French dancer Cloé Fournier is in Branch Nebula’s new show Air Time

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Air Time is Branch Nebula’s new show that mixes dance with skateboarding and roller skating with BMX. It premieres tonight in Wollongong. Read our interview with Cloé Fournier, dancer in this show.

Air Time

You dance in Branch Nebula’s new show called Air Time. Tell us about this show.

Air Time is Branch Nebula’s new and unusual show directed by Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters. On stage, the audience discovers a fascinating mix of several disciplines: dance, parkour, BMX, skateboarding and roller skating. Air Time is complex, spectacular and precisely choreographed. It is a unique show and I am very proud to be part of it.


What can the audience expect from this show?

They have to expect the unthinkable. I think the audience will be surprised because it’s a show unlike any they’ve seen before. I also hope they will be inspired by what we have created.


Why mix skateboarding and BMX with dance and parkour?

That’s more a question for the directors than for me! But I’ll answer simply: why not?


Mixing disciplines allows for artistic renewal, pushing the artistic possibilities, challenging the spectator as well.


It’s not easy to conceive a show like Air Time, first of all because it’s not easy to find performers who will agree to play the game, to experiment, to do things they may never have done before. At one point or another, during development, we all found ourselves outside our comfort zone. For this show, we really go beyond what we think we can do and I guess that comes partly from working with performers from different disciplines. It pushes us, it stimulates us, it makes us think differently, understand the movement differently etc… Finally, by collaborating, it’s our creative spirit that grows and I think it makes for a show that will leave more than one person in awe.

Air Time

Do they complement or contrast each other?

I would say that they complement and contrast each other at the same time. One without the other, the show wouldn’t exist. What I like is the mix between the fragility and the strength of the human body which contrasts, yes and no, with ‘the machine’ by machine I mean the bike, the skateboard and the roller skate.


When and how did you become part of Branch Nebula? You were in DEMO with them as well. Any other projects too?

I started with Branch Nebula in 2011 so I’ve been working on some of their projects for a while now. I met Lee Wilson, one of the directors at a workshop organised by Simone O’Brien at Legs on the Wall. At the end of the workshop and a trial period on the first development of Concrete and Bone Sessions, he invited me to be part of the show as a performer/displayer. We presented the show for Sydney Festival 2013 and then Santiago A Mil in 2014 in Chile. To this day, Concrete and Bones Sessions is one of my best memories as a performer. I love this show.


Then I participated in some of the Snake Sessions performances. Last year we toured Demi DEMO, a 15 minute show followed by workshops with the locals. In 2022, we were supposed to perform DEMO for the Sydney Festival but COVID decided otherwise and we unfortunately cancelled the season at the last minute. Some of the team members were infected and with a show like this, it’s hard to replace performers.


So, I’m really happy that we can come back with an indoor show that will shake up the theatre as we know it. I think it’s great that this time BMX, skateboarding, roller skating and parkour are coming on stage and not the dancers going to the skate park!


How is Air Time different from DEMO?

DEMO, was a shorter show, about 30mins, I think with Air Time it’s more like 60 mins. DEMO was also an outdoor show. I also think that with Air Time, Lee and Mirabelle guided us into a slightly different aesthetic. They incorporated some of their artistic experimentation as they did in Crush.


For example, we have done a lot of work with objects. We used them as obstacles, which pushed our imagination and the possibilities of the show. With Air Time, we tried to keep the ‘wow’ effect by mixing in some experimental stuff. I think we really had fun, like kids finding a new way to have fun or somehow challenging each other in a way that seems impossible and yet…


DEMO was 30 minutes non-stop. With Air Time, the notion of time, of suspense is different.


You are not only a performer in Branch Nebula’s shows but also a devisor. Tell us a little about the creative process.

Working with Branch Nebula means working in a real democracy. As a performer/devisor, our opinion counts and is respected. As well as giving us tasks, the directors also listen to what anyone else might suggest. This creates a real sense of sharing.


On the other hand, on stage, you might think that there is a certain anarchy. A form of organised chaos, because what we do is dangerous and we have to be precise. It is important to note that the show is choreographed from A to Z.


I think Branch Nebula takes the time to develop its artists. For some of them, it will be their first time on a stage. That’s rare and I think it’s great. I learn a lot from working with Lee and Mirabelle but also with all the other artists in the company (Tia, Feras, Jakeb, Alex, Nakula, Tristan and Austin). 

Cloe in the show Kairos by FORM Dance Projects

You are Franco-Australian I believe? Are your parents Franco-Australian? How long have you been living in Australia?

I was born in France but I immigrated to Australia in 2007. I was originally going to be here for a year but I’m still here now. Somehow I fell in love with this country. My parents are French and still live in France. It’s just me here!


How long have you been dancing?

I’ve been dancing since I was very young. I started when I was four or five.


What is your dance background?

I trained in classical and contemporary dance at the Conservatoire de Saint-Etienne in France until I graduated. When I came to Australia I started Physical Theatre as well as aerial dance and martial arts.


When and why did you decide to pursue a career in dance?

I don’t know. I can’t really explain it. My mum told me that one day I just asked her to enrol me in a dance class. She did and I never stopped. If I don’t dance, I’m not really me.


