IMMERSED DANCE INDUSTRY GALA – The most exciting night in Melbourne’s dance calendar returns! Bringing together the industry's best Hip Hop, Ballroom, Contemporary, Tap, Broadway and Classical dance creators, Immersed is a spectacular showcase of all Melbourne has to offer and will again be held at the glamorous National Theatre. Esther Hannaford dusts off her multiple Green Room Awards and locks King Kong in the backyard to host the dance industry’s night of nights. Esther will also be strapping on her dance shoes to exclusively perform musical numbers throughout the night for 350 of Melbourne’s best dancers and the lucky audience. Since its inception Immersed has attracted all the heavy weights and rising stars of the dance industry in this night of nights that rolls through number after number of exciting, breathtaking and enthralling dance works. The creme of the industry showcased in one place on one night. We spoke to Hannaford  about Immersed and Kong……

What has it been like to work on such a ground breaking production as King Kong?  

"To be involved with something as unique and experimental as King Kong is a real thrill and honour for me. The company is so diverse with dancers, physical theatre performers, circus artists, actors, singers, riggers, puppeteers – All coming together to tell this iconic story – I love it."

Who inspired you to pursue your dream?

"Many people have inspired me personally along the way teachers, friends and mentors but artistically Bjork and Erykah Badu have been inspiring woman to look up to."

What is about dance that you love?

"Dance has always been my first love creatively, this incredible non verbal form of communication requires such discipline and craft and is one I respect and seek out."

How important are events like Immersed Dance Industry Gala?

"Events like Immersed are so important to give emerging artists a non competitive platform to perform their work. A night to show what talent, diversity and community the Melbourne dance industry has to offer."

How does it feel to be the host of Immersed this year? and what can we expect to see from you on the night?

"I'm truly honored to be hosting Immersed and look forward to enjoying the amazing performances. I will be singing in the opening act and am excited to get to work with some of the talented dancers."

"Exhilarating… A true asset to the dance industry and deserves nothing short of resounding praise and the roar of applause" is what was said in last years Theatre People review. – Since Rhonda Burchmore hosted the inaugural Immersed in 2009, the event keeps getting bigger and better. Now in its fifth year, Immersed 2013 will be the biggest, best and most exciting dance night in the country.
The show kicks off with an opening number featuring Esther Hannaford and a selection of Australia’s best dancers choreographed by Paul Malek (SYTYCD, Collaboration The Project). Also gracing the stage will be a collection of the industry’s top choreographers and dancers including Rain Francis, Benjamin Hancock, Michael Ralph, Adrian Ricks, Nadia Tornese, Kim Adam, Sarah Jane Birtles, Lucy Doherty & Rob McLean. Other acts include, Queen of Burlesque Miss Friby, Hollabak Dance Crew, BFIERCE, Les Femmes as well as youth companies Parallel Dance Company, Yellow Wheel, Project Y, and the world renowned Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.
A percentage of every ticket sold to Immersed 2013 will go towards the Ian Knowles Foundation. More information available here:

Esther Hannaford's theatre and musical theatre credits include: The Plague Dances for Malthouse Theatre/Four
Larks Theatre; Hairspray in the national tour for Roadshow/Dainty; Orpheus and The Temptation of St Anthony
for Melbourne’s independent junkyard
opera company Four Larks Theatre; Once We Lived Herefor 45
Downstairs/Bryant & Frank; EuroBeat for Glynn Nicholas Group; Hair, The Boyfriend, Mame for The
Production Company; the Australasian tour of Mamma Mia for Dainty; and Scrooge for Marriner’s.
She appeared as the lead vocalist in Burn the Floor for Duet Entertainment which toured Europe, America and
Australia; featured in Metro Street for Arts Asia Pacific which opened the Daegu International Musical Festival in
South Korea; and performed in Virgins, A Musical Threesome for Malthouse Theatre/Bryant & Frank, which
was picked up by the New York Musical Theatre Festival and enjoyed critical acclaim.
Esther is featured in the original cast recordings of Virgins, A Musical Threesome; Once We Lived Here; Burn
The Floor; and all three productions for Four Larks Theatre.
In 2013, Esther earned a Helpmann Award nomination for Best Female Actor in a Musical for her portrayal of the
iconic Ann Darrow in King Kong. She won the 2009 Green Room Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical
for her portrayal of Amy in Once We Lived Here, and won both the 2010 Green Room Award and the 2011
Helpmann for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance as Penny Pingleton in Hairspray.
Booking information:
Monday August 19 @ 7:30pm
National Theatre St Kilda
Crn of Carlisle & Barkley Streets, St Kilda