The Helpmann Academy and The Mill have presented their coveted ilDance Award, valued at over $17,000 per recipient, to two emerging South Australian dancers.
The awards will enable Zoe Gay and Felicity Boyd, both dance graduates from Adelaide College of the Arts to undertake a three month ilYoung residency with ilDance, an international and independent contemporary dance company based in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Zoe and Felicity, who will depart Adelaide for Sweden in June, were selected for the residency following an intensive audition process with the directors of ilDance, Lee Brummer and Israel Aloni. The audition saw a dozen local dance graduates vying for selection to take part in the ilYoung residency program, ilDance's project based junior company.
The ilDance Award is the result of a partnership between The Mill and Helpmann Academy. The award provides an opportunity for emerging South Australian dancers to create strong and meaningful connections with both artists and organisations across Sweden and Europe and will potentially become a platform for future creative opportunities and cultural collaborations.
The residency will take a group of 10 young dancers, including Zoe and Felicity, from around the world, across Sweden where the cast, choreographers and creative team will engage with the local community in various activities whilst developing a new production by Israel Aloni and Lee Brummer.
Felicity Boyd said that winning the ilDance Award was a dream come true. “It is an amazing opportunity to work with world-class choreographers and be exposed to a different dance community, and to collaborate with other dance artists. The value of the IlDance award cannot be overstated - to travel internationally and to have the opportunity to expose my practice to new concepts, physicalities and new ways of thinking about dance is a great privilege. I feel so lucky and grateful to have been chosen. I am ecstatic about taking up this chance to further my knowledge and am excited to see where this will take me.”
Zoe Gay said winning the ilAward was an honour. “I am so excited to be given this opportunity to grow and develop as a dancer, under the mentorship of such inspiring choreographers. This experience will no doubt open doors and offer a whole new insight to how I want to portray myself as an artist, how I want to move, and I what I want to further explore.”
Erin Fowler, The Mill Co-Artistic Director, and Jane MacFarlane, Helpmann Academy CEO, said that it was important for young graduate dancers to gain exposure to other influences, build their networks and find opportunities develop as an artist outside of what they already know.
“It can be difficult to find enough opportunities for development locally, so this award will hopefully allow a young dancer to have a significant experience to develop their career, and, to bring that back to the community here in SA.” Erin said.
“The Helpmann Academy is delighted to be collaborating with The Mill Adelaide to enable South Australian dancers to experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with ilDance. “ Jane said.