Celebrating his eleventh year as the Artistic Director of the Australian Dance Theatre, Garry Stewart is looking to challenge your concept of ‘I’ with the world premiere of Be Your Self.
Collaborating with famed New York architectural firm Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, Stewart wanted to create a complete 3D contemporary dance experience that confronts what people believe to be their self by exploring the body and mind through dance, word, video graphics and architectural design.
Meditation, Buddhism and post-modern theory have also been a strong influence in Stewart’s work, with the Australian Dance Theatre at the forefront of international contemporary dance under his artistic direction.
After initially studying social work at University, Stewart dropped out after experiencing a live dance performance. The movement of the dancers in the performance made a strong connection with him so Stewart dropped out of University to concentrate on his new found passion. Coming into dance later in life, Stewart found that his tenacity pushed him to becoming one of the most highly sought after freelance choreographer in Australia. After starting his own dance company in 1998 entitled Thwack!, 1999 saw his relationship with the Australian Dance Theatre develop further as he was made their Artistic Director.
“I am incredibly lucky to be in a position where the company supports my decisions and is willing to try new things. I always try and challenge my dancers to question the fundamental principles of dance”.
Highly successful productions and awards have led Stewart to be headhunted for the US version of So You Think You Can Dance with Stewart choreographing the quarter and semi finals. Stewart has also been part of this season’s Australian version by teaching contemporary dance to the top 20.
So what initially enticed Stewart to undertake such a progressive production such as Be Your Self?
“I’ve always been interested in the concept that self is unified and linear whereas perhaps self is an illusion. I want the audience to watch Be Your Self and be motivated to question their beliefs, as our dancers have”.
Stewart is a remarkable artist that only wishes to inspire people and introduce them to new ways of thinking. Be Your Self will promise to be a visual delight that exemplifies the best in not only Adelaide dance, but also the best that Australian dance has to offer.
Where: Her Majesty’s Theatre, Grote St
When: Preview – 19 February 8.00pm
Season – 20 & 23-28 February 8.00pm
Book at BASS 131 246 or www.adelaidefestival.com.au