Introducing you to our creative team…Nerida Matthaei, Nicole Canham, Leah Shelton and Alex Bryce
Nerida Matthaei – choreography, dance
Nerida completed an Honours year in 2006 researching choreographic practice after completing a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Dance), with distinction at the Queensland University of Technology. Nerida is a dance artist working as a choreographer, performer, producer, tour manager, rehearsal director and educator arts working nationally and internationally.
Nerida co-founded Phluxus2 Dance Collective in 2006 with Skye Sewell and Chafia Brooks, and is now the collectives Artistic Director. P2DC allows independant artists to push their professional and creative boundaries through collaborations resulting in the creation of innovative performance work. P2DC has created four full length works. Including their first work ‘the machine that carries the soul’ has won Critics Choice Award for Best Choreography at the 2007 Short Sweet and Dance Festival, runners up for Best Performance in the Dance/Movement category at The Age 2006 Melbourne Fringe Festival, featured at The 2007 World Dance Alliance, performed at The Street Theatre Canberra in 2009 was invited to the American Dance Guild Festival in New York City Sept 2009 where Nerida performed a solo excerpt from this work. In 2008 Phluxus collaborated with renowned artist Brian Lucas to create a quirky dance theatre work The Opposite of Prompt, performed at The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts and the 2009 Short Sweet and Dance Festival. In 2009 PDC undertook an international Blank Canvas residency at The Firkin Crane in Cork, Ireland. Once returning home PDC commenced the development of new work Boiling Point as the inaugural Artist in Residence at Dancenorth in June 2010, welcoming new P2DC artists Liesel Zink and Samantha Williams. Boiling Point was recently premiered at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in November 2010 and will undertake a schools tour in both Brisbane and Cairns areas in 2011. P2DC also has undertaken commissioned projected with companies such as QL2, Old Parliament House and Creative Generation.
Nerida also has a very active career worked for companies such as Expressions Dance Company, Buzz Dance Theatre, Queensland Arts Council, QL2/The Australian Choreographic Centre, Queensland University of Technology, Polytoxic Dance Theatre and Raw Dance Company. She has worked with a number of choreographers including Natalie Weir, Maggi Sietsma, Brian Lucas, Ruth Osborne, Felicity Bott, Claudia Alessi and Claire Marshall. Nerida is passionate about her choreographic work, which has been presented in venues and festivals across the country. Nerida was an inaugural artist in the Australia Council’s JUMP Program in which she choreographed a new work Polarity on Expressions Dance Company. This work undertook a second stage development for EDC’s Launch Pad season in March 2011. Nerida has assisted EDC Artistic Director Natalie Weir on three major works, including Where The Heart Is, winner of a 2011 Australian Dance Award. She also recently collaborated with Polytoxic Dance Theatre on their new work The Rat Trap, performed at the World Theatre Festival in Feb 2011. Nerida is currently the Director and Co-choreographer for the touring schools production, ChoreoFUNK, working with Expressions Dance Company and the Queensland Arts Council. Furthermore Nerida will be undertaking two international residencies with Au Cul du Loup, France and returning to the Firkin Crane, Ireland for the development of a new multidisciplinary work in 2011.
Nerida has also had an extensive career in arts marketing, administration and management working for arts venues, festivals and events nationally. Nerida uses these skills to enhance her artistic career. www.neridance.com
Nicole Canham – clarinet, tarogato
Churchill Fellow Nicole Canham works in mainstream classical performance specialising in chamber music, and collaborates with a range of artists from outside the world of music – theatre, film, photography, visual art and dance – exploring connections between artists and audiences. Recent work has included concerts with the quartet Clarity, participation in Chamber Made Opera’s performance and recording of Helen Gifford’s Exile, launched as an i-pad application, and residencies with new media artist Sarah Kaur at Punctum Live Arts, Victoria and the Mexican National Centre for New Music and Sonic Arts, and dancer/choreographer Nerida Matthaei at the Firkin Crane, Ireland. Recent Engagements have included concerts with Claude Delangle for Henri Selmer, Paris and the 22nd European University of the Saxophone in Fap, France, performances at the UNAM Esceula Nacional de Musica Clarinet Festival, the 12 Nights Festival of electro-acoustic music, Miami, the Visiones Sonoras Festival, Mexico and the Australian Clarinet and Saxophone Festival. Nicole is currently engaged in a major commissioning project of new works for tarogato and electronics, and in the last 12 months has premiered 10 new works in concerts in Australia, France, Mexico and the USA. She is currently engaged in an international collaborative project called Hourglass, working with a team of Mexican and Australian composers, video and installation artists. With the company Polyartistry