31. 05. 2016

Carmen Suite

When Expressions Dance Company toured regional South Australia, I was lucky enough to see their amazing show ‘Carmen Suite’ and have a post show chat with the dancers and rehearsal director Lizzie Vilmanis.

The performance was spectacular and had everything from love, desire, passion and of course, amazing dancing. It was fabulous to have the Brisbane based company here to show us the gorgeous work they are creating under the artistic direction of Natalie Weir. This style of contemporary is beautiful in it’s quality and evokes emotion through it’s story telling nature. The dancers partner each other effortlessly and the legs fly high!

It is great for audiences to see the range of contemporary styles of dance that are out there. Contemporary dance is extremely broad in it’s forms and it was great to sit down and discuss this with the dancers and allow the audience to ask questions to the cast about the work, their experiences and life as a dancer.

The post show forum was filmed and you can check it out online anytime. Some wonderful discussions and interesting responses from the audience. It’s always a great way to hear how people felt and responded to the show alongside where the ideas for the work origionally came from.

We also put the Dance Jungle Gym up outside the theatre to see if people might be interested in interacting with it before the performance. It was fabulous to see the adults take it on and it was excellent to see them enjoy themselves so much. It was interesting to watch people go through in their nice theatre outfits. The Jungle Gym never looked so fancy!

Before the performance the Expressions dancers tried it out. I loved seeing professional dancers move through the gym alongside audience members who were about to see their show. A rare experience.

The work also utilised local dancers who auditioned, rehearsed and then given the opportunity to perform alongside the professional dancers. It was exciting to see the dancers work together and what a unique experience for young aspiring dancers. The audience also enjoyed seeing their dancers perform and what a great way to connect your work with your audience.


Larissa McGowan

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Workshop dates TBC


Dance Workshop


Larissa McGowan and Country Arts SA



About the Artist

Larissa McGowan

After studying dance in Brisbane and Melbourne, Larissa joined Australian Dance Theatre in 2000 and has since toured extensively with the company winning multiple awards for Best Female Dancer including a Helpmann and Australian Dance Award. Larissa appeared as a guest choreographer on two seasons of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. She has created work for WOMADelaide, Link Dance Company, Sydney Dance Company, Tasdance and premiered her first full length work, ‘Skeleton’ at the 2013 Dance Massive.

Country Arts SA recognises and respects that we are living and creating on Aboriginal Lands and we are committed to working together to honour their living cultures.