2015 -the 2nd Year of Mill Street Studios

2015 was a year focused on building Mill Street Studios as a business and school, as well as catching up on such a busy time for a few years prior.

After the Australian Dance Awards, (see previous post), I came back to reality and picked up my paint brush and finished some much needed repairs at Mill Street Studios. The floors in particular needed attention. The black studio space needed a better sanding job, and the white space (despite faily well sanded) saw the white paint yellowing again. I had to accept that an entirely white space just was not doing to look good for very long and a quick fix coat of white wasn’t going to do the job.This time I decided to call in the professional floor company (Southern Cross Floor Company). I thought it would be exciting to paint the floor in some different colours. I had an idea to paint the space in stripes alongthe floor boards. Silver and black was the choice, and the floor company were excited to do this. I learnt that the smoother the sanding finish, the less paint that was required. Seeing the space all sanded back again reminded me of the first time I rennovated in late 2013 in the lead up to opening the space and I was happy to see it finished. Thankfully the floor company worked quickly and cleaned up after themselves. I was impressed with their work.
The white space was revamped with black and silver stripes.I wasn’t originally going to do much to the black space, but the idea of the stripes continuing into the other space was enticing, so red and black it was!
The floors have held up well so far.

While I decided not to make any new work in 2015, I took the time to choreograph a few pieces on my students. It was important to take the time to invest in building the school by working with the students as much as it was imporant to invest money in fixing up the floor. I had a lot of fun working with the students creating some new pieces for them. Here’s a few photos.
This was an uptempo piece on student 10 years and under. It was a narrative about a deaf robot, and was about acceptance, and being unique.
The mannequins from Flaunt did not want to give up the spotlight, but rather multiplied.

I enjoyed designing the costumes. An amazing seamstress and sewer called Anna-lise Walker made these from my drawing I gave her. Anna-lise also made the Nun costumes in Ward of State. I am always impressed by the attention to detail in her sewing.

This was another very robotic piece, again made by Mrs Walker based on my design. And there was this sort of very “contemporary dance theatre” piece with a narrative and action packed with a lot of dramatic moments.There was a piece called Mirrors, created in response to some personal things related to friendship and self image for the cast.And a piece called Strut on the senior class (aged about 15-18).
Before I knew it, it was December and the end of year recital time for Mill Street Studios. The time I had invested in the space and the school was worthwhile and the growth was evident. To see the students grow and improve was so rewarding. We even had two of the senior students accepted into full time training in Sydney and numerous other successes over the year.

Following the recital. I also put together a little cut down of footage of the recital to use as promotional purposes on the Mill Street Studios website. https://vimeo.com/154330613

2016 was going to be a big year, as I’d recently leaned Flaunt had received funding for a Queensland Tour through Arts Queensland, (and with thanks to the brilliant grant writing of my awesome producer Jo Thomas at Metro Arts). More about that in my next post.

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