Stepping out on the urban dance stage



THIRTY young dancers are performing cameo roles in the Rye-based theatre show, The Humanimals.

The show is on at Jason Coleman’s Cabaret Cathedral, a purpose built urban theatre on Rye foreshore.

The teenagers appear in 10 shows alongside international dancers and performers.

Coleman, a dancer, choreographer and director who grew up in Rosebud, says he is determined to ensure he “pays it forward’ when it comes to nurturing the passions and skills of other young dancers”.

“I grew up here, [and know] you can’t just jump on a tram to see the latest show or wander by a performance. It’s hard for your parents to commit to getting you to town to shows,” he says.

“I want to help kids who love to dance really have a unique experience, so that they can feel confident and supported.

“I’m grateful for all the opportunities I had as a young kid from the ‘burbs. If I was starting out again, I’d love this. But I’ve got to say, these kids are also really, really talented.”

Peninsula School of Dance director Melanie Gard is ecstatic about the opportunity Coleman has offered her students.

“To be in a professional show is a dream come true for young dancers, and to have it here on our doorstep has us all pinching ourselves,” Gard said.

“I am so grateful for Jason’s generosity and the doors this has opened up for our students. They’re working with the talent behind the choreography of the Sydney Olympics’ opening ceremony and the judge on So You Think You Can Dance.

“This is an unforgettable experience, and they are taking it all in with joy and commitment.”

Gard said Coleman had given Ministry of Dance summer school scholarships to Emily Williams, Jacob Kelly, Julia Gregory, Karis Richmond and Lachlan Clue enabling them to attend a week-long dance workshop in Melbourne.

Gard said a former Peninsula School of Dance student has completed a Cairns tour with Coleman’s last show and now works on the show as wardrobe mistress, while three other students are working as ushers.

Humanimals is at the Cabaret Cathedral, corner Dundas St and Point Nepean Rd, Rye, until the end of January.

Andrea Rowe

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 19 January 2016


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