Responsive Research Program Resident 2016
A performer and choreographer Liz Lea trained at London Contemporary Dance School and Akademi in London and Darpana Academy in India. She specialises in the field of contemporary and classical Indian dance and martial arts. Based between London and Sydney for many years she now works from Canberra with Liz Lea and Co and also as Artistic Director of Canberra Dance Theatre and Associate Director at QL2, Centre for Youth Dance.
Liz is currently Choreographer in Residence at CSIRO Discovery and recently directed the DANscienCE Festival. She premiered InFlight at the National Library of Australia in May 2013, based around the early days of aviation and flight in collaboration with the NLA and the National Film and Sound Archive. She is developing Magnificus Magnificus a solo for Indigenous dancer Tammi Gissell. Initial funding from artsACT for this work led to a successful application to the Australia Council for the work. Liz has also received Australia Council funding for her own solo Kapture from the Music Board. Kapture and Magnificus Magnificus premiere at The Street Theatre in October.
In September Liz will represent the ACT as one of two national artists from each state attending the Kultour Gathering 2013. In October Liz will attend the IMTAL conference held at the Smithsonian in Washington to present a performance and talk about InFlight. IMTAL id the International Museum and Theatre Alliance.
In 2012 she presented 120 Birds at The Street Theatre and Riverside Theatres, Parramatta to critical acclaim. She also toured her children’s show, Flying Facts to Melbourne, worked with Small Miracles Company in Mackay and was comm issioned by Flatfoot Dance Company, South Africa, to create ‘A free mind’ which was nominated for a KZN Dance Award and 3 of the dancers were nominated for ‘Best Dancer’. Her work ‘Ritu Chakra’ created on the Darpana company toured to five Indian cities and she . Spent time in Kuwait to completing filming for the Documentary ‘on the Trail of Ruth St Denis in India in 1926’.
In 2011 Liz created works on Maya Dance Theatre and La Salle College for the Arts in Singapore. She also presented an evening of professional and community work at the National Library of Australia inspired by flight. She finished the year in India working with the Darpana Company and running workshops in Mumbai and Bangalore.
Her work with QL2 Centre for Youth Dance was awarded a 2011 Australian Dance Award for the creation of Hard Yards. Liz’s work with Canberra Dance Theatre its aimed at developing the companies Special Needs and over 55 dance sectors and recently she secured two Australian commissions for the groups. In 2011 CDT won an Inclusion Award for the companies work in developing Inclusive performance opportunities for CDTeens.
Liz has toured her solo shows, taught and choreographed internationally and has been commissioned by the Royal Opera House, Mavin Khoo, Intoto, Ballet Arabesque, QL2 Dance and many others. She was a performer with the Royal Opera House in Beijing for the Olympics Ceremony and has danced with Ranjabati Sircar, Imlata, Sankalpam as well as the English National Opera and English Bach Festival as a Baroque specialist. Liz’s research into the early modern dance movement and non Asian dance pioneers inspired by India such as Anna Pavlova and Ruth St Denis have led to the forthcoming documentary ‘Dance Detective’, filmed in India. She one of very few artists who has reinterpreted the early 1906 solos of Ruth St Denis, inspired by India.
Photo: Liz Lea, Speak Local, Critical Path. Photo credit Lorna Sim