SUPERCELL: Festival of Contemporary Dance Brisbane is co-curated by Kate Usher and Glyn Roberts. Two colleagues who became friends, drink too much coffee and commiserate about Brisbane’s humidity,  share a mutual a love for dance. Joining forces they co-founded Supercell with aspirations to create critical mass around the exciting things happening with Dance in Queensland and, to work with the sector, artists and audiences to build a vibrant and respected festival that is quintessentially Brisbane.

The namesake of the festival comes from one evening, 12 months on from a particularly nasty tropical storm where the media dubbed it a ‘supercell’, referring to the collision of multiple particles to create a major event with widespread impact. Beauty, ferocity, spectacle and rejuvenation. Sitting on Glyn’s balcony, watching the storms roll in over the city, basking in the thick humidity and that weird smell Brisbane gets right before the first crack of lighting. We were brainstorming names for our fledgling festival. A notoriously tricky thing. Winds pick up, sky goes green, incoming hail! We sit there watching the storm and the two ideas start to converge. Storms can make one a bit silly and we began joking about referring to the festival as The Supercell Dance Festival.. Dance Supercell.. and well.. the name just stuck.  So this is it: Supercell. Brisbane’s contemporary dance festival.

We shall as they say, be dancing with you in the summer rains! 


Supercell aims to make Brisbane a national and International hub for contemporary dance.


An annual festival, Supercell will present a curated program of the highest-caliber contemporary dance to develop and connect choreographers, dancers, and audiences. Supercell aspires to be a highlight of Brisbane’s cultural calendar and a leader for contemporary dance on a global scale.


For further information please refer to the Supercell Strategic Plan and Curatorial Framework

Supercell is a non-hierarchical platform for contemporary dance artists to engage in one another’s work and, to seed further collaborations that extend creative practice and the industry. To achieve this, Supercell will feature five key programmatic areas:


Central to each Supercell is the presentation of an acclaimed international artist or group. This artist will not only present their work, but will also facilitate workshops, lectures, and classes throughout the entirety of the festival. They will engage with the Supercell program and be a provocateur of thought, movement and art. This will increase access and engagement for both artists and audiences.


Supercell aims to commission a new work from a Queensland-based choreographer or company. It is intended that this new work will represent a new direction for the commissioned artists, and promote new directions, new forms, and new collaborations. Supercell’s local commission aims to dynamically and gently push our nationally based artists into new realms. 


A key interstate company or artists will be invited to present and share their work at Supercell. Alongside the curated and commissioned program, Supercell will accept proposals from interstate artists to present their work under the Supercell umbrella with our support.  


Queensland is home to three successful contemporary dance companies: Dance North in Townsville, Expressions Dance Company in Brisbane and The Farm on the Gold Coast. These three key companies will present works where possible and engage in the suite of workshop and lectures programs when available. Intertwined with these key companies is an incredibly vibrant and diverse Independent Sector of practicing artists. These artists are the backbone of the Queensland Dance Industry and will be strongly represented across all programatic choices. 


A key component of the Supercell experience is an educational and participatory program. This will offer a variety of access points to ideas, artists and the festival experience with programming such as lecture series, behind the scenes opportunities, professional development activities, and at the crux of this,  a workshop program. The workshop program is an opportunity for Supercell artists to share their diverse styles, skills and knowledge with professional contemporary dancers as well as the general public and dance enthusiasts. Workshops are designed to open the kinetic and physical experience for all those involved in the festival- artists and audiences alike.  General Public workshops will be offered at a skill level and format considered for the ’non- dancer’.