Many hands, legs make dance work

Many hands, legs make dance work

It took two years, three choreographers and 44 dancers from Australia and overseas to create QL2 Dance's Hit the Floor Together.

The new dance work opened at The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre, on Wednesday night.

Dancer Jack Riley is performing in <i>Hit the Floor Together</i>, which opened at the Playhouse on Wednesday.

Dancer Jack Riley is performing in Hit the Floor Together, which opened at the Playhouse on Wednesday.Credit:Jeffrey Chan

Hit the Floor Together was choreographed by Daniel Riley McKinley, Dean Cross and Deon Hastie as part of the centre's Collected Works: Australia project for Canberra's centenary.

The artistic director of QL2 Dance, Ruth Osborne, said the work was a collaboration including Kurruru Youth Performing Arts in Adelaide, NAISDA Dance College in NSW and other dancers from around Australia and Thailand, bringing indigenous and non-indigenous dancers for its creation.


Amanda Lee, 18, has been dancing with QL2 for five years. ''I've done five senior projects with the theatre and this one is really special,'' she said, expressing appreciation for the opportunity to work with dancers of different cultural backgrounds, all of whom had a role in shaping the work.

''Daniel's piece started with a look at our own backyards, it was really personal.''

Riley McKinley and Cross were both performers with QL2 Dance. Now a dancer and choreographer for Bangarra Dance Theatre, Riley McKinley said among the themes of his section, Where We Gather, were the land and its impact. He grew up in Canberra and wanted to explore how important land is here.

''I wanted to instil the idea of respecting the land, the people who were there before you … and how important it is to the people who own the land.''

Shruti Somasundaram, 19, moved to Australia from Thailand last year. She has done traditional Thai dance since she was four.

''It's really different to this,'' she said.

She decided to join QL2 Dance as a way to meet people and learn something new.

''I've gotten a lot more out of this than dance. Dean got us to talk about life and adapted it into dance. We were involved in it together.''

Hit the Floor Together is on at The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre, until Saturday, 7pm, with a 2pm matinee on Saturday. Tickets $28/$20. Bookings: 62752700 or

Ron Cerabona is an arts reporter for The Canberra Times.

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