Buzz and STEPS to form new company
The Boards of STEPS Youth Dance and Buzz Dance Theatre recently announced their intention to create a new West Australian contemporary dance company.
The unanimous decision by both Boards comes after months of consultation. STEPS and Buzz will continue their respective operations until the end of 2014. Then transitional arrangements will be put into place during 2014.
Pamela-Jayne Kinder, Chair of Buzz, said the State Government’s Future Moves investment of $1.6 million over four years had strengthened the contemporary dance sector in Western Australia, and that the Boards saw this as an important response to creating a more sustainable future for the dance sector.
“STEPS and Buzz are both in strong financial positions and continue to secure financial support through sponsorships, donations and other fundraising activities,” Pamela-Jayne said.
“Buzz has completed a full regional tour of the national Monkey Baa co-production Goodbye Jamie Boyd and is entering the sixth year of Big Stretch program in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions. Working together will provide for increased opportunities for Western Australian dancers, choreographers and audiences.”
Lisa Hutchinson, Chair of STEPS Youth Dance added, “This is an exciting prospect, as both companies are building on their strengths. STEPS is about to open its new production of ThreeFold at the Studio Underground, was nominated for the fourth time in five years for Outstanding Achievement in Youth or Community Dance in the Australian Dance Awards, and celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2014. STEPS looks forward to increased opportunities to engage professional dancers with young people.”
Alan Ferris, the acting director general, confirmed the Department of Culture and the Arts would fund the new dance company.
“In addition, the Department will fund further consultancy to look at transition models for the new contemporary dance company,” Ferris said.
The new company would continue to inspire young people, offer extraordinary dance experiences for young people, support dance in education and maintain creative opportunities for choreographers.
Photo: STEPS Youth Dance Company in a Trois Generations performance in February 2013. Photo by Christophe Canato.