she has just completed anb experimental video opera project in partnership with Opera Australia. http://www.youtube.com/user/polyopera After completing a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance at the Australian National University School of Music, Nicole undertook postgraduate study with renowned French clarinettist Philippe Cuper at the CNR de Versailles, obtaining her Prix de Perfectionnement and returning to Australia in 2003. Specialising in chamber music performance and presentation, Nicole has performed at festivals around Australia, including The Castlemaine State Festival, Four Winds, The Camden Haven Festival, The Adelaide Fringe Festival, The Darwin Youth Festival and the National Folk Festival. With the quartet Clarity, Nicole has performed internationally throughout Belgium, France and the UK, making their international debut at St-Martin-in-the-Fields. Her diverse musical interests and commitment to expanding the audience for classical music in Australia have seen her work as a professional musician in the mainstream with orchestras including the Sydney Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestras, and also more widely in theatre, film, new music and improvisation. She has performed in live broadcast performances for ABC Classic FM’s Sunday Live Program in Canberra and Melbourne. Nicole’s discography includes recordings for The Anthology of Australian Music, and the Tall Poppies and Move labels. She has been a Move Records artist since 2005. Nicole has worked extensively with other artists to develop music-based hybrid performance works. This has included site specific performances, commissions and special programs for the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library of Australia, The National Museum of Australia, The National Portrait Gallery, Old Parliament House, The Street Theatre (The Six Memos with Clarity and Looking for Mike Oldfield, both part of the Street’s Colliding Worlds Fusion series), The National Film and Sound Archive (Felix! Vintage Felix the Cat cartoons with live incidental music), the National Multicultural Festival and the Australian National Botanic Gardens (The Memory of Trees). www.nicolecanham.com
Leah Shelton – dance
Leah Shelton is a contemporary performance-maker, choreographer and costume designer whose work has toured internationally. Originally dance-trained, she has a diverse performance background, including over a decade working in the Suzuki Actor Training Method with physical theatre company Frank Theatre (ozfrank.com).
Leah is a core member of acclaimed dance-theatre ensemble Polytoxic (polytoxiclovesyou.com), whose signature style is inspired by the traditions of the Pacific, the guts of physical performance and the crimes of pop-culture. Leah is also co-founder of The Brides of Frank (thebridesoffrank.com), a tight dynamic outfit of five females who create intense, choreographic and satirical performances. She is a key collaborator on The Short Message Service, an interdisciplinary performance work which premiered at The Arts Centre for Next Wave 2010 and uses SMS to explore the ethics of control.
As a solo artist, Leah creates physical work that is highly visual, theatrical and absurdist. Her adoration of design, illusion and the darkly absurd has seen her squash her whole body inside a suitcase, co-star with a (fake) gorilla, and die onstage at least 132 times, train with SITI in New York, observe Robert LePage with the Metropolitan Opera, and most recently tour throughout Holland and Belgium as a guest performer with the divas of La La Parlour.
Alex Bryce – dance
Alexander trained at the Anne Fraser School of Dance on the Sunshine Coast Queensland for nine years, before being accepted into the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Studying classical ballet from a young age, Alex has completed the RAD Advanced 2 syllabus. He has just graduated from the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) where in 2009 he was awarded a scholarship to attend the Taipei International Dance Elite Academy in Taiwan. Alex has worked with many internationally renowned choreographers such as Harold Collins MBE, Paul White, Lisa Griffiths, Daniel Jaber, Natalie Weir, Shaaron Boughen, Csaba Buday and Paul Zivkovich.
In 2010 Alex participated in the Options week program for tertiary dance students where he took master classes from likes of Steven Heathcote, Daniel Jaber, ADT, and Leigh Warren. In 2010 Alex was also shortlisted by Sydney Dance Company along with Guangdong Modern Dance Company in China. Alex has also been a company member of the Melbourne Ballet Company for their past two seasons performing lead Pas De Deux’s. More recently Alex has taken guidance from Mr Daniel Jaber within his work ‘Too Far Gone, Not Far Enough’. Later in the year he will appear in the development of ‘Agile’ a work for the Kuala Lumpur Dance Festival. In August 2011, Alex was involved in ‘The Independents’ season of A Collection Of Various Selves, Choreographed by Liesel Zink a new hybrid dance theatre work.
Alex will spend the majority of 2011 touring with Expressions Dance Company under the direction of Natalie Weir within their schools education program. Touring the entirety of Queensland throughout the year performing excerpts from her work ’Frozen’ and ‘Whilst others Sleep’.