On February 4, the Adelaide Showgrounds will come alive with ‘Express’, a live burlesque performance organised by a team from The Australian Company of Performing Arts as part of an initiative created to support the arts following the hard blow dealt by COVID-19.
One Eye Open was established during COVID-19 as an artist focused initiative to support performers in the industry. With global lockdowns and border restrictions, many dancers, singers and actors were forced to relocate back home to SA, faced with the challenge of postponed and cancelled projects. The lack of work opportunities took its toll financially and mentally on these artists.
That is where director of the Australian Company of Performing Arts, Kim Grant-Taylor stepped in with a not-for-profit initiative developed with the singular aim of creating employment opportunities for performers who lost their main income due to COVID. Kim established One Eye Open, a new SA-based company producing theatre, shows and events at a professional level, from which ‘Express’ was born.
‘It was important to me that we kept the arts alive. To see the effect COVID had on so many performers, broke my heart and I wanted to make sure there was something to keep them inspired’, says Kim.
This effort by the Australian Company of Performing Arts has seen them invest $25,000 and employ 14 people in preparation for the event. This undertaking is driven by their commitment to creatives and to the industry at large.
Stressing the importance of such an initiative, manager Pep Rigano says, ‘The arts are an integral part of society. When times got tough during lockdown, we saw people turn to art as a source of comfort and escapism. But artists can’t create art without support and encouragement, so we’re trying to do all we can to ensure that they’re able to continue practicing their craft during these difficult times.’
‘Express’ features a live burlesque show by six dancers and three lead female singers in an exotic performance mixing tap, hip hop, jazz and cabaret. A team of local producers with extensive backgrounds in the performing arts and original music creation has come together to deliver this show.
Express opens on February 4 and will close on February 7, with eight shows running over four consecutive nights at the Adelaide Showgrounds.