Dr Graeme Murphy, AO
“I am aware that dance is becoming a condiment, sprinkled on festivals to add flavour and zing - so the concept for a dedicated dance festival seems long overdue and in fact, feels ‘inevitable’.
Well considered and comprehensive, the proposal makes clear the broad benefits to choreographers, dancers and audiences. Most importantly, it addresses the over-riding health of our national cultural identity and our perceived place in international dance.
Supercell: Festival of Contemporary Dance Brisbane offers such promise of cohesive communal involvement, such possibilities of attracting the broadest international interest but above all, a great potential to become a springboard for much needed change – a catalyst for a new wave of innovative dance that will counter any concepts of homogenised torpor and blandness.
Only a brave holistic and well-supported program such as this proposal, so clearly & cleverly outlined, will re-invigorate and excite existing audiences and encourage an army of new followers.
Brisbane, fast becoming Australia’s cultural hub, is the perfect location for this event.
Build this festival and they will come – DANCING.”
Kate Usher is a Brisbane based Producer. Kate graduated from the Queensland University of Technology in 2008 with a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Dance), a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration in 2009 and a Masters in Creative Production and Arts Management in 2011, where her thesis 'The Business of Dance: Identifying the Skills and Knowledge for becoming a Self Producer' was awarded the grade of High Distinction.
Kate’s most recent position was with Metro Arts as their Associate Producer working across all art forms in contemporary performance. Prior to this Kate worked at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in the Arts Programming team, where she worked on numerous projects such as: in-theatre performance, commercial projects, large scale events and bespoke festivals.
With her freelance producing practice, Kate has also worked for Woodford Folk Festival, La Boite Theatre Company, Brisbane City Council and Artslink. Kate is a keen advocate for Independent Dance and was a member of the Ausdance Queensland management committee 2010 - 2016. Furthermore, Kate still enjoys rolling and flying in a good contemporary class.
Glyn is the newly appointed Artistic Director of Castlemaine State Festival in regional Victoria. A co-founder and Curatorial Consultant for Festival of Contemporary Dance Brisbane, Glyn works alongside Kate Usher to curate and strategise for the longevity of this bespoke festival. Past positions have included Creative Producer at Brisbane's acclaimed La Boite Theatre Company and Curator of Brisbane Festival's Theatre Republic program. He is also co-founder and former Creative Director of multi-award winning theatre company MKA: Theatre of New Writing.
Glyn holds a BA from Monash University and an MA from the Victorian College of the Arts. In 2015 Glyn was named one of the Queensland’s 50 best and brightest in QW magazine.
Emily joined the Supercell team in 2016 when on a trip to Brisbane and reminiscing with Kate and Glyn on their time together at the Atelier in Gwangju, was convinced to champion the fledgling festival with its co-founders. Before developing the inaugural Supercell, Emily has worked in the performing and cultural arts sector for over 10 years. As a keen advocate for community projects and social justice advocacy lead Emily to experience a wide variety of engagement and participation in the arts. Former positions include Producer for Brisbane Festival, Associate producer at QPAC, Programming Coordinator for Melbourne Festival as will as gigs with Comedy Festival and the Fringe Circuit.
Emily holds a BA in Theatre Performance from Federation University and a GradDip from Latrobe University.
Emily Wells is a proud Kamilaroi woman, born and bred on the Sunshine Coast. As an emerging arts manager, Emily is passionate about the endless opportunities of live entertainment and extremely excited about beginning her journey with Supercell and developing her independent dance producing skill set. Emily holds a Certificate 4 in Performing Arts from the Aboriginal Centre of Performing Arts and will soon Graduate in December 2017 with a Bachelor of Entertainment Industries from QUT.
Emily is currently working as the Creative Producer of Digi Youth Arts' multi-arts project, unsettle, which allows Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth to respond to the cultural landscape of mainstream institutions through street art, theatre, film, visual art, dance and music. Emily also has particular interest and experience in events, festivals and arts organisations such as La Boite Theatre Company, Caloundra Music Festival, Jungle Love, and RAW Showcases. Emily cannot wait to continue producing meaningful projects within Brisbane and the wider Australian entertainment industry.
Emily’s position with Supercell is kindly supported by Brisbane City Council and a Creative Sparks 2016-2017 grant.
