The night Neridah Waters moved to Brisbane from Sydney was the night her professional career began.
Attending a cabaret production at Brisbane Powerhouse, the choreographer and creator found an immediate outlet and an audience for her unique style of performance and a supportive community of theatre makers and producers who began commissioning her work.
“Brisbane has such a unique independent arts culture with a strong and supportive community,” Neridah said.
“After coming from Sydney, where even my good friends and colleagues were very competitive and secretive about work in the industry, I was shocked at how open, warm and generous the arts community was, and still is.”
As Neridah’s career grew, so too did her network of creative collaborators and her artistic expression.
“There seems to be a freedom in independent work in Brisbane that embraces a unique combination of bold, bright, daggy, funny and joyful,” she said.
“Puppeteers, musicians, dancers, clowns, actors and performance artists – and this mix of different art forms – has really led to some very unique artist collaborations and performances.”
One of these is Neridah’s own concept: Common People Dance Eisteddfod.
A firm favourite in past years at Brisbane Festival, each “comical and ironic” Eisteddfod gives members of the public permission to pull on the leotards and leg warmers, get creative and find a performance platform for dancing, connecting and creating something joyous within their community.
“I've never really felt like I've fitted into one specific art form,” Neridah said.
“My work is a unique combination of acting, dancing, comedy, physical theatre and cabaret, so I feel I’ve made a pretty unique and specific kind of job for myself.”
Common People Dance Eisteddfod returns to Brisbane Festival in 2020 to connect people of all ages, abilities and musical tastes in a sparkling, shiny celebration of creativity, participation and individuality.