Everybody cut loose: your chance to star as part of Dance Week
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Everybody cut loose: your chance to star as part of Dance Week

I love dancing: in my lounge room to Justin Bieber, to Wham! on the dance floor of 1980s-themed nightclub 88mph and in the car to Missy Elliott. I'm not very good, but I love it.

And that's the point of Australian Dance Week, to get 40-year-old mums like me - and every other Australian, really - exploring and watching dance, getting out and about shaking their booties, and understanding the importance of movement.

Gearing up for Dance Week (from left): Matthew Erlandson, a full-time student at Dance Development Centre; Project Beats director Chip Lo; contemporary dancer Hikma Aroub; independent dance artist Debora Di Centa; and Bom Funk dance studio student Emily Mullins.

Gearing up for Dance Week (from left): Matthew Erlandson, a full-time student at Dance Development Centre; Project Beats director Chip Lo; contemporary dancer Hikma Aroub; independent dance artist Debora Di Centa; and Bom Funk dance studio student Emily Mullins.Credit:Sitthixay Ditthavong

Australian Dance Week 2018 kicks off locally this Sunday with Big Dance, a giant performance on the forecourt of the National Portrait Gallery, starring - wait for it - anyone who wants to be in it.

Canberrans can go online to learn the choreography, which is beautiful (and very simple) and has been put together by Bangarra Dance Theatre's Frances Rings, in conjunction with NZ choreographer Craig Bary. Big Dance has been designed for all ages, all abilities and all experiences.

The Dance Week program for Canberra is packed but here are my top three picks:

  • Packed Lunch - Five ACT-based dance artists deliver new works on climate awareness, refugees, domestic violence and politics. All in your lunch break. May 1, Gorman Arts Centre and May 3, National Film and Sound Archive.
  • Escalate III - a group of young Canberra dancers has spent four months being mentored by the best in the business. They've each concepted and choreographed their first dance piece for the stage. May 3-5, Gorman Arts Centre.
  • Dance on the Edge - the divine Jamie Winbank returns to the capital for the weekend to star in a series of dance works (along with many others) exclusive to the north side. May 5-6, Belconnen Arts Centre.

For more information and the full Dance Week program head to the Ausdance ACT Facebook page. To learn the Big Dance choreography for the event on Sunday, April 29, head to www.bigdance.org.au

Bree Element is the life and entertainment editor at The Canberra Times

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