all embody a genuine love of arts and culture:  “While we were all managing the various challenges thrown at us by the pandemic, supporters of the arts continued to stick by the sector that they value and enjoy, to ensure that the artists, creatives, crews and companies they love could and would be there when restrictions were eased.”

Patch on the road again

Patch Theatre’s The Lighthouse. Photo: Matt Byrne

Patch Theatre is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary year in 2022 with tours across the country and performances at four major festivals in Australia and New Zealand.

First up will be two shows at the Sydney Festival: Sea of Light, a light and soundscape installation originally presented at the Art Gallery of SA this year to complement its Surrealists at Sea exhibition, and Zooom, which will also travel to the Auckland Festival in March and return to Sydney later in the year for a season at the Opera House.

In February the company will take its all-ages promenade performance The Lighthouse to Perth Festival, and in March it will present its first collaboration with WOMADelaide – Mirror Mirror, “an outdoor interactive kaleidoscope of imaginings” set in a mirrored tunnel installation in Botanic Park. Sea of Light will also travel to Tasmania’s Lift Off! festival in October.

“To be playing at four exceptional festivals, to bring our work back into the world and watch the faces of our audience members as they explore the wonder of light and experience the return of live performance, is as good as it gets,” says artistic director Geoff Cobham.

Further 2022 season announcements will be made later.

Illuminate Adelaide reveals winning graduates

One of Adelaide’s newest festivals – Illuminate Adelaide – has announced the first recipients of its graduate pathway program, which will give Adelaide Central School of Art graduates a fully-funded opportunity to present work at the 2022 event.

The program, supported by the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation, will fund three artists – Alycia Bennett, Cristina Metelli and a collaboration between Nicholas Hanisch and Cassie Thring.

Each will receive a $5000 commission fee and $2000 to fund costs related to the presentation of the work. Each of the winners will work with a mentor through the program.

The works will all be in the specialist fields of light and technology.

Green Room is a regular column for InReview, providing quick news for people interested, or involved, in South Australian arts and culture.

Get in touch by emailing us at editorial@solsticemedia.com.au


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