UNDRGRND 2018 | Melbourne's hottest night of dance returns
Get ready dancers, because the fiercest, boldest dance event on your calendar is back. Friday the 6th of April will once again see Trak Lounge play host to UNDRGRND, an evening of incredible choreography, high energy routines, and a chance to party all night long with some of the brightest stars of the Melbourne dance scene.
Created and produced originally by Paul Malek and Chris Curran, last year saw a change in direction as Jayden Hicks stepped into the role of producer for the first time. This year Jayden is back and is more excited than ever to build on his experience of last year. "We’ve taken a lot of feedback from last year's event, and we’re really trying to apply that feedback into this one," he says. "It’s almost like we’re taking the best of what we did last year and then expanding on that - taking the best moments and making them bigger."
It's hard to imagine an event that tops last year, in which the adrenaline fuelled opening number set the tone for a night celebrating Melbourne's dance community in the most vibrant of ways. Choreographed by Yvette Lee and featuring live vocals by guest artist Jaz Flowers, attendees revelled in the energy radiating from the dancers onstage and screamed as confetti rained down over their heads. This year, UNDRGRND have announced that Yvette Lee will once again be choreographing the opening - so get ready for another spectacular show.
From there, expect non-stop talent gracing the stage, in every dance style imaginable. UNDRGRND have confirmed there will be 30 dance acts performing this year, and have begun announcing the choreographers creating the pieces (visit their Instagram for the complete lowdown). Perhaps what makes this event so unique is the sheer diversity of the genres showcased within the programme, which last year included everything from ballet to tap to broadway to hip hop. Every style is celebrated; where else will you get the opportunity to see a ballet performance in a nightclub? And just as with events such as the Victorian Dance Festival, this night is not about competition. Instead, you can expect inspiration and collaboration between dancers of all different backgrounds.
Jayden says, "I think the beauty of UNDRGRND is that it appeals to not only dancers, but lovers of dance. People who want to go out, have a bit of a party, and enjoy a night of watching dance. It’s three acts of just dancing, in every style possible. You get the full spectrum of the industry. So if you’re a fan of dance at all I think it’s the perfect place to go and have a drink and have a party." Fans of Jayden's work will be happy to know he has confirmed he will perform again this year. "I will make it onstage at some point!" he says. "I was so stressed out last year doing it and running it and dancing at the same time but I couldn’t not do it, I couldn’t not go onstage, it’s just not possible!"
As well as the host of talented choreographers showcasing their work, UNDRGRND have also announced that international DJ Christian Dean is returning (he just DJ'ed the official after party for Bruno Mars' 24K tour!), and famed Drag Queen Karen From Finance will be hosting the evening. So if you're after an incredible night out, UNDRGRND is the place to be - surrounded by rising stars and inspiring icons for a night celebrating the joy of dance and the power of the Melbourne dance community. We'll see you there!
Article by Emily Newton-Smith
Photographs by Elly Ford