Brisbane Festival reveals new headline show

Debbie AllenBrisbane Festival recently announced it has commissioned an explosive new show from the streets of Los Angeles (LA) to headline its September program.


Freeze Frame, which is directed, choreographed and written by three-time Emmy award-winning choreographer Debbie Allen, will fuse dance, music and theatre to bring the passion and pain of one of LA’s toughest neighbourhoods to QPAC.


Allen’s illustrious career includes her legendary role as Lydia Grant in Fame and has seen her choreograph for Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Sammy Davis Junior, appear as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance (USA) and direct Grey’s Anatomy.


She has also established the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in South Central LA – a haven for local kids who are confronted with some of life’s harshest realities. In Freeze Frame, these incredibly talented kids will share the stage and their true stories with an electric cast from LA, including Allen herself.


Freeze Frame also boasts a powerful musical component led by music director Rickey Minor, whose credits include American Idol, the Grammy Awards and working on numerous superstar tours for Christina Aguilera, Ray Charles and Beyoncé.


The soundtrack, which bounces between hip-hop, soul, gospel and R&B, features new music from the great Stevie Wonder along with James Ingram and other artists.


Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Noel Staunton first instigated the project when he was moved by the realities of LA’s troubled neighbourhoods.


He approached Allen and the two have worked closely over the years to bring the project to life with American and Australian artists.


“I am incredibly inspired by the dynamic performances of these children and young adults who are using music and dance as a creative output to share their extraordinary stories,” Staunton said.


“We are also fortunate enough to work with award-winning Australian designers Michael Scott-Mitchell and John Rayment, who are working on visual aspects of the production.”


The city’s annual arts festival will release full program details in June and is set to paint the town pink from 7 to 28 September, promising a packed three weeks of world premieres, Australian firsts, and heaps of free, fun activities.


Brisbane Festival is an initiative of the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council. For more information, visit Tickets are now on sale for Freeze Frame.


Photo: Award-winning choreographer Debbie Allen. Photo courtesy of Debbie Allen.