Honours student Alix to premiere new dance work

Nov 16, 2021

TAFE SA danced student Alix Kuijpers. Photo by Sam Roberts.

TAFE SA dance student Alix Kuijpers’ graduate performance has been a year in the making but it’s really the culmination of 20 years of fascination with movement.

Alix has been imitating movie choreography since he could walk and started dance classes at the age of eight.

Singin’ in the Rain was banned in our house for a while because at the age of three I was trying to do the Donald O’Connor backflip,” Alix says.

More recently, he’s juggled work as a drag performer while developing his skills as a contemporary dancer.

A student of the Bachelor of Creative Arts – Dance, a dual award offered by TAFE SA and Flinders University, Alix is the first to go onto Honours and this week he will perform his graduate work, Immaterial, in front of a live audience.

Immaterial, a solo dance piece that Alix has choreographed and produced a soundtrack for, is a deeply personal work which brings together the elements of contemporary dance and drag that exist in his practice.

“This work is those two worlds combining and I’m making a lot of statements in the work about what I feel about the current climate for artists, especially for drag artists and queer artists in certain spaces, but at the end of the day the work is about staying true to who you are and self-discovery, and I think that’s something a lot of people can relate to,” Alix says.

While Alix has always enjoyed the movement associated with dance, he says the artistic side is something that he’s grown to appreciate.

“The older I’ve gotten the more I’ve been able to do the artistic side and appreciate the challenging perspectives that you can bring and the interesting visuals that you can bring to a dance show. I find all the other stuff that you can include so much more fascinating than I did when I started,” Alix says.

“What really opened my eyes was Pina Bausch’s Nelken, which I saw when I was about 15. Seeing a dance work where the first 10 minutes is a woman walking across the stage and trampling on flowers, I remember being blown away thinking ‘wow, this is dance? I want to do that, that’s brilliant!’

“Since then, I’ve gravitated to shows that have a lovely mix of theatricality or they bring a new idea.”

After leaving school, Alix says he chose the Bachelor of Creative Arts – Dance, because of the focus on performance at the Adelaide College of the Arts (AC Arts) and the opportunity to be in productions every year.

Alix says his Honours year has given him a taste of life as an independent artist and he’s looking forward to continuing to explore the combination of drag and contemporary dance into the future.

“I hope this work (Immaterial) shows people that I’m here to stay and I’m here to do some important work,” he says.

Immaterial is at Light Square Gallery, AC Arts, from November 16-18. Limited tickets are available here.

Photo of Alix Kuijpers by Sam Roberts.