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Talented First Nation dancers set to create unique choreography for New Breed

Rhiannon Clarke -

Four talented dancers have been given the opportunity to create their own unique choreography for this year's exciting tenth anniversary of New Breed.

New Breed 2023 provides Australian choreographers with an invaluable opportunity to work with Australia's leading contemporary dance company on a newly commissioned piece.

The program is well established as Australia's most exciting showcase of raw talent and fresh ideas from some of the country's most gifted emerging choreographers.

Wiradjuri and Gamillaraay man, Beau Dean Riley Smith, is just one for the talented four that will put on a show at the Carriageworks from 6 - 16 December.

Smith is an award-winning dancer, choreographer and actor who performed with Bangarra Dance Theatre from 2013 to 2022 under the artistic direction of Stephen Page.

Originally from Dubbo NSW, he was raised on Yuin Country in Culburra Beach and Nowra, now living on Gadigal land.

He studied Theatre at WAAPA and later joined NAISDA Dance College graduating with a Diploma of Dance. In his 10 years with the company, he has performed in over 22 major productions.

Smith's range for performing doesn't stop on the stage. He also performed in films such as Spear (Stephen Page) and Moving Targets (Tony Albert), whilst choreographing Miyagan from OUR land people stories.

His career highlights include performing the title role in Bennelong (2017) of which he later won a Helpmann Award for Best Male Dancer in a Ballet, Dance, or Physical Theatre Production.

Smith also won an Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer and was nominated for the GreenRoom Award for Dance (Male Performer).

Beau Smith is an award-winning performer (Image: Pedro Greig)

In recent years Smith made his musical theatre debut as Dave Daylight in The Sunshine Club by Queensland Theatre under Wesley Enoch's direction.

In 2023 He will make his Sydney Theatre Company debut in The Visitors directed by Wesley Enoch.

Smith's passion for First Nations storytelling crosses artistic disciplines to bring to life the distinctive energy and nuanced quality central to cultural and contemporary Indigenous life.

Leading the next generation of rich choreographic voices, this year's program will feature works by Eliza Cooper, dancer, choreographer, costume designer and this year's recipient of a prestigious ATLAS Choreographic Training Programme scholarship for ImPulsTanz: Vienna International Dance Festival.

Also to feature include dancer, choreographer and recipient of the Keir Choreographic Award for 2022, Tra Mi Dinh and Riley Fitzgerald, a current Sydney Dance Company dancer who returns to Australia after two years with the Ballet National de Marseille, France.

New Breed made its debut in November 2014, supporting emerging Australian choreographers through the commissioning and presentation of new dance work.

Since its inception, the initiative has seen 35 emerging dance artists present world premiere works on the Company, such as leading contemporary choreographer Melanie Lane, and Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre, Daniel Riley.

Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela said New Breed has been instrumental in helping to support the early careers of some of Australia's most exciting emerging dancemakers for the past ten years.

"...I am delighted to introduce this year's four choreographers for our New Breed 2023 program, and look forward to the continuation of this invaluable initiative for many years to come," Bonachela said.

Carriageworks CEO Fergus Linehan commented on how the multi-arts organisations is incredibly proud, saying this year's instalment of New Breed promises to deliver another ambitious program of innovative choreographic work.

Victoria Balnaves of The Balnaves Foundation said in the celebration of their tenth anniversary, New Breed is an extremely exciting milestone with the foundation having the privilege to watch up-and-coming artists' vision be brought to life.

New Breed 2023 will be helf from 6-16 December at Carriageworks, in St Eveleigh, Sydney.

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