Dancers to star in 2018 Art is… festival

HORSHAM’S Art is…. festival is hoping to include Wimmera dancers in the annual celebrations for the first time.

The 2018 festival will run from June 1 to 10.

Festival director Paul Kooperman said next year’s event would take a new direction and involve dance groups for the first time.

“We are trying to make dance a focus in 2018 and we are already liaising with many groups and dance schools we have in the region,” he said.

“The festival will still have all the usual elements, including digital arts, but this is a new area we want to focus on as dance is something we haven’t engaged with in the past.

“It’s about trying to get as many people involved as possible.”

Mr Kooperman said the festival was a co-creative event, meaning they always welcomed input from community groups.

“The festival is also a chance for us to bring experts and artis to the region and engage with people,” he said.

Melbourne director Ian Pidd visited the region last month and has plans to return again in February to work with Wimmera dancers.

Mr Kooperman said the sessions were dependent on Festivals Australia funding.

“We haven’t received the funding yet – we are waiting to hear news, but our intention is to have Ian come along and engage with the community and create a performance,” he said.

Mr Kooperman said it was exciting to have support from Wimmera dance schools.

“There are quite a few of them in the region,” he said.

“We’ve also had interest from the Art Matters group, which is keen on dance, along with the Horsham Arts Councils and schools.”

Mr Kooperman said the planning was in full swing for the 2018 festival.

“We are speaking to as many groups as we can at the moment – we have a lot planned for next year,” he said.