RickStix Productions: Stimulating the Australian Arts Economy

  Adrian Ricks, Artistic Director and founder of RickStix Productions, took time out to speak with AussieTheatre.com about his brand new theatrical dance show – Release – just hours before the premiere of his first major work. 

 Adrian RicksAdrian Ricks, Artistic Director and founder of RickStix Productions, took time out to speak with AussieTheatre.com about his brand new theatrical dance show – Release – just hours before the premiere of his first major work.  Release, which opened tonight at Gaworks, Melbourne is what Ricks describes as “a high energy, quirky and dynamic work inspired by a series of dance quotations”, and having seen the preview myself this afternoon, I couldn’t recommend this show highly enough.  With an extremely talented cast (including Ricks himself), this 38 minute dance work pays homage to some of the great pioneers of dance: George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Fred Astaire, Jiri Kylian and Bob Fosse, incorporating their unique styles and nuances into one beautifully presented (and magnificently performed) work of art.  Aside from being an incredible dancer (he is one of those performers you simply must see dance, at least once in your life), Ricks is also the director and choreographer of the show. Making his professional theatre debut at the age of 8, this 26 year old performer/choreographer/producer is magnetic and inspiring to watch and certainly no stranger to the theatrics of dance. Martha Graham once said “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” This couldn’t be more applicable to Ricks as he talks about his choreographic work with the same passion and enthusiasm he exudes while dancing. “I have always had a passion for choreographing works, and it just started to really take a hold of me. I wanted to showcase what I love about dance, and I figured that the best way to demonstrate this is through a series of dance quotations. Yes, it is contemporary-based, but within the piece there is old school jazz, some comedy and more”, he said.  Release“I’ve also incorporated different nuances from Cyd Charisse, Fred Astaire, Martha Graham because dance today wouldn’t be where it is – or what it is – without the influences of these pioneers. They are why we do what we do, and why we love it.” Adrian Ricks also spoke of his hopes to create an institution – a production company like no other.  “Eventually, I want my own company. An in-house company where we come into work every day and we do our classes and work on our repertoire. But I also want it to be as diverse as it possibly can be. This is not just going to be a dance company. I want to incorporate singers, actors, everything. I want to be able to give opportunities to dancers, composer, designers, actors, singers…” Basically, Adrian Ricks wants to stimulate the Australian Arts Economy – and thank goodness for that!   Adrian Ricks is a name to remember – someone with this amount of talent, intelligence and know-how is sure to succeed. This young man, and his production company need support, and I for one am very happy to give it. We need to see more of Adrian Ricks – both on stage and through his choreography.  Release is absolutely beautiful. The performances are spectacular, the choreography is at once both intricate and subtle, intuitive and exciting. The entire 38 minutes are an absolute feast for the eyes and soul. If you are moved by movement, art and emotion – see this show.  Photos by: Matt Edwards Release is showing atGasworks TheatreCnr Graham and Pickles Street, Albert Park  Performances:  Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 July, 8pmSaturday 16 July, 3pm Directed & Choreographed by: Adrian RicksPerformed by: Ross Hannaford, Gen O’Keeffe,  Ashleigh Renee Perrie, Simon Plant, May Yen, Maxwell Trengrove, Adrian Ricks, Sam Harrison & Michael Ramsay  Bookings:www.gasworks.org.au Website:www.rickstixproductions.com 
See a preview of Release’s rehearsal period here:   

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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