Behind the scenes: Apart ....yet together 
sponsored by the ICDF Foundation for International Dance Day 
Corinne and Celine Urquhart 
A dance for dancers during social isolation 
Apart …yet together,  sponsored by the Foundation was prepared last week for International World Dance Day.  The United Nations of Dance, under International Council of Dance (CID) called for videos showcasing young dancers affected by the pandemic.  The Foundation sponsored a dance on the theme- hope, faith and love. 
The President of CID, Alkis Raftis’ direction to choreographers was to produce a work on dancers under 18 that would celebrate “the uplifting of humanity towards the noble goals set by UNESCO’s summit organizations”.  Our submission met these criteria and we quickly went to work to prepare a dance. 
 Apart... yet together (2020) 
Choreography: Corinne Urquhart and Celine Urquhart 
Videography: Robert Urquhart 
Music: Lauren Daigle, Robert Urquart 
Producer: Jennifer Dennis 
Jennifer Dennis – Producer 
Jenny was recently awarded the Flame Award for service in leadership and dance ministry within CDFA and ICDF Foundation in 20198. She has been a dancer, choreographer and dance teacher, as well as holding positions in Local Government as a policy advisor on urban planning matters. She became the Chair of the Foundation last year, following the outstanding work of Mary Jones,OAM. 

"It saw a message from the President of CID to submit dance work for International Dance Day only days before the deadline. I quickly sought feedback from the United Nations of Dance on our theme - hope, faith and love- and was encouraged to submit," says Jenny Dennis, Chair of the Foundation. "It was all crazy work from then on- within days the dance was conceived, developed and filmed by three very talented members of the Urquhart family- Corinne, Celine and Robert."
Social isolation rules provided strict boundaries to the creative process – with only one household and me (the other) being able to work together.  The team only met once when filming, maintaining separation and constant hand cleaning. We filmed in the Sunday morning light.  Its rawness captures the sincerity of the work.  We hope you will appreciate the quality of this young dancer 'pulling off' an accomplished performance on the hard floor of the church to the soft grass- both with their challenges. 
Corinne Urquhart, director/choreographer 
Corinne is a trained and registered R.A.D. Ballet teacher and experienced contemporary dancer and choreographer. She has directed ‘Emotive Arts Contemporary Dance Company’ for many years (previously also known as Crea Ruach Creative Arts) and has been involved in numerous dance events such as Platform Shorts, Project Dance and Abundance Concerts. Here are her thoughts: 
"Jenny Dennis, Chair of the Foundation, invited Celine and me Friday 24 April to create a dance on Celine for International Dance Day 2020- Wednesday 29 April - to be completed over the weekend to meet the submission deadline. The aim of the dance was to encourage the dance community during the pandemic. Celine, my daughter, is highly impacted, as she is missing her training, separated from her friends and teachers in Germany.  Celine is working very hard to maintain her strength at home, but eagerly awaits the day when she can return to the John Cranko Schule In Stuttgart. 
Celine and I wanted the dance to be about a young dancer holding onto her hopes and dreams- during this time of disruption.
We chose two locations to set the story.  Jenny wanted to film in one of the oldest churches in Sydney. We added the park under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, opposite the Opera House. I used a circular structure for the piece: The dancer moves between these locations. 

The locations chosen symbolize many things. The Church building represents people gathering and celebrating their unity through faith in Christ. The empty building symbolises the current separation from each other required through self-isolation and social distancing. Celine dances between the empty pews, gesturing that she still feels connected to her friends, even when apart.  The Opera House symbolises Celine holding onto her hopes and dreams for her future - her desire of becoming a professional ballerina.  The Bridge is a symbol of faith, as it facilitates a connection between disconnected places; the present and the future.  We do not know what the near future holds, in the aftermath of this pandemic? Yet God’s promises of love, goodness and provision are the unseen assurances we have in Christ.
The song ‘You say’ by Lauren Daigle, a popular US songwriter and singer, focuses on promises to us from  God: in this dance, to encourage young people to find their identity in God as they grow into adulthood. The chorus ‘I believe’ repeats 3 times , with the dynamic rising each time . In the first chorus Celine gently courus in the sanctuary of the church, a place seen to as being closest to the heart of God. The second time, the fouetté entournant action shows an increase in strength of faith, and the third time, Celine jetés with great vigour and freedom, onto the grass in front of the opera house-  expressing her hope for the future. 
It was a wonderful privilege to work with my daughter on this dance. I deeply respect her technical ability, overseas training, hard work and sensitivity of expression and wonderful appreciation of dance as an artform."

Celine Urquhart – Dancer
Celine, an Australian ballet student, is currently studying at the prestigious John Cranko Schule (JCS), associated with the Stuttgart Ballet, Germany. Celine has won numerous ballet awards and academic scholarships. She was recipient of the Robert & Elizabeth Albert Ballet Scholarship, winner of the Australian Institute of Classical Ballet Junior Prize, NSW R.A.D. Isobel Anderson Awards and the NSW R.A.D. Joan & Monica Halliday Awards. Here are Celine’s thoughts: 

"I loved working on this piece as it gave me the opportunity to explore new emotions and movements in two beautiful settings. In both places, I was able to freely move again with so much empty space around me.  It reminded me of how much I miss the large studios and the opportunities I had in Stuttgart.
It was inspirational to work with my mother and to witness her gift of choreography.  It was a great experience to observe the way she developed beautiful messages through the movements we created together. 
I want to say a big thank you to Jenny Dennis, who gave me this wonderful opportunity. I am very grateful for all her support during this project, as well as over the past years.
Thank you for the positive feedback from viewers:  Your kind words and support have inspired me to keep pursuing my dreams through this difficult time. "

Robert Urquhart, music (Hope) and technical assistant & Lauren Daigle 
"Thank you Robert, for pulling the production together- pre and post - production work and for writing the musical introduction. Thanks Lauren for the wonderful and positive song - 'You Say' perfect for our times and this dance..we all loved working with your song" says Jenny. 

Church on the Hill, Sydney (formally St Philips) and Rev Justin Moffat
"The use of the church was a fantastic addition to our project", says Jenny, "The team really appreciated the support from Justin and using such an historic and beautiful space was such a privilege." 
“This is stunning! So inspiring!’
 Susie Bond, Physiotherapist and Pilates teacher, Sydney
“Incredibly inspiring combination of elite talent, execution and energy captured so expertly on film… Celine’s hard work and dedication provides an incredible role model for youth who may be feeling down in these challenging times. This dance work is such a gift to the world right now.”
 Lucy Jarasius, ICDF Steering Committee Asia-Pacific Connection
"So professional and with a real message for the times we are in."
Mary Jones OAM, ICDF Founder and CaraMayan Director
In rehearsal  - Apart.....yet together ....
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About the ICDF Foundation
The ICDF Foundation supports the International Christian Dance Fellowship (ICDF) in its aim to serve the movement arts in ministry and mission in a visible, available and relevant way by:
·       recognising excellence in Christian Dance/Movement ministry; 
·       raising money for scholarships/special projects;  
·       promoting Christian dance/movement internationally. 

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