Kei Ishii Q&A The Kollective Idea

The second part of our two-part interview with Queensland contemporary dance teacher Kei Ishii, founder of The Kollective Idea and workshops The Kontemporary Idea, which reveals his early passion for dance and an ongoing commitment to helping aspiring dancers reach their full potential.

Kei Ishii Contemporary Dancer & Teacher 

Q&A Interview | Profile Snapshot

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Early passion for dance

Q.  How and where did your passion for dance begin?

A.  It started when I was 7 years old.  I originally wanted to start Irish dancing, but my mother didn’t know the difference between Irish dance and tap dance, so she sent me to The Ritz which does Tap dance and the rest is history.

Creativity in the genes

Q.  Do you come from a creative family?

A.  I come from a very musical family, everyone has played an instrument at some point, but I am the only one who went into dance.

That pivotal moment

Q.  When and how did you become interested in contemporary dance?

A.  After high school, I found my interest in Contemporary dance.  I had already done a year of full-time dance at The Space in Melbourne and was wondering what to do with my career when one of my instructors suggested I go to Ev & Bow to pursue Contemporary dance.

Artistic inspiration

Q.  Which choreographers inspire you?

A.  So many different Choreographers to choose from!  Pina Bausch, Gary Stewart and Anton to name a few, but there are so many I have seen and worked with that my list would go on forever.

Your studies and qualifications

Q.  Where did you study and what are your dance qualifications?

A.  Well, I started learning dance at The Ritz then I completed full-time training at The Space in Melbourne and Ev & Bow in Sydney and gained a Cert IV in dance performance.

After you graduated

Q.  Any performance related highlights or working adventures in Australia?

A.  One of my first contracts was Legs On The Wall in their piece ‘Puncture’.  I have also done some independent work in Sydney Fringe Festival.  I entered a choreography competition Fast + Fresh with a short work ‘Memories’ which was awarded ‘Most Outstanding Choreography’ and ‘Most Outstanding Group’ which was quite amazing for me as it was the first work I’d created.

Formation of The Kollective Idea

Q.  What is the story behind your formation of The Kollective Idea?

A.  Coming back to Brisbane, I realised that the contemporary community is growing quite significantly, and Contemporary dance is become more popular amongst dance studios.  I wanted to contribute to this growth and help young aspiring dancers to experience what Contemporary dance has to offer.  Contemporary dance is something which needs to be experienced by teachers, it’s all about what you experience.

Planned events

Q.  What upcoming events do you have planned for The Kollective Idea?

A.  There’s our 3-day workshops The Kontemporary Idea in January and plans are underway to hold a few more workshops throughout 2019.  I have plans to create our first show/development this year.

Goals for The Kollective Idea

Q.  What are future goals for your workshops The Kontemporary Idea?

A.  I want to create a company for young dancers, so they can experience what it’s like to be in the Contemporary dance industry, what to expect, be part of the creation of different works.

Closing thoughts

Q.  Is there something encouraging you can say to aspiring dancers?

A.  Never take anything for granted, especially your teachers.  They offer a wealth of knowledge and are helping you to achieve your fullest potential.

contemporary dancer shadows

Many thanks for your time, Kei, and best wishes for your dance career.
CLICK to read the first part of our two-part interview.
Gretchen Bernet-Ward

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The Kollective Idea

Check the website for upcoming workshops


WORKSHOP JULY 2019 (details below)

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Kei Ishii and The Kollective Idea back in Brisbane July 2019 with The Kombined Imagination contemporary workshop

Kei Ishii and The Kontemporary Idea

Kei Ishii, founder of The Kollective Idea and its related dance module The Kontemporary Idea, will be holding more 3-day workshops this year, offering a creative boost to young and emerging dancers.

This is the first part of our two-part interview with Kei discussing his contemporary dance career.  Watch out for part two with Q&A insights!

kei ishii kollective ideas website 02Kei Ishii graduated from The Space Performing Arts, in Melbourne and went on to take a place at the world-renowned Ev & Bow Full-Time Contemporary Dance Course in Sydney where he trained with Sarah Boulter for two years.  During this time Kei assisted Sarah in choreographing many events including Dance Academy and the Arabian Games and was also offered a secondment with the Internationally famed ADT (Australian Dance Theatre) in Adelaide.

As a member of Legs on the Wall Contemporary Dance Troupe, Kei performed in their production of Puncture at the Sydney Festival in 2015.  He has choreographed many short works which have been performed at festivals such as Sydney Fringe Festival and Short Sweet Dance and was also awarded Best Choreographer at Fast + Fresh 2013.


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Since returning to Queensland, Kei shares his knowledge of various contemporary techniques with dance schools around Brisbane.  He started The Kollective Idea to give aspiring dancers the chance to perform in a company setting, to learn what working within the industry involves and to be guided through this exciting process.


Kei says “At The Kollective Idea we foster your talents and expand your experiences in an environment where you can gain the creative edge needed to succeed in dance.  You will dance alongside award-winning instructors and choreographers.  We are highly motivated to develop your performance technique, style and stage skills.”

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Kei Ishii, creator of The Kollective Idea


Kei goes on to say “The right philosophy drives success, it is where everything we do creatively and professionally starts.  A promising idea will define what you do and how you will do it.  Having the knowledge and skills to use this idea is why we study, practice and gain experience, growing to expand our ideas, our horizons and ultimately our dance futures.” 

“We can help you through the process of growing in the industry.  Our mentors are award-winning dancers with experience and the knowledge needed to help you grow that idea.”

A great learning opportunity from a man with vibrant and affirmative ideas!
Gretchen Bernet-Ward

The Kollective Idea starts their year with another The Kontemporary Idea 3-day workshop 19-21 January 2019 in two groups for ages 10-13 and 14+ covering techniques, improvisation and choreography.  Website bookings––

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The Kontemporary Idea

Brisbane Studio––

DAY 1 – Contemporary Techniques
DAY 2 – Improvisation Techniques
DAY 3 – Choreography Techniques
KONNECT – Ages 10-13
KOLLECT – Ages 14+



CLICK to read the second part of our two-part interview.

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Kei Ishii and The Kollective Idea back in Brisbane July 2019 with The Kombined Imagination contemporary workshop