A contemporary dance collaboration between Wollongong’ choreographer Lisa Maris McDonell and Mexico’s Raúl Tamez is stepping beyond Zoom screens and onto the local stage this week.

‘Optimal Stopping’ started as Zoom dance workshops between Illawarra dance group Proper Motion and Mexico’s La Infinita Compañía in early 2020.

Mexican dancer and choreographer Raúl Tamez said its surreal to finally see the collaboration reach a real-life stage.

“I still can’t believe it, it took me a couple of days to really internalise the idea that I was in Australia, that I was going to share [space] with other dances physically,” he said.

AUDIO: Hear from choreographers Lisa Maris McDonell and Raúl Tamez discuss their collaboration

Ms McDonell said the cross-cultural project will see dancers meeting for the first time on stage tomorrow.

“We’re are all really excited and probably a little nervous about that meeting,” she said.

“But that’s kind of the essence of the work, that the audience will witness these two really different groups of dancers sharing the space and they build relationships during the course of the work.”

Optimal Stopping’ plays from March 30 to April 1 at Wollongong Town Hall.

Video credit: All rehearsal videos by Lisa Maris McDonell (@lisamarismcdonell)
Image credit: Merrigong Theatre Company – Raúl Tamez