When you think of the perfect place to host a dance performance, a theatre or at least, somewhere with a flat surface comes to mind.
The side of a hill - particularly one as steep as the one at the National Arboretum - seems like a recipe for an ankle injury.
The dance piece, titled Hillscape, which is performed as part of the music festival's Seeds of Life concert, in what will be the third time the two Canberra events have collaborated and will mark the National Arboretum's 10th anniversary.
"The audience will gather at the top of the slope in a central location, and then watch from the front on but the dancers are sort of working in almost a telescope perspective," Ausdance director Cathy Adamek said.
"And as dancers, in terms of their stamina, a long warmup is required for this one because they are working barefoot. And as [choreographer] Ashley Bye said, there's a couple of references to Sound of Music - dancing on the slope, in the matter of Julie Andrews, but only a very passing reference to that.
"The stamina that's required for that is incredible. And it builds to some lovely unison work. But the gradient and the perspective are two of the things that you have to work with as a choreographer."
Australian Dance Week is an annual event that for the past 41 years has seen Canberra promote its more than 100 dance studios with a variety of performances and workshops.
Held from Friday until May 7, the capital has the country's largest programming, with Ausdance taking the chance to highlight some of the talents that were cultivated in Canberra, and found themselves working overseas.
Every year, Dr Adamek said the festival aims to get some of that talent back to Canberra to help teach the next generation through workshops.
This year's program includes former Canberrans Jozsef Trefeli, who has spent his career dancing in Geneva and will host an intergenerational Hungarian folk dance workshop, and James Batchelor and Liz Lea who will be performing at the Canberra Theatre during Australian Dance Week.
"In terms of training, Canberra is a brilliant place to train to dance," Dr Adamek said.
"And that goes on to manifest in people's careers in Australia and internationally. And I know that through Youth Dance Festival - which we run in the second half of the year - the number of people who have gone through that festival and gone on to have amazing careers."
Also featuring at this year's festival is South Indian classical dancer Vaidehi Subramanyan, the world premiere screening of What Are We Fighting For by a mix of Swiss and New Zealand dancers who connected over Covid, and a Canberra Dance Theatre performance at the National Portrait Gallery, by commissioned choreographers Josh Freedman and James Batchelor.
For the full Australian Dance Week program go to ausdanceact.org.au/adw-2023.
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