Nicole Calabrese

Australian Dance Theatre in collaboration with final year dance students from TAFE SA Adelaide College of the Arts presents an ambitious collaboration. Architecture is reimagined, energetic drawing is dance, hip hop inspired choreography redefines boundaries deftly unpacking an urban mash. Paul Andrew speaks with Student Dancer Nicole Calabrese.

WorldhoodNicole tell me about your earliest and most fond memory about dance and dancing?
Well I started a little later than most females do, I remember I was 10 years old watching Michael Jackson on television and expressed to my parents that I wanted to dance like him. So he's all why it really started. I began dancing at my local jazz and tap school around the corner. It wasn't until I was in my final years of secondary school when I discovered contemporary dance, a lot of what we studied in SACE dance in the contemporary field was related to ADT, and so working with them now is so ironic. During my school studies I discovered the Bachelor of Dance Performance course at AC arts and I guess that kind of brings me to where I am right now in my third year of TAFE study.

Tell me about your TAFE dance course?
The Bachelor of Dance Performance course is a three year degree which specialises in the study of contemporary dance. There are many elements to the course; the most important is contemporary dance performance and technique along with the study of classical ballet technique.

In addition the other compulsory subjects which make up the degree include commercial studies, yoga, Pilates, career management, dance history, critical studies, anatomy and kinesiology to name a few. The overall aim of the course is to train and transfer dancers from students into professionals and in doing so prepare them for the professional realm of contemporary dance.

The strengths of the course would have to be our dance lecturers and highly renowned choreographers who choreograph the students, the contact hours are quite high. This term we are working in collaboration with Garry Stewart and the Australian Dance Theatre in Worldhood so our main focus has all gone into the preparation of the show.

I love the fact that I, as a student have the chance to work with Garry Stewart and the ADT dancers, it is such an amazing opportunity that not many dancers will get in their careers. The fact that I have the chance to do this is quite unbelievable. I love watching the dancers work and learning from them it has given me a thorough insight into the professional world of contemporary dance. It has also made my standards for myself and the kind of dancer I want to be much higher, it has given me inspiration, passion.

Nicole what do you adore most about ADT and indeed, choreographer Garry Stewart?
Those dancers are just so remarkable, each of them give their own style to the company. They have been so amazing to watch. The abilities they possess are beyond belief. They have been so kind as to take us in and nurture us, giving us advice and inspiration left, right and centre.

Garry Stewart has been just so great to work with, I have been challenged by his choreography his expectations. Being challenged constantly is how you become better at what you do. Overall it’s an enjoyable experience with an amazing bunch of people.

Tell me about the development of Worldhood?
Worldhood explores the similarities between architecture, structures of nature and dance. Garry Stewart’s theory I suppose began with Artist Thom Buchanan's drawings of architecture and how this can be related to dance, in the show the dancer's explore this in a number of ways, one in particular is a form of hip hop called tutting, the angular shapes made in this dance form are used as a similarity between architecture and dance.

Worldhood "stretches the boundaries of dance" – how so, why so?
The physicality of the dancers are amazing, in terms of stretching boundaries, the connection between Thom's drawing and the dancing is one example, there is quite a distinctive relationship between the two. Another would be the dramatic change of pace from section to section and another example, is how one thematic concept can be explored and presented in so many different and unique ways. 

Tell me about featured freehand artist Thom Buchanan?
Garry Stewart asked our college if he could work with some students in a collaborative manner to and produced a large scale project. Thom is the artist involved, his ability to draw landscape free hand in such a short time span is amazing, some of the art work he produces is simply outstanding and he has been so lovely to work in collaboration.

What do you feel you have learned the most about collaboration in Worldhood?
I have learned many skills I have learned how to be professional, I have been challenged. I hope to keep a close connection with many of the dancers and would love to continue to learn from them. I will consider this experience a very key important process in my development, particularly when  I enter the professional world in a few years time. I will be forever grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with Garry Stewart and ADT. I still can't believe this is happening to me.

Australian Dance Theatre in collaboration with TAFE SA Adelaide College of the Arts presents

Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre
, Adelaide
When: 10 – 13 August at 7 pm

Bookings: BASS on 131 246 or online at

For more information log on to or

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