Why should people go to see Air Time?

This show is for people who are used to going to the theatre as well as for people who have never been to the theatre, for adults and children. It’s a show for everyone. I really think that everyone will enjoy it. And I’m sure that for most people it will be a show like nothing they’ve ever seen before.

We thank Cloé Fournier for this interview.


WHAT: Air Time by Branch Nebula

WHEN: 20-22 April 2023

  • Thu 20 April, 6.30pm,
  • Friday 21 April, 7.30pm
  • Saturday 22 April, 1.30 pm and 7.30 pm

WHERE: Main Auditorium – Wollongong City Hall

HOW: Purchase your tickets via this link:

HOW MUCH: Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Premium: $59,
  • Adult: $49,
  • Retired/students/groups 8+ $44,
  • Under 30 $39,
  • School groups 8+ $23,
  • Family of 4 $156 (2 adults maximum)

Air Time

To find out about other events related to French culture and language and the Francophonie, see our What’s on in April



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Optimal Stopping: a show only ever rehearsed on Zoom comes to Wollongong

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Optimal Stopping is a dance performance with Mexican and Australian dancers that will be presented in Wollongong from today until Sunday. The show was born on Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Mexican dancers have never rehearsed with the Australian dancers in the same room. Their first performance today will be the first time they all dance in the same room. We spoke to Ilse Orozco, one of the Mexican dancers from La Infinita Compañia about the Optimal Stopping production.

Optimal Stopping


The Optimal Stopping show will be performed at Wollongong Town Hall from today. What is the show about?

The show consists of different tableaux where the dancers have the freedom to improvise under different guises. The dramaturgy is composed in real time with decisions made by the dancers. At the beginning of the show, the audience decides who will perform certain roles.


Talk to us about the 2023 MEERIGONGX Artists’ Program

Find out about it here:


How did the three companies Merrigong Theatre Company, Proper Motion & La Infinita Compañia meet?

Lisa McDonell (Proper Motion) and Raúl Tamez (La Infinita Compañía) first met in Mexico during the FIDCMX (Festival Internacional de Danza de la Ciudad de México) in 2018. At first, they talked about doing a duo, but it wasn’t until 2019 that they decided to do a piece with several Mexican and Australian dancers. During the pandemic, they received funding from the Australian Government to start working via zoom. A few years later, the Optimal Stopping project received further funding to bring the Mexican dancers to Australia. It wasn’t until this point that Lisa generated the link with Merrigong Theatre Company, who decided to be the official host of the international project.


How did you prepare the show via Zoom?

During the pandemic, Zoom was one of the only ways we could connect with each other and create. It was a privilege for artists from two distant countries to come together to work on an art project. For a few months, we improvised, performed and worked on the structure of the piece with a common score.

Is it true that you have never rehearsed in the same room only on Zoom?

That’s absolutely true. We only rehearsed in groups, the Mexicans and the Australians, separately. It was the choreographer’s decision that the first meeting between all of the artists would be on the day of the performance.


Have you ever danced in a show where you haven’t done rehearsals in person together before? Does that give you a bit of freedom?

I have danced in two shows without rehearsals, it gives a lot of freedom but at the same time uncertainty, because you don’t know the outcome and sometimes situations fail. It’s a constant reminder to be present but also to let go and let everything flow.


How long have you been dancing?

I have been dancing since I was 12 years old.


When and why did you decide to become a dancer?

When I finished high school, the first generation of a private contemporary dance school opened in my town, my dance teachers encouraged me to join. I hadn’t decided that I wanted to study and I accepted. During the first year, I realised that this was what I wanted to do.


You have studied dance in Mexico, the Netherlands and Israel. Tell us about your studies abroad?

Studying abroad has broadened my artistic vision. Learning about other ways of working, other techniques, other cultures and other types of bodies in movement inspired me. I also met many people with whom I still maintain contact and generate projects.


You have also danced in France. Tell us about the recognition, awards, support and medals you received in France.

When I was studying in the Netherlands, I saw a dance competition announced in Biarritz. I applied and they accepted me. I rehearsed two solos (contemporary and modern dance) on my own with a Mexican choreographer and went to France. I won two silver medals in both categories in the pre-professional category in 2011 at the International Dance Competition in Biarritz.


Have you ever been to Australia?

Never, it’s my first time, I’m super happy to be here and from the little I’ve known and travelled, I can say it’s a wonderful country and I’d love to come back.


Why would you recommend that people come and see Optimal Stopping?

I would highly recommend going to see this show because it’s nothing like what you find in Australia: bi-national projects, based on improvisation and with talented dancers from different backgrounds and ages. Also, the audience plays a very important role in the work.

We thank Ilse Orozco for this interview.



WHAT: Optimal Stopping, a dance performance between three companies: Merrigong Theatre Company, Proper Motion & La Infinita Compañia

WHERE: Wollongong Town Hall | Main Auditorium


  • Thu 30 March, 7.30pm with Q&A after the performance
  • Friday 31 March, 7.30pm with Q&A after the performance
  • Saturday 1 April, 7.30pm with Q&A after the performance

HOW: Book your tickets through this link

HOW MUCH: Pay what you feel. You still need to reserve seats before attending the show.



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