What’s On: Matrix (Expressions Dance Company, Beijing Dance/LDTX & QPAC)

Copy of A horizontal group scene from Stephanie Lake's work Auto Cannibal in Matrix Pic Credit YIN Peng
A horizontal group scene from Stephanie Lake’s work Auto Cannibal in Matrix. Image by YIN Peng.


13 – 16 November 2019

Playhouse Theatre, QPAC

Defined as a “cultural or social environment or context in which something develops”, Matrix is the result of an immersive creative development in Beijing in August and September, producing two new contemporary dance works by multi award-winning Australian choreographer, Stephanie Lake, and the highly-acclaimed Chinese choreographer, MA Bo.

Matrix was created in just five weeks with 20 dancers from two countries and two cultures, overcoming language barriers, differences in physiques and artistic sensibilities. EDC’s six ensemble members are joined on stage by the 14-strong company of LDTX creating a wildly ambitious and dazzling display of dance virtuosity.

In 2015, through a long-term friendship with artistic director Willy Tsao, EDC entered into a ground-breaking partnership with leading Chinese contemporary dance companies, Guangdong Modern Dance Company (GMDC), Hong Kong’s City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC) and BeijingDance/LDTX (LDTX). The Chinese Australian Dance Exchange Project is now in its fifth year, but this is the first time both companies have performed together for the full evening of work.

EDC Artistic Director, Amy Hollingsworth, said Matrix was a true collaboration “immersing in each other’s cultures, sharing imaginations and energies – despite any difficulties presented by language barriers”.

Copy of A dramatic scene from MA Bo's work Encircling Voyage in Matrix PIC CREDIT YIN Peng
A dramatic scene from MA Bo’s work Encircling Voyage in Matrix. Image by YIN Peng.

Hollingsworth said the Matrix double bill offered audiences hugely contrasting works highlighting the varying styles and personalities of the choreographers, and would showcase the range and versatility of the dancers. “MA Bo’s piece is an emotional, intricate, undulating work with powerful imagery and evolving textures,” Hollingsworth said. “Stephanie’s piece is a delicious dichotomy of hyper-physical yet incredibly detailed movement. It is sophisticated in both rhythm and structure.”

Helpmann Award-winning dancer, Richard Cilli, has also joined Expressions Dance Company for the Chinese and Australian seasons of Matrix. EDC Artistic Director Amy Hollingsworth said Cilli’s talent, vibrancy and range would be adored by audiences, and would leave a lasting legacy on the EDC ensemble as well as the 14-strong Beijing Dance/LDTX ensemble.

“Richard is an incredible performer, both critically-acclaimed and widely-respected in the industry by his peers,” she said. “Not only is he a consummate performer, but he is the type of artist whose sensitivity and intelligence radiates through his work, and he is incredibly generous with his energy and creativity. I am so excited to have him guest with us for Matrix as I know he will have a positive impact on both of the works, but also on the other company members as well as delighting audiences across Australia and China.”

Mirror pic from MA Bo's work Encircling Voyage in Matrix PIC CREDIT WANG Xiao-jing
Image from MA Bo’s work Encircling Voyage in Matrix by WANG Xiao-jing.

Australian Regional Tour

Created and performed in China, Matrix will also tour regionally in Australia. Queensland tourist hotspot Cairns, hosts the Australian premiere of the double bill on November 1, while Queanbeyan, in south-eastern New South Wales, has performances on November 7 and 8. It is EDC’s first tour to Cairns since 2014 and the fourth time EDC has performed in Queanbeyan.

As part of Expression’s commitment to enriching local communities and empowering
the next generation of dancers and makers, the company will be holding a series
of workshops, Q+As and Masterclasses during the tour.

For ticketing and further information, visit the Expressions Dance Company website.

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