Maddie is a Brisbane based writer, youth arts facilitator and production stage manager. Since graduating from the Queensland University of Technology (BFA Drama and DipEd Senior Years), Maddie has been forging a career that focuses on the development of new contemporary work and theatre for young people. In 2015 Maddie trained with the Australian Theatre for Young People as a mentee writer, and is currently a resident Young Playwright at Queensland Theatre. As Playwright: Cooladdi (ATYP), Food Fight (ATYP), The Parable People (FAST). Contributing Writer: The Children’s Monologue’s (Digi Youth Arts). Dramaturg: England (Matt Seery, Nathan Booth and Metro Arts), The Show Must Goon (Four Stripes, Adelaide Fringe), As We Come Undone (QUT). Production Manager: Supercell Festival of Contemporary Dance, Cargo Club (Metro Arts and Centre for Australasian Theatre), The Voice in The Walls (Imaginary Theatre). Stage Manager:Blue Bones (Playlab), The 7 Stages of Grieving (Grin + Tonic, Queensland Theatre). Assistant Stage Manager: Medea (La Boite Theatre Company), Black Diggers (Queensland Theatre, Brisbane Festival).
Dr Anja Ali-Haapala
Research and Evaluation Consultant
Anja is an audience researcher and dance practitioner. Central to Anja’s audience research work is listening and giving agency to the audience voice, and positioning audiences as authorities of their own theatrical experiences. Through her audience research projects, Anja has worked closely with The Australian Ballet (Melbourne), Sydney Dance Company, Expressions Dance Company (Brisbane), and Supercell: Festival of Contemporary Dance Brisbane, and has presented and published her findings internationally. Anja’s dance practice crossing making, performing and teaching across stage, street theatre and film projects in community, school, tertiary and professional settings. Anja is also the co-chair of the Early Career Researchers Community – Dance, an international network for emerging dance researchers to develop networks and skills. In 2016, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) awarded her a PhD on the topic of spectator-dancer relationships during open rehearsals. Anja also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with First Class Honours (2011, QUT). www.ali-haapala.com.au
Glen is the current Finance Officer at Positive Solutions Pty Ltd and Board Connect Inc. He has ten years of experience working within arts related financial analysis and has been a passionate advocate for the arts for much longer. He currently sits as the Treasurer of the non-profits Playlab Inc (devoted to developing, presenting and publishing playwrights) and Supercell Inc (a new festival of contemporary dance to hit Queensland next year). Previously he was the Business Manager at La Boite Theatre Inc where he was a key in the financial operations, planning and performance, ticketing and general operations of the company. He has also worked in a financial capacity at Brisbane Festival.
A well respected artist, Lizzie has a wealth of dance experience as performer, choreographer, director, teacher, arts administrator and researcher. Recognised as an outstanding female dancer, Lizzie’s sixteen year performance career (including eight with Expressions Dance Company and four with Leigh Warren and Dancers) has seen her perform major roles, both at home and abroad, in works by some of the world's best choreographers. As an independent she’s choreographed works for the likes of Expressions Dance Company (EDC), Royal Academy of Dancing, Noosa Long Weekend Festival and the South Australian Children's Ballet. As Co-Creative Director of Prying Eye, she has worked with Zaimon Vilmanis on collaborations including the spellbinding “White Porcelain Doll” (2014), “Resurfaced” - Brisbane Festival (2012) with Feet Teeth, and "Lady Electronica Live" - Judith Wright Centre (2012) with Donna Hewitt. As a teacher, Lizzie has taught for professional dance companies and leading dance institutions both in Australia and overseas. In addition, Lizzie is founder of Brisbane Dance Artists Hub for independent dance artists and a founding member of Pro Dance Classes Brisbane. She has also worked as an administrator/IT assistant for the Northern Australian Regional Performing Arts Centre’s Association and manager of the Brisbane cultural bar, Room 60. As well as being the Secretary of the Management Committee of Supercell, Lizzie currently continues a Master of Arts (Research) at QUT, is Co-Creative Director of Prying Eye, Rehearsal Director for EDC, and Program Consultant for Ausdance Queensland.
Desmond Sweeney is a lawyer. He is a barrister and previously a partner of Herbert Smith Freehills, solicitors. He has been a member of the boards of Force Majeure and Playwriting Australia, where he chaired the Finance Committee. He areas of specialty include corporate governance, finance and risk management. He has a keen interest in contemporary dance and believes we need more opportunities to showcase contemporary dancers and choreographers in Australia so that more people have a chance to see the best dance on offer..
