DIRTY DINGO Getting down and dirty

Get ready to party like it’s the early 2000s! Local dance team Unknown Creative Arts are inviting Perth to throw on their cowboy hats on and enter the “fun, sexy, and slightly grungy world” of Dirty Dingo at The Sewing Room on Fridays and Saturdays from Friday, January 14 to Saturday, January 29. KWANWOO HAN caught up with director Isabella Boladeras to find out the story behind its Western Australian premiere and why she can’t wait to serve up a night of entertainment from the top of the bar this Fringe World.

Congrats on bringing Dirty Dingo to Fringe World 2022! How does it feel to present this year?

Thank you so much, and thank you for the support! It has honestly been an unreal experience, such a wave of emotions throughout the whole process, but has been one of my favourite shows to put together.

Dancing, like all arts, has to have come from somewhere, something that inspired its creation. What is Dirty Dingo‘s inspiration, or what started it?

Unknown Creative Arts has always been about reminding people why they started dancing, or allowing them to still have fun while improving and training especially for young women and females or anyone who identifies as female, from an early age as dancers, you’re told to look a certain way, act a certain way and dance a certain way. At our company we threw that all out the window and did what we love, while respecting the cultures and countries it has come from, I think this is emulated in this show.

Our classes at our company have this insane atmosphere of almost feeling like a club but in a dance class, so when myself and co-director Angelina were trying to think of a Fringe show to devise we wanted to emulate that in a show, so it wasn’t just for people who came to the dance classes but for everyone who just wanted to have a boogie. In addition to this, the unapologetically sexy side of the amazing show Coyote Ugly – we are not asking anyone for permission for the way we have decided to move, dress and dance but if people vibe it that’s amazing and if they don’t that’s okay too!

Designing and organising a dance routine is difficult because you have to pick what the music is and what manoeuvres to perform. How long has Dirty Dingo been in the works for, and what was the process?

Brainstorming for Dirty Dingo began in August, and I believe rehearsals started in October – so it has been in the works for a while. Again I am so lucky to have my two best friends that choreographed with me for Unknown, Angelina Boladeras and Paris Reha. They are the backbone of this company as much as I am from Comps, to concept videos, we work like machines creatively together and it could be because we’ve been dancing with each other for over eight years now.

On top of this, the crew of Dirty Dingo also have some amazing choreographers who are dancing in the show also, such as Megan Rennie. By having these beautiful ladies choreograph with me, it gives the show not only versatility in choreography but also mood. I think as a Director you need to know your strengths but also when to ask the team for help and this team has been incredible. I can easily say that every person involved has contributed choreographically, creatively, or in some way shape or form to this show. The best part of it for me is that these ladies are my closest friends too, so being able to dance and create with what feels like family is incredible.

Without giving too much away, the process consisted of figuring out the music of the genre and years, and finding enough for everyone to vibe or know at least one song! I actually had my parents help me out with this also, because I want everyone to feel like they know a song when they walk in. From picking the songs I then allocated/asked the choreographers who vibed what or what I thought would challenge them as choreographers or songs I thought they’re style matched well, then over August and October we learnt almost all the pieces, all 27!

We also decided to add a wonderful special act who has just taken it from the typical Coyote Bar – to a show and I can’t wait for people to see her! Alongside this my incredibly talented MC Davina and I brainstormed her side of the show being the Dog Mumma, and damn it has come together like a breeze.

Dancing is one of the most physically intensive arts and sports in the world. How much work do you put into shows and rehearsals considering the shows will run for an hour?

Such an awesome question, and thank you for recognising it as a sport! We all live different lives outside of dance and for all of us it is not our main source of income, so it has been hard at times with everyone’s schedule and getting everyone in the same space at once. We hire a space each Friday night and rehearse together for this show alongside holding our classes and running our crew training, jammed tightly into four hour sessions, as we’re essentially a not for profit organization our budget is usually zero so our time management is pretty good.

In the lead up to Christmas we also did some old school style rehearsal out of my garage which since COVID lockdown had turned into a little dance studio, so for this show we were doing around eight hours a week of rehearsals give or take. On top of that all our girls train outside of rehearsal in other classes or teaching. I am a firm believer in maintaining the body’s strength and health also so I always recommend to my girls to be hitting the gym three times a week to keep the muscles strong – which is what I do.

It has been a challenge doing a one hour show. The choreography is almost 100% high energy too so there have been some rehearsals where some ladies have had to readjust breathing, or down time. But once you’re amongst it with your friends and up on that stage adrenaline takes over and it’s not until the next day on the foam roller you feel the pain.

Unknown Creatives Arts is known for its quality in live performance and videos, but also for nurturing women to be confident and strong. How does Dirty Dingo and dancing as a whole do this?

Another great question. A lot of people may be thinking it’s a contradiction…ladies dancing on the bar, dancing sexy to a bunch of people, how is that empowering? But I think it’s the message we’re trying to give to the ladies in the audience more than anything else, which is you can be whoever you want to be, and shouldn’t have to apologise for it. You can be the lawyer by day and the sexy dancer by night, why does one jeopardise the other? There have been many conversations with the cast – is this too much? Are we being too sexy? Then the discussions from this being, no that’s the point – what is too sexy? What is too much as long as you’re doing it for you?

Dance has always been my outlet and after realising one of my strengths was getting women outside of their comfort zone, feeling sexy, strong, confident and able to do what they want, I knew it was the perfect platform to promote this. Dirty Dingo embodies that, an all female cast, from directing, choreographing, stage setup, even the photos you’re seeing are from a female photographer Haley Musca. I look back at when I was 16 and I wish someone had said to me, “you can do all of it.”

Being a young girl who didn’t fit the ballet mould body wise and movement wise, it was always soul destroying when they would put you in that leotard that didn’t quite fit and you couldn’t dance how you wanted to because it wasn’t normal for someone of my body type to be in that. This mentality needs to change and it will take time but I’m proud to say my company and I have contributed to this.

A lot of work has been put into this, so you must be looking forward to what the crowd will think about it. What should they expect and look forward to?

Absolutely! To be immersed in the show like they are apart of the Dingoes, to be told to move from one stage to another, to grab items that are thrown, to drink when we say drink and most of all lose themselves in the hour and have a boogie with us. Oh and how could I forget… to get wet.

What about you? You were part of Dirty Dingo’s creation, so there must be something you’re looking forward to.

Honestly, handing all my surrender to Mumma Josie (our MC) and dancing the night away with my friends, there’s some specific moments I cannot wait for but I don’t want to spoil it.

What’s next for Unknown Creative Arts? Any shows or workshops to look forward to further down the year?

It’s going to be a huge year for us! I am opening a studio not affiliated with UCA, however we will finally have a home so no more moving studios all the time, plus competitions, classes and some amazing workshops! We will also be holding auditions for our younger developing crew for people who are wanting to take their dancing one step further and of course our casual classes run over the year. I have some huge inspirations over east that I want to bring here so it’s going to be an insane year. We will also be bringing back our annual show after a few years off called For The Love, for the community. So I cannot wait!


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