Dance started for Cadi McCarthy at the youthful age of four, having been taken along to a ballet class by her parents. At the age of 17, she was accepted into the Western Australian Academy for Performing Arts (WAAPA). At WAAPA and the world of what dance was opened up for Cadi, sparking what has become a life-long commitment and investment into the potential and possibility of choreography and movement. Cadi was exposed to different ways of engaging with dance and the practise of dance-making, improvisation and tasking, “not just the performing aspect of dance”.
Cadi’s interest and dedication in the art of dance-making and its power is found in the body; “every human has a body and bodies tell stories”.
Cadi’s career has taken her all over the world - and spent time working with dance companies in Denmark, UK, Germany, USA, and Canada. The interest was always in meeting new people and seeing the way the different ways of engaging with life and dance, not just about learning new techniques: “it’s about making our world smaller and richer” as well as “connecting with like-minded people”.
In 2012, Cadi moved to Newcastle, and noticed the lack of engagement with dance-making and practice. She was inspired to create an artistic hub of sorts, providing a space for artists to have the liberty to just play and investigate - to see what they could come up with. Catapult Dance Choreographic Hub was born, a space that exists to nurture emerging and professional choreographers and artists and to “strengthen the presence of contemporary dance/art in the Newcastle community”. The Hub provides multiple residencies and support - for people to consolidate practise as well as to take personal and artistic risk.
This lack of a youth cultural, was the catalyst for the Flip-Side project. She sees this as an opportunity to nurture the individual voice that everyone possesses and the way in which dance can build foundational skills that transcend into everyday life. Cadi comments that “youth dance didn’t really exist” when she was younger and that this would have been a formative experience.
Cadi is a generous and open-person, with so much enthusiasm and insight into dance-making and the body. I really appreciated the way she views choreography and highlights the importance of nurturing and providing space for people to play and explore.
Text and interview by Piroska Voljay who is an Australlian Youth Dance Festival, Youth Ambassadors. This season was presented in partnersip with Ausdance Victoria, in conjunction with the Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF). Youth Ambassadors were mentored in the process of writing and undertaking interviews. Additional episodes feature: Adam Wheeler, Daniel Riley, Anna Kenrick, Isabella Stone, Adam Rutherford, and Aparna Nagesh. For more information about this special season click here.