Amy Hollingsworth is a multi-award winning dancer and director, based in Brisbane and described by the UK Observer as one of ‘the most compelling and intelligent dancers on the world stage’.
Born and raised in Australia, Amy was classically trained at The Australian Ballet School and danced as a leading dancer in companies such as Rambert Dance Company, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Peter Schaufuss Balletten, Bonachela Dance Company, Michael Clark Company, Hofesh Shechter Company, George Piper Dances and Sydney Dance Company (SDC). With an international performance and creative career spanning from large-scale classical ballet to independent contemporary dance, film and pop music, Amy is a highly versatile director of dance with a strong, passionate, musical and emotionally resonant creative voice. Her work in direction and education draws from her background and breadth of experience, and is as diverse as the companies that engage her to coach and mentor. Her achievements are many, but most notably she was a founding member of Bonachela Dance Company and, as the Assistant Director, was instrumental in its creation and subsequent growth.
She then excelled in her role as Dance Director for SDC, where she assisted many of the company’s recently commissioned and world-renowned guest choreographers. Her skills in choreographic development, eye for detail and in coaching excellence from the award winning dancers have been widely noted and critically acclaimed. Her role in SDC was pivotal to the creation and development of the company's prolific education program.
Amy went on to direct, mentor and choreograph through her own company Bespoke Movement, specialising in performance excellence, optimal physicality and the nurture of creative genius. Amy simultaneously engaged with Expressions Dance Company (EDC) as Rehearsal Director, during which she worked on the company’s signature work 7 Deadly Sins as well as Black, the inaugural collaboration with Guangdong Modern Dance Company. She also assisted with the curation of EDC’s Brisbane Contemporary Dance Intensive.
Over the last year, Amy has choreographed 5 new creations, two of which were for Queensland Ballet - Cadence, Interrupted and Flux.
As of 2016, Amy is the Ballet Mistress and Creative Associate at Queensland Ballet.
Born in Mordialloc Victoria, Bradley is a descendant of the Kamilaroi people who are from the area which extended from around Singleton in the Hunter Valley through to the Warrumbungle Mountains in the west and up through the present-day centers of Quirindi, Tamworth, Narrabri, Walgett, Moree, Lightning Ridge and Mungindi in New South Wales, to Nindigully in South-West Queensland.
As a child, Bradley trained under Vivienne Dunn before going on to The Australian Ballet School, graduating in 1990. Bradley then joined the Hong Kong Ballet with performance highlights including roles in Paquita, Spectre de la Rose, Troy Games and Tales of Hoffmann.
In 1991, he moved across to Sydney Dance Company (SDC) under the direction of Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon, performing the full company repertoire to great acclaim. During his time with SDC, he toured extensively both in Australia and internationally, including tours to the United States, Europe, China, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand and South America. Bradley was later appointed to the role of Deputy Dance Director in 2008 and then Dance Director in 2009.
Bradley subsequently joined Dancenorth as Rehearsal Director in 2010 and worked on main stage productions including The Cry, Black Crows, MASS, Fugue, Abandon, A Fall from Grace, [sic] and Allegories which was a collaboration with Queensland Ballet and Expressions Dance Company for Brisbane Festival 2012.
Bradley's credits also include reproducing Graeme Murphy’s Sequenza VII for New Zealand School of Dance; starring as Mr. Mistoffelees in Really Useful Group; Seoul & Co touring production of Cats in South Korea 2003/04; performing in Worldwide Tour Company’s Aida and Garry Stewart’s THWACK. In early 2010, along with Brett Morgan, he also reproduced Free Radicals for the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts final graduation. Within the same year, Bradley travelled to New York City to reconstruct Underland on Stephen Petronio’s Company, a work originally created on him in 2003.
Being a recipient of numerous awards including Best Male Dancer at the Green Room Awards 2003, Australian Dance Awards 2003, Mo Awards 2004 and in 2009, named in Sydney Morning Herald’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Sydney, Bradly is highly respected in the dance industry and currently holds the position as Head of Dance at the Aboriginal Centre of the Performing Arts (ACPA) in Brisbane.