NEWCASTLE’s first professional dance company, Catapult Dance, is set to premiere its first “full length” production at Civic Theatre.
The October 12 and 13 productions of That Place In Between have been a labour of love for respected choreographer and artistic director Cadi McCarthy, who moved to the Hunter and founded Catapult in 2012.
“To start something from scratch in a new town and to build it and get the momentum we have – lucky for us we have been receiving local, regional and national funding – is incredible in such a short amount of time,” she says.
McCarthy, who has worked globally and was artistic director for a Perth dance company for six years prior to founding Catapult, underlines that Newcastle, with its strong record of dance schools and training institutions, should have a professional dance vehicle.
“There are dance companies run and funded in places with a smaller population and with Newcastle’s amazing training institutions and how many younger dancers it produces,” McCarthy says.
Catapult’s early decision to develop the artist-in-residence program Propel, with a focus on collaborations between visiting international choreographers and local multi-disciplinary artists, has sown the seeds for its first production.
“We’ve had so many residencies, the next stage is to provide opportunities not only for choreographers but professional dancers to come here and work or who are already here to work,” says McCarthy.
Catapult stage productions in 2019 involving the award-winning dancers and choreographers Craig Bary, Omer Backley-Astrachan, Kristina Chan and Adam Blanch: “They are some of the highest calibre arists. It’ll be a mixed bill which will be interesting because each of them is so different.”
That Place In Between is about seismic moments in life, be it a relationship breakdown or career crisis, and the emotional rollercoaster they unleash.
McCarthy interviewed 50 people aged between 14 and 80 for the production, asking them about the major transitions in their life. “I make work that is accessible– it’s a show that anyone can relate to, with humour and sadness,” she says.
Catapult is keen for support from Newcastle’s corporate community to help it continue its mission to support professional and emerging artists and youth.
Its award-winning youth program Flipside is not about technique but developing creative minds.
“It’s about finding creativity in your soul because you have to be creative to exist in any form of career path, if you don’t have that creative energy then who are we as humans?” says McCarthy.