After disappearing for six years, Ignition – Australian Dance Theatre’s (ADT) showcase of emerging and mid-career choreographers – returns. Former ADT dancer Lina Limosani is glad Ignition is back as the program played a “huge role” in her desire to become a choreographer.
“I still remember the very first season of Ignition and the first ‘professional’ piece I created for it – It’s Not 4 Me,” Limosani, who presented A Delicate Situation at OzAsia in 2014, says. “I witnessed so many creators begin their careers there [ADT]: Antony Hamilton, Anton, Tanja Liedtke, Larissa McGowan, Ross McCormick and Christina Chan. We all took our first steps as creators in Ignition, and I think blew ourselves – and each other – away with what we were all actually capable of creating.” Ignition’s return will feature work from ADT’s current dancers Thomas Fonua and Matte Roffe as well as choreographers Erin Fowler and Katrina Lazaroff while Limosani will expand her work One’s Wicked Way for a half-hour performance as the commissioned choreographer. Limosani says the piece, which was originally 17 minutes long, is “completely new” aside from one scene. “I have held onto the themes and framing that I wanted to explore, however, there is only one original scene that remained,” Limosani says. “This was mainly because of the shift in the amount of dancers. The original had 13 students, which didn’t allow me to explore narrative or a story per se, but rely on choreographic structure and vocabulary. With six professional dancers, I have been able to work with a strong narrative that can hook you in and take you on a very specific journey. The contribution from experienced, mature professional performers offers so much more depth and thought that the work inevitably finds a new direction, questions and answers, and is really built around the personalities I have in the space.” Set during the baroque period, Limosani says she loves period pieces as it allows her to explore a “certain absurd theatricality”. “The times of the past were so incredibly exuberant – [the] attitudes, costumes, socially and politically. The extremes were outrageous, and so were some of the people. These times definitely lend to working with quirky characters and so setting the piece in the French Regime gave me permission to do this. “Without giving too much away, the work essentially explores the human condition and its inherent behaviours, along with questions about whether we are actually learning from important landmarks from our past.” Limosani, who has performed with Chunky Dance, Lucy Guerin, the New Zealand Dance Company as well as Scotland’s David Hughes Dance Company, will return to dance with ADT in October, for Garry Stewart’s new work Objekt. “I’m really excited to be putting myself back into the mix of ADT dancers later in the year. It’s amazing how much muscle memory our body has and I’m sure that it will all come rushing back to me very quickly, but I do know that I’m also a very different performer to my early days. And so, as a mature-aged performer, I will bring something other to the mix. For me, continuing to perform, reminds me of what it actually takes to be a professional dancer, and so when I return to choreographing, I know what I can and cannot ask of my dancers. It keeps me in touch with their needs and expectations. The stage truly is a place of worship, and so to have the opportunity to escape to it every now and then is absolutely welcoming.” Ignition Adelaide College of Arts Saturday, July 9 to Saturday, July 16 adt.org.au Photos: Chris Herzfeld – Camlight Productions