When was the last time you took a dance class?
We danced as kids, we dressed up and performed for our friends and family. Then, at a certain age we became self-conscious and stopped…because we thought (or were told) dance wasn’t for us.
It was for “professionals”.
However, dance isn’t just for an elite few; dancing is fun. Dancing is playful. Dancing connects us with community. It makes our bodies fitter and our minds more active and nimble. It fills us with endorphins and lets us lose the worries of the day…Dancing is for the Common People!
For the very first time Common People Dance Project are recruiting for Team Gold Coast – take part in the weekly all ages, all abilities (all fun) theatrical group-dance class and at the end you and the rest of the team will battle it out with other teams from across South-East Queensland at the Common People Dance Eisteddfod at South Bank Piazza as part of Brisbane Festival 2021.
From Neridah Waters:
‘26 years ago, I auditioned for my school Rock Eisteddfod and got rejected.
To this day I carry the bitterness in my polyester puffed sleeves.
So now I’ve decided to make my own rock eisteddfod competition but with adults! (…and kids if they want to join in…and babies in carriers…actually, anyone!).
It’s going to be awesome.
We’ll meet once a week. There’ll be half-time oranges. There’ll be dress ups. It’ll be cheap. There will be a competition between 6 teams across South East Queensland as part of Brisbane Festival…Seriously, it is going to be awesome!
Presented by HOTA, Home of the Arts and Common People Dance Project
In 2009 Neridah Waters and Fez Fa’anana wanted to go to The National Circus Festival for free, so they proposed running a dance workshop to Pulp’s song Common People. This workshop was so popular that it lead to a huge flash-mob performance witnessed by the entire festival audience. Thus, the Common People Dance Project was born. Since then they have been invited to run dance projects at Adelaide Fringe Festival, Brisbane Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Perth Circus Festival, Surfers Paradise Festival, Edmonton Street Festival (Canada) and Glastonbury Festival (UK). It has inspired a number of groups nationally and internationally and now they are running regular classes, workshops and projects.
Yenenesh Nigusse is well-known as a passionate exponent of dance – not only African styles, but also Latin, hip-hop, and contemporary genres. With over 20 years of dance experience, she has become one of the creative forces behind the Brisbane African dance scene. As a teaching artist, she has worked across many community and professional dance projects, working with refugees, migrants, children and adults of all ages. Her discipline as a workshop facilitator and performer has allowed her to travel, working with indigenous communities in remote areas across Australia, United Kingdom, and with various communities locally, nationally and internationally, creating inclusive spaces for movement and dance. She established an African drum and dance business in Brisbane called African Fusion to educate the community about African culture, music, and dance through workshops and performances. Some of her performances and projects she’s been involved in include “We All Dance Dance Project” with QPAC and The Royal Ballet, “The Quest“ community dance project, Out of the Box kids dance experience, Australian Women’s Music Awards (AWMA) as dance choreographer, Woodford Folk Festival, Brisbane Festival, Queensland Multicultural Festival, and many more.
Yenenesh has endeared herself to literally hundreds, maybe thousands of people throughout Australia, and continues to develop a distinct and authentic community practice, informed by her own experiences and love of moving. She is a vibrant facilitator who uses the power of dance to bridge gaps across languages, cultures and socio-demographic groups.
Neridah is a choreographer, performer and theatre maker. She has toured her work extensively in Australia and overseas including Belgium, The Netherlands, Canada, England and the USA with Lala Parlour’s Tarnished, The Common People Dance Project, Brides of Frank and The Escapists’ boy girl wall. She has worked as an actor and choreographer for La Boîte Theatre, Queensland Theatre, Imaginary Theatre, DeBase, Metro Arts, The Brisbane Powerhouse, PlayLab and NORPA. She’s choreographed large-scale community projects in Gladstone, Logan and the Isaac region for Queensland Music Festival, performed with The Squad for The Commonwealth Games, built ‘Dance Like No-one’s watching’ for QPAC’s Out Of The Box Festival and a big dance party for 0-5’s at the Powerhouse with Imaginary Theatre. Neridah studied acting at UWS Nepean and has trained in Japan with Tadashi Suzuki and Frank Theatre. She runs an ironic Eisteddfod with a regular outcome at Brisbane Festival. She recently performed Boyle and Waters in LEOTARD at Metro Arts, ran the Common People Dance Eisteddfod and Socially Distanced Dance Club at Brisbane Festival and directed the Flipside Circus show for HOTA’s Scoop Festival.
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