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Youth leap into change with QL2 Dance

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Amidst a year of challenges, QL2 Dance has developed an ode to activism and freedom of speech through the art of dance.

QL2 Dance Artistic Director, Ruth Osborne, and her team are proud to announce their upcoming show REBEL Then.Now.When? which explores how we rise collectively against injustice.

Ruth says REBEL Then.Now.When? was inspired by social revolutions from the 60s and 70s, as well as Greta Thunberg’s modern revolution that rallied school children across the globe against climate change.

“[The show’s] got a strong history and is really looking back…understanding how it was for those people who stood up and made a difference in the 60s and 70s and transferring it to the now.”

“There are a lot of strong messages in [the show] for young people, and audiences in general.”

QL2’s Quantum Leap ensemble is made up of young people aged eight to 26, the very people whose passionate activism ignites discussion about the issues that affect their future.

“It has been a real discovery for them about what the issues were and how much was done, and also how much has been let go,” says Ruth.

“They are all very inspired and fired up about it, whether they take that to the streets or not, but to actually have an understanding, some research and some really strong discussions.”

Ruth and QL2’s creative process is “much more than just making up dances and putting them on stage” with the process taking over seven months.

The dancers have been workshopping exactly what it means to revolt, unite and be a leader for change so that they could intellectually delve into their performance.

“We’ve been looking at different film footage and podcasts…and the material they need to passionately take on this subject matter,” says Ruth.

Although this was a challenging task during a pandemic, QL2’s staff and young dancers adapted to a new way of teaching and learning.

“My staff have been incredible in recording work and classes and zooming rehearsals on Sunday and getting everybody to do the work at home and send things in,” says Ruth.

“We are so fortunate to be in Canberra and to be able to come together again, and I think everybody’s more grateful for the face-to-face sharing that comes from this.”

Ruth and the QL2 team are especially thrilled that the show will enjoy full-capacity ticketing at Canberra Theatre Centre.

Ahead of opening night, Ruth reflects on the collaborative effort of the Quantum Leap team.

“It’s not all, monkey see, monkey do, all the choreographers we work with…understand the creative process of collaborating with these young people.”

“So, it’s very much a whole team effort of how this show comes together. I’m really proud of what we’ve done as a team.”

Photography: Lorna Sim

The Essentials

What: REBEL Then.Now.When?
When: 20 – 22 May 2021
Where: The Playhouse, Canberra Theatre Centre
Bookings: canberratheatrecentre.com.au/show/rebel

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