Alex Dellaportas founded youth dance company Spark Productions in 2016 at just 18 years old. Frustrated with the lack of practical opportunities for young people in the dance industry, Alex saw a need for a youth-run organisation where they could foster local talent, provide hands-on experience, and build a collaborative community of like-minded people passionate about dance and stage production.

Now in its third year, Spark Productions will tour its production of Ariadne, a 90-minute contemporary dance show accompanied by a full professional orchestra. The 30 performing dancers are aged seven to 25 and all elements are designed and executed by youths including choreography, sets and lighting.

Ariadne is based on the popular Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, told from the often forgotten perspective of the heroine. The piece is a modern take on a woman who misunderstands herself and the nature of humanity. Set to a live orchestra, the contemporary dance explores undertones of struggle, closure and acceptance, and teaches us that not all monsters should be conquered.

Alex began dancing when she was just two years old and choreographs all shows for Spark Productions. She is proud to provide a safe, welcoming place for creative individuals to come together. “Studying dance at university didn’t provide the experience that I was looking for. I wanted to get straight into the workforce but there was no opportunity for me, as a young person, to lead projects and learn on the job. It made sense to start a company where I could live my dreams and help others to realise their potential at the same time.”

Her company operates with three set objectives that set them apart from others in the industry; it is directed by young people, it provides opportunities for young people, and it promotes positive mental health.

Ariadne tours in Bunjil Place, Narra Warren on Thursday 23 May; Ulumbarra Theatre in Bendigo Thursday 30 May; Clocktower Centre, Moonee Ponds Thursday 6 June; and the National Theatre in St Kilda on Friday 7 June.

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