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Dancers in the Running for National Award

Latrobe City dancers has made the finals of the Australian Dance Awards.

By Portal Admin - 13th December 2020 - Back to News

A performance by Latrobe City dancers has made the finals of the Australian Dance Awards to be announced on 8 December 2020.

Dancers from across the City and broader Gippsland worked with choreographers at Latrobe Performing Arts Centre at Traralgon over four days in January 2019 to create a piece that was performed to the public.

The experience was part of the Latrobe Regional Creative Project, a contemporary dance workshop experience for local dancers devised by Latrobe Performing Arts part of Latrobe City Council and Melbourne training institution, Transit Dance. The project was launched in 2019 and offered again in 2020.

The 2019 performance piece, Hometown, is nominated for the 2019 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance and features 22 dancers aged 12-18, boys and girls.

The Australian Dance Awards will be held online on Tuesday 8 December at 7.30pm (Australian Eastern Daylight Time), and will cover performances from 2018 and 2019.

Transit Dance was founded by mother and son, Karen and Paul Malek, both formerly of Morwell and now based in Melbourne. Karen has also been nominated for the 2018 Award for Services to Dance Education.

Jayden Hicks, Head of Youth Development at Transit Dance and formerly of Morwell, led the four-day immersive experience.

"It is an unbelievable honour to have this project nationally recognised," Jayden said.

"It is so important to give back to communities that helped build you and I certainly wouldn't be where I am in my career if it wasn't for the training, life lessons and experiences that I had whilst living in Latrobe City.

"To see the Ausdance Awards acknowledge the importance of projects like ours, that inspire a next generation of young artists, makes the future of opportunities for regional dancers so exciting."

Hometown explored the meaning of home and what makes people feel comfortable and safe. Created by Jayden Hicks and Paul Malek, the concept was born after reflecting on their experiences of travelling back to Latrobe City to perform and teach at the Latrobe Performing Arts Centre, where they grew up performing.

"The dancers were challenged to find comfort on the stage and to make the experience of performing feel just as comfortable as their bedroom," Jayden said.

"The inspiration for the piece came from conversations with the participants about their home, their connection to home and their experiences living in Latrobe City."

Latrobe City Council Mayor Cr Sharon Gibson said the nomination showcased the talent of the local arts community.

"To be nominated for an Australian award is a tremendous achievement. What talented performers we have in Latrobe City and its exciting to see performers like Jayden, Paul and Karen, who have lived here and have moved on to develop their craft but still return to nurture the next generation of performers," she said.

"With construction of the new Latrobe Creative Precinct underway in Traralgon, future dancers are guaranteed of having access to a world class stage on which to rehearse and perform.

"I wish the performers of Hometown every success when the awards are announced on 8 December 2020.

To reference the showbiz line, I hope they break a leg."

To view the awards online, go to:


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