Newsletter – Tanja Liedtke Foundation
A letter from Kristina Chan
Original collaborator/performer and current Remount Director
2017 marks ten years since my dear friend and colleague Tanja passed away. Funny, witty and cheeky to her friends, driven, committed and high achieving to her colleagues and peers, she was inspiring, supportive and generous to all that knew her.
This year also marks ten years since she brought together a small group of friends to make a little show called construct. Tanja, Paul White, her partner Sol Ulbrich and I made something out of not much, creating and preparing in Adelaide for a premiere at the Southbank Centre in London, followed by a tour around the UK. There was a lot at stake as the work hadn’t yet been made when the tour was booked, which is fairly unheard of in the world of independent dance. But people believed in Tanja and were willing to take those kind of risks. This would be the final work she would make as an independent choreographer before taking up her biggest challenge yet, the role of Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company. Her choreographic future was looking bright, but as it turned out construct was the last work she would make. This is just one reason that construct has sentiment. Apart from being one of the most physically demanding works I have ever performed, the bond we made making and performing it concreted our friendship and committed our practice to making work with integrity. This was the true gift that was given to me during this process.
After Tanja passed we had to form an even tighter bond to continue into the future without her. We toured construct nationally and internationally, sharing our sacred space with more special people who performed the role Tanja made for herself - Alessandra Mattana, Lisa Griffiths and Charmene Yap. We continued to build friendships and trust, supporting each other through grief and celebration as time and memories blurred.
Ten years later I am standing on the other side of it all creating a space for new relationships to develop within, and to, the work. Now having a new role in construct as Remount Director, it is my job to pass on the knowledge and experiences that Paul, Tanja, Sol and I shared in making and performing this work. Tapping into memories of my body and mind, and the occasional skype rehearsal with Paul, I attempt to maintain the integrity of the work, imagining how Tanja might want it to look and feel.
Not only is it timely to bring construct back to life in 2017, but to do so in the place it was created and with the company where Tanja, Sol, Paul and I met, dancing together and beginning our careers in dance - I couldn’t think of a more significant place and time to celebrate the life of Tanja and her work. I would like to thank Garry Stewart, ADT and the exceptional and highly capable new construct cast, Kimball Wong, Jana Castillo and Marlo Benjamin, for making this happen.
We just added the announcement of a matinee performance of construct on Saturday 2nd December at 1.30pm. Time is running out to book your tickets!
29 November - 2 December / The Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Gabriel Sinclair and Alison Plevey. ‘inspiring dance’ 2017 at QL2. Photo: Lorna Sim.
QL2 Dance in Australia - 'inspiring dance' 2018
We are so pleased that QL2 Dance in Australia will be running the 'inspiring dance’ program again for another group of dance graduates in January 2018. This will be the fourth time this organisation has hosted these workshops and once again Kristina Chan and Amelia McQueen will lead the dancers through the program. We are thrilled more young dancers will experience the 'inspiring dance' program and be exposed to, and inspired by Tanja’s work.
We would like to thank Kristina, Amelia and QL2 Dance for their amazing commitment and dedication.
Deutschlandstipendium at the HfMDK Frankfurt
We are proud to support the student Lena Paetsch from Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt for the second time with the Deutschlandstipendium.
Lena wrote us a lovely thank you note:
„Vielen lieben Dank an die Tanja Liedtke Stiftung für die fortwährende Unterstützung bei meinem Tanz-Studium. Ich freue mich sehr über das äußerst persönliche Engagement und Interesse von Gerlinde und Kurt Liedtke und hoffe, sie auch im kommenden Jahr bei einer meiner Aufführungen im Publikum zu sehen, um etwas zurückgeben zu können. Herzliche Grüße, Lena“
Seasons greetings to all of you from Tanja Liedtke Foundation