Dancers and choreographers are coming together for Mona Foma to create works that would never have existed otherwise.
Stompin, in conjunction with Mona Foma, brought together two professional independent artists - Ashleigh Musk and Michael Smith - to create a duet titled Fertile Ground for two of the company's young artists - Sage Price and Jesper Harrison.
However, through Stompin's program, the young artists also developed their own duet titled Rival Planes. Now both will be performed at Mona Foma 2022.
Stompin artistic director Caitlin Comerford said she saw synergies and similarities between the two works being made separately.
"We pitched to Mona Foma and brought these two incredible duets together," she said.
"There's not many young artists that get such an incredible, close, intimate opportunity to be mentored and to perform with professional artists on this kind of scale."
Ms Comerford said what was needed at this point, following COVID-19, was unity and to be reminded there was a shared existence.
"Particularly when it comes to dance, there's a reminder that our body is really important and that we all need to connect more to our body and it can be part of the healing process," she said.
Fertile Ground invites the dancers and audience to engage with a pile of concrete bricks, while Rival Planes reflects on the burden and beauty of carrying, managing, and sharing emotional baggage.
Musk said Fertile Ground was originally created in 2019, but had evolved over time due to what was happening in the world.
"The basic premise is to comment on the impact of humans on the natural world, or on our environment, and how we have transformed spaces to fit our needs and left behind that interaction with the natural world," she said.
Though the event industry has experienced a growth in cancellations the past week, Mona Foma has not joined that list.
Artistic director Brian Ritchie said the festival had led the way with other things in the past and wanted to do the same with putting on events during a pandemic.
"We have a few cancellations as a result of COVID infection or vulnerable performers ... but the majority of works are still intending to go forward," he said.
"There will be some acts replaced, or some stand-alone events cancelled. This is inevitable in the current environment."
Ticket sales for Mona Foma have been "surprisingly good" according to Mr Ritchie, with the artistic director urging people concerned about capacity and safety measures to visit the Mona Foma website for more.
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