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Adrianne Semmens- M Sette

A moment with Adrianne Semmens: ADT Guest choreographer August 2020

Tuesday 8 September, 2020

Last month ADT were lucky enough to have Adrianne Semmens, a choreographer from Kurruru Arts and Culture hub, spend two weeks undertaking a residency.

During her time here, Adrianne undertook a choreographic exploration centred on WATER, human’s relationship to freshwater and saltwater. The exploration recognised water as a basic necessity and source of healing and comfort, but also exposing our vulnerability.

Adrianne with the dancers of ADT. Left to right: Kimball Wong, Harrison Elliott, Rowan Rossi, Ally Clarke, Adrianne Semmens, Darci O’Rourke, Christopher Mills, Sophie Stuut and Thomas Fonua.

It was exciting to have Adrianne at The Odeon, not only as it was our first residency post-COVID lockdown, but also as she was our first resident choreographer from Kurruru Arts and Culture Hub. Kurruru helped us with the Bushfire Fundraiser in January and are also a part of The World’s Smallest Stage. Kurruru Arts and Culture hub is one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth performing arts programs, and it was absolutely our pleasure to have Adrianne here for the fortnight.

While she was here and to get to know Adrianne a little better, we asked about her career so far…

How did you find dance and how long have you been choreographing for?

“My family started me off at small local ballet school at a young age, it was there and at my high school that I was introduced to modern and contemporary dance which I loved and continued to study at Adelaide College of the Arts and NAISDA Dance College.

I began some choreographic explorations over 10 years ago, one of my first was a solo about my Grandfather with the support of Helen Cameron and Paula Baird-Colt while a dance presenter with the Australian Ballet’s Dance Education Ensemble. I wish I had footage of this!

I continued exploring some choreographic ideas with peers once returning to Adelaide, but then had a big pause while I focused on my young family, studies and work in dance education.  I am returning a focus to my own arts practice and really appreciate the opportunities that have arisen for me over the past couple of years.” 

What is your role at Kurruru Art and Culture Hub/ How long have you been there?
“I have been with Kurruru Arts and Culture Hub since October last year and focus on youth programs and supporting events/projects. I love working alongside Gina Rings and Kaine Sultan-Babij and making connections across the community.

I lead the Kurruru Youth Dance Ensemble, teaching and creating works with the youth dancers and also support the Nunga Ballet workshops. We have a wonderful group of young dancers and can’t wait to share their work with the community after some of our performance opportunities were put on hold this year.”

Adrianne overseeing rehearsal with the dancers of ADT.

How was working with ADT and what did you enjoy most about your time with the company?
“I had a beautiful time with ADT and greatly appreciated the opportunity to explore my ideas with the company dancers and have the support of Sarah-Jayne and Garry.

I really enjoyed getting to know everyone and am really grateful for the openness and generosity of the dancers and company in sharing with me throughout the process. The themes drew upon my own stories, thoughts and experiences, but were much richer for the generosity of the dancers in sharing their ideas and stories about water, to shape the movement exploration and experiments with string.”

If you would like to find out more, read Adrianne’s full bio here.