Chorus is a community dance project led by choreographer Annette Carmichael in partnership with Community Arts Network.
The project celebrates the strength of women and speaks for equality and safety for our sisters, daughters, friends and mothers.
The choreography will be created to suit the cultures, bodies and abilities of those involved. The project will culminate with the creation of a dance
performance of more than 100 women, set to be performed at Koorliny Arts Centre in Kwinana in May 2022.
Read more about the history of CHORUS and check out videos from the first iteration on the Annette Carmichael Projects website
Be part of a movement that believes community participation in the arts can transform lives, inspire change and create a more inclusive society for us all.
Donations will support creative programs that make a genuine difference to the communities we work with.
Paola is a PhD candidate in Biological Anthropology at UWA and an artist. Her research focuses on the intergenerational transmission of trauma and her art involves signing and participating in community art projects. Paola aims to merge these two areas and contribute to the development of local communities.
Paola started with CAN working on the Lotterywest Dream Plan Do project with Carolina Duca. Paola stayed on with CAN and is now the Project Manager for Chorus 2022 in partnership with Annette Carmichael Projects.
A tradition that inspires Paola is the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead. As a Mexican, Paola embraces the celebration of death as another way of valuing life; living each day to fullest because life itself should not be taken for granted.
Annette Carmichael is an award-winning choreographer and dance artist based in Denmark, Western Australia. Annette has created numerous multi-art performance works with contemporary dance at their core, also including theatre, writing, music, textiles and installation. Recent works include Solace+Yearning (2012 & 2014), My War? (2015), The Creation of Now (2015, commissioned by Ausdance WA), The Snake Run Project (2016, commissioned by Perth Festival and City of Albany).
Her most significant achievement to date is the creation of a trilogy of large dance works created with composer James Gentle and communities across the southern half of Western Australia. Chapter One, The Beauty Index, was created for men in 2017 for Brave New Works festival and will tour regional WA in 2021. Chapter Two, A Light Shade of Red, was created in 2018 with young people aged 14 – 26 years and included performances and a multi-media exhibition for the centenary of Armistice Day. Chapter Three, Chorus, was performed by a mass ensemble of women in February 2020, just one week prior to the COVID-19 pandemic reaching Western Australia.
Bernadette Lewis is a dance artist living on Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar (Borloo/Perth) working across performance, choreography, improvisation, teaching and community engagement. A WAAPA and LINK Dance graduate, she is producer and lead mentor of Hidden Movements, an experimental performance platform for emerging dancers in WA. In 2014 she was nominated for most outstanding female performer at the WA Dance Awards. Performance highlights include Maxine Doyle’s Sunset, Didier Théron’s Shanghai Bolero and Unearthly created and performed in collaboration with Natalie Allen for Perth Festival 2021. Choreographic highlights include several new commissions by WAAPA, BSSTC’s Oklahoma! and The Honeymoon Suite (winner Dance and Physical Theatre Award, FRINGE WORLD 2018). Currently, Bernadette is collaborating with fellow freelancers on strategies that will transform vertical hierarchies in the arts into harmonious ecosystems of diversity and sustainability.
Isha Sharvani is a highly regarded dance artist in India today. Touring Internationally from the age of 12, Isha has toured more than 25 countries performing in over 3000 stage shows including Holland Dance Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and Perth International Arts Festival, Royal Albert Hall and Kennedy Centre. She is also a film actor with 11 Indian feature films to her credit in three different Indian languages including Bollywood hits like Luck By Chance on Netflix. Since moving to Australia in 2015, Isha has become a mother, a climate change activist and dance therapist. She has also grown culturally through connection to country during the making of Kaya (2016) and Kwongkan (2019) with Ochre Dance. She was last seen in Whistleblower by The Last Great Hunt for Perth Festival 2021, and is currently in creative development stages for her new work Ascent.
Growing up in Albany, Rachael Colmer has always been interested in the performing arts. In 2000, she successfully auditioned and was offered a place at the WA Academy of Performing Arts in Theatre. In 2016, Rachael graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Masters of Primary Teaching. She currently teaches Drama at Great Southern Grammar in Albany. Rachael is involved with Breaksea (formally Vocal Performance Initiative), a company which aims to provide vocal performance projects in collaboration with professional and community organisations. She has performed in numerous works by Annette Carmichael including the first version of Chorus in 2020.
Rita Cobussen is an Albany based contemporary dance creator and performer. Primarily an independent artist, Rita regularly collaborates with a broad array of Artists in the Great Southern as well as further afield in Adelaide. She has been a key performer in several award winning contemporary dance works including innature, by Cayleigh Davies which received the Graham F. Smith Peace Award for its premiere in 2017, and more recently for her co-directed work, Retrieve Your Jeans, which won the 2020 Adelaide Festival Centre's InSPACE Development award. She has performed with Annette Carmichael Projects for My War? And Chorus 2020.
Sonya Stephen trained under the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing (CSTD) then furthered her dance studies with NAISDA (National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association). Combining skills, Sonya has a wealth of experience with Indigenous performing arts industry and collaborate communities to choreograph and be a cultural advisor, mentor and mediator. Choreographing mainly for students in high schools and remote communities of all ages has been rewarding but the most memorable was directing and choreographing for the Cairns Indigenous Deaf Dance group performing our cultural dancers. Most recent works she has choreographed for a Documentary on the Stolen Generation for the Follow The Dream Project with students from Cecil Andrews College and Lesmurdie High also a piece with ex WAAPA students Tai Savange and Cezera Critti Schnaars about Mr Edward Koiki Mabo. Sonya is an active community member represented in Indigenous committees to bring forth positive awareness and change.
Yola Bakker is a multidisciplinary artist from the Northern Territory who loves driving creative practice within broader industries. Whilst her performance background is embedded in dance (traditional classic Indonesian, RAD ballet and contemporary), she has, for several years now, shifted focus to playing with her poetry and photography. Yola is a creative for change dedicated to enhancing overall accessibility to the arts, particularly by marginalised communities such as those based in the regions and CaLD demographics.