Raewyn Hill dances into new Co3 role

Co3 artistic director Raewyn Hill. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d444934
Co3 artistic director Raewyn Hill. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d444934

RAEWYN Hill feels every stage of her career has been preparing her for becoming the founding artistic director of Perth’s new contemporary dance company Co3.

Having grown up on New Zealand’s South Island, Hill moved to Wellington at age 15 to attend the New Zealand School of Dance.

Following a successful career, she retired from performance in 2006 before working in Hong Kong and most recently North Queensland prior to her appointment at Co3, a merger of STEPS Youth Dance Company and Buzz Dance Theatre, at the end of 2014.

“STEPS really nurtured the creativity of our young people and Buzz was predominantly about education, creating dance work for schools,” Hill, of Subiaco, said.

“But there wasn’t a fulltime professional contemporary ensemble of dancers.

“The biggest challenge for me was always going to be how I could balance honouring that legacy of 54 years of combined history, as well as creating this professional ensemble which didn’t exist as part of those two companies.”

The result is a professional company of six core dancers and two artists in development, with Hill’s dream to eventually grow the company to 16 dancers.

There is also Co:Youth featuring 58 young dancers inherited from STEPS.

The company will launch at the end of October with a season of re:Loaded 2015 featuring a triple bill performed by the core company and choreographed by Hill (Carnivale), Larissa McGowan (Transducer) and Gavin Webber (What’s Left).

The dancers of Co:Youth will open the performance with a re-imagining of Hill’s 2012 work, Fugue.

“The artistic program philosophy of the company is curate, commission, create,” Hill said.

“So for me it was important to acknowledge those three parts of the company and present work under each of those philosophies.

“Curate is about bringing a second life to work that has already had a season so that’s Larissa McGowan’s work Transducer.

“Commission is about providing an environment to celebrate an expert maker – Gavin Webber – and then create is predominantly where you’ll see my work, where we talk about finding dance in unexpected places or with unexpected partnerships.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: re:Loaded 2015

Where: Heath Ledger Theatre

When: October 28 to November 1

Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au