'Where The Heart Is' is back in Brisbane with a raft of awards under its belt. Samantha Mitchell, a performer in the piece, can't wait to get back on stage.
“We're really excited to be performing 'Where The Heart Is' again. We did it two years ago, so there has been a good amount of time between runs. All the dancers loved performing it the first time around, it's really exciting to be doing it again, especially at QPAC.”
The work is Natalie Weir's (Artistic Director) first full-length production, and the whole of Expressions Dance Company is intensely proud of what has been produced.
“Her forte is in partnering, so expect lots of duos and trios with lots of tumbling and exciting lifts. It is quite a physical piece, it's all really moving.”
The story is set in Queensland and is “about a young man going back to his childhood home.
"The set is based upon an old Queenslander, a broken-down and decrepit house that opens up and moves around the stage. The young man goes back to the house and is reminded of all the things that happened in his childhood. He remembers his family and their domestics as well as his first love. It's a lovely tale of family and the way we remember events in our childhood, whether good or bad. It's a heartfelt and very beautiful work.”
The last two years have not seen the piece stand still, and with three new cast members and a larger set, Samantha is sure that the audience will see that the piece has evolved.
“They [the new cast members] will bring their own feel to the piece. Natalie really caters for individuality and wants to bring the strengths out in each and every dancer.”
EDC have won a Helpmann and an Australian Dance Award for 'Where The Heart Is'.
“It was such an exciting time last year when we were nominated and then to win those awards, it was amazing! It really put EDC back into the limelight of Australian dance, maybe we were a little under the radar for a while.”
Samantha feels that the fact that the dance is based in Queensland is helpful for the local arts community. “It really brings meaning to Queensland's arts scene, it's a good representation of what is going on up here.”
With the awards in place she is positive about the upcoming run of shows. “Hopefully even more people will want to come and see it and EDC will get more exposure and we can continue to grow.”
Samantha sung the praises of Natalie Weir, “although this is Natalie's first full-length piece, she is very experienced. She is very easy to work with and very supportive. Rehearsal is really fun and we get things done very quickly, she is very efficient.”
The preparation for such a piece is time-consuming and demands cooperation from the entire cast.
“We work very closely five days a week, so we get very used to each other. We respect and trust each other, it's a great environment to work in.”
EDC has spent the last year touring around Australia and intends to keep things national.
“To tour internationally is great, I have done some amazing tours. It's nice to be able to connect with different companies as we are so small ourselves and it's good to broaden our horizons. This year though we have toured around Australia, I think this is very important for the company right now.
"We need to keep building our reputation, even more so after the awards last year, but it's also just really enjoyable.”
'Where The Heart Is' is at the Playhouse, QPAC, from August 10-18.