MERGE is the ideal company for aspiring young dancers who are looking for challenging, explorative and technical work that will give them the knowledge and understanding of what is involved in the contemporary dance industry.
The vision for MERGE is to enhance and develop the artistic individuality in each dancer, challenging them to explore and create contemporary dance while collaborating with some of Australia’s leading contemporary artists.
MERGE aims to extend and engage young artists to be independent, creative and confident in their contemporary dance abilities with the goal of developing their performance skills to that of a professional standard.
‘ADJUDICATOR’S CHOICE’ AWARD 2015, 2016 & 2017
DEANNA CASTELLANA’S CHOREOGRAPHY
BRISBANE DANCE EISTEDDFOD
MEET THE TEAM
Under the expert guidance of specialised teachers, MERGE Dance Theatre works with many industry professionals bringing the best of contemporary dance to our performers.
MERGE DANCE THEATRE DIRECTOR
MERGE DANCE THEATRE GUEST TEACHER
MERGE DANCE THEATRE INSTRUCTOR
After graduating from the Queensland Dance School of Excellence, Deanna attended the Queensland University of Technology where she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Dance. Throughout her degree, Deanna worked with leading artists such as Natalie Weir (Artistic Director, Expressions Dance Company), Anton (Adelaide Dance Theatre), and Harold Collins (Former Artistic Director, Queensland Ballet), and was selected to perform at the Tari Dance Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After completing her degree, Deanna went on to perform for several years with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines during which time she progressed to the role of Dance Captain.
Deanna has extensive experience both teaching and choreographing for pre-professional dance students. She has also coached students in contemporary variations for the Prix de Lausanne and Youth America Grand Prix.
For many years, Deanna has taught and choreographed for leading pre-professional and full time dance schools including ACPA (Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts), Classical Coaching Australia, Prudence Bowen Atelier, Queensland Dance School of Excellence, Promenade Dance Excellence Program, and Davidia Lind Dance Centre. In 2015, Deanna was invited to choreograph for NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) in a graduation performance called ‘Spring Awakening.’ Deanna’s passion lies in contemporary dance, and the creation of new and exciting, collaborative work. Her vision is to incorporate an integrated and holistic approach to educating, training, and mentoring aspiring, young dancers to enhance their artistic abilities and lift their contemporary dance skills to a professional level.
Alana graduated from the New Zealand School of Dance in 2010 and was awarded the ‘New Zealand Dancer’ scholarship in her second year of training. Toward the end of her graduating year, Alana attended an Australian secondment with Sydney Dance Company, and was thus invited to attend their auditions. As a result, Alana was offered a contract with the company, sponsored by FOXTEL, who chronicled her experience as a dancer in a documentary.
Alana then worked with Sydney Dance Company for four years from 2012 – 2015. She has performed in Rafael Bonachela’s Project Rameau, 2 One Another, Emergence, 2 in D Minor, Scattered Rhymes, Frame of Mind, New Breed and Triptych. Frame of Mind won the 2015 Helpmann Award for ‘Best Choreography in a Dance Work’ and also ‘Best Dance Work’.
Throughout her time at Sydney Dance Company Alana has worked with guest choreographers Emanuel Gat, Stephanie Lake, Alexander Ekman, Jacopo Godani (Director of the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company), Gideon Obarzanek, Andonis Foniadakis, Gabrielle Nankivell’s and Daniel Riley.
Alana toured internationally with Sydney Dance Company to China, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Germany, she also toured North America, South America and Russia with the acclaimed 2 One Another, winner of the ‘Best Ensemble’ Award in the 2012 Green Room Awards and the 2013 Australian Dance Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Choreography’ and ‘Outstanding Performance by a Company’.
We welcome Alana to Merge Dance Theatre and look forward to having her teach the students and share her love and knowledge of contemporary dance.
Within this time, students will partake in contemporary training with Deanna Castellana and guest teachers from within the contemporary dance industry.
The program will also include developing choreographic skills and rehearsals for MERGE’s end of season production.
MERGE performers will be required for a one-week dance intensive in either the first or second week of the September school holidays (TBC) in preparation for the performance.
MERGE Dance Theatre’s end of season production will take place at the beginning of term 4 (1st October 2016.)
END OF SEASON PRODUCTION
SAT, OCTOBER 2017
SUN, OCTOBER 2017
To educate and challenge young, aspiring dancers to become independent and professional contemporary dance artists.
To incorporate dance, choreographic skills, improvisation skills, collaboration work, partner work and acting skills into rehearsal and performance.
To create new and exciting work for the ambitious and contemporary driven young artist / choreographer.
To inspire and challenge audiences to understand and embrace the contemporary dance art form.
To create a bridge between dance schools and professional companies.
To bring together likeminded young dancers who are looking for challenging, explorative, and technical work that will give them the knowledge and understanding of what is involved in the contemporary dance industry.
Auditions are open to dance students 12 years and over (age as at 1st January), with students at a minimum Ballet level of Intermediate Foundation RAD or equivalent.