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A SUPERCELL Dance Storm Approaches Brisbane

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A cyclonic collaboration of local, national and international contemporary dancers will flood into Brisbane in 2017 at SUPERCELL Festival Of Contemporary Dance Brisbane.

SUPERCELL presents a curated programme of contemporary dance to develop and connect choreographers, dancers and audiences.

Co-curators Kate Usher and Glyn Roberts formed the festival with aspirations for SUPERCELL to become a major event on Brisbane’s cultural calendar and a leader for contemporary dance internationally. “The great thing about SUPERCELL Dance Festival is that Queensland has some amazing dance that is happening right now… Plus we have an amazing array of independent artists making really brilliant work up here and it kind of made sense for us to aggregate or pull some of that content together, and celebrate the love for art, culture, dance, movement and kinaesthetic experiences with this festival,” Kate explains.

The name came to Kate and Glyn one summer night as they watched a storm roll in over Brisbane, and the idea of their hopeful festival collided with the beauty and ferocity of the storm. Kate says you can expect a variety of home grown artists at SUPERCELL with four premiere works that have been made specifically for the festival, as well as international artists. “It’s quite a variety of performance pieces. We’ve tried to programme stuff from the high-end, arty-farty and really intellectual, to stuff that’s just a lot of fun. Our big ethos with SUPERCELL is that anyone can get involved. Anyone can participate,” she says.


“The whole idea is that you come and you stay for the week. We totally forget that fly-in-fly-out model of arts making and we encourage all of our artists to stay for the entire time and participate in all of the workshops and shows and be available to have a chat in the foyer over a glass of bubbly or get into a classroom with anyone to have that embodied experience and feel the blood pumping around.”

Both Kate and Glyn work full time as arts producers in Brisbane so putting together an event like this was no easy feat, and took about 18 months to pull together.

“We did a long consultation process with our sector. [We had] many conversations with existing festivals, both here and overseas. We thought we could run it off the back of one of our ABNs… But then that doesn’t have any legacy to it. So we actually made the considered effort to form a not-for-profit organisation and set up the formal structures around having a business,” Kate says. “There’s been considered strategic planning as well as curating. We’ve had to curate, not only this festival, but basically the next two in a row, which is our goal, to be an annual event.”


With strategic planning, Kate and Glyn have put together a programme for SUPERCELL that considers the whole experience of SUPERCELL from when you first purchase a ticket, right through to when you’re leaving the festival. With all audiences in mind, SUPERCELL will have something for everyone.

“Some people are extroverts and some are introverts, and for me it’s important that we cater to different peoples' ways and feelings of engaging with content. Particularly given that stigma that contemporary dance is hard, I wanted to offer different opportunities for people who are interested. Our festival is bigger than the presentations we have on the stages and in the theatres. It’s actually about that whole experience for us.”

SUPERCELL Festival Of Contemporary Dance is on at The Judith Wright Centre Of Contemporary Arts 18-25 February.


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