Melissa Lanham is a contemporary dance theatre artist with a career spanning 27 years working extensively in Australia and the U.K. She has worked on many social inclusion projects and main stream dance company productions as a dancer herself, then fulfilling roles such as dance development artist for (DanceEastBritish Arts Council), community dance artist/ teacher on independent projects and ultimately as a choreographer.
Melissa is the founder of LJ Projects, a dance/theatre company specialising in immersive theatre, education and outreach programs. LJ Projects strives to create moving and emotive dance theatre, unifying rich visual design with provocative text and original sound scores and music. They are firm believers that theatre works in both directions; not only in the sense of performers and creatives giving to an audience, but the audience in sharing their experiences of what they are seeing. The artistic process of LJ Projects involves taking something that fuels the imagination; and then experimenting, interpreting and structuring improvisation and task-work around the subject. Using dance, text and characterisation; framing and reframing answers, and challenging assumptions of how something is perceived; LJ Projects place equal emphasis on the design and the portrayal of all elements in the space.
Melissa's recent projects include:
Finalist for The Refinery / Arts and Business Incubator Sunshine Coast Council 2019
Proscenium Arts / Launched September 2019 – an online digital choreographic platform: prosceniumarts.com
Facilitation of Youth Dance Projects on the Sunshine Coast with the last 4 years of Projects gaining casts of 100 students from Brisbane and S.C Schools in fully extant works playing to sold out audiences.
Movement Direction of Physical Theatre (May 2018- Metamorphoses) gaining 3 Awards Anywhere Theatre Fest. Collaborations with Millinery Designer (Melanie J Designs) for “Metamorphoses” for Horizon Festival 2018.
Dance/Theatre work ‘Vincent’ / Premiered at Adelaide Fringe Fest 2016 (Best Dance Award) touring to Melbourne, Newcastle, and Sunshine Coast –with Composer Sean Tinnion, lighting designer Phil Lethlean, Set Designer Dan Ampuero –
Education Package of Vincent currently in use in over 20 schools and providing workshop and teaching work to dancers from the cast and myself as the choreographer.
Two decades of teaching and choreographing contemporary dance within schools as a guest artist.
Facilitation and instigation of the first Artist in Residency for Professional Dance and Theatre makers on the Sunshine Coast in collaboration with Creative Spaces, Sunshine Coast Council and The Events Centre – November 2018 (Creative Development ‘Antithesis’)