Patron - Kelley Abbey
Since the inception of the Brisbane Performing Arts Challenge, Kelley Abbey has been its patron. Known for her support ofyoung talent in Australia, Kelley Abbey's presence at BPAC each year inspires, excites and challenges our participants to be the best they can be and remember the joy in performing. We are very proud that she is our patron! Kelley's message to all BPAC participants:
Welcome to Brisbane Performing Arts Challenge 2018! Here we are again! Looking forward to seeing you all turn out for the event where we get the opportunity to become ‘more’ of ourselves! It strikes me as I continue to work in this incredible industry, that singing and dancing and acting is an amazing way to get to transport ourselves, and in turn transform the people who are watching! In this crazy world we live in, Art is the way for us all to heal and move forward with love. So never underestimate the opportunities to artistically express yourself and also have fun whilst doing it! This is what BPAC is about. Lots of love and luck to those competing and a big thank you to all of our sponsors who continue to make this event possible.
Enjoy being ‘more’ of you!
Feel the beat
For over two decades Kelley Abbey has performed, danced, choreographed and directed for theatre, film and television.
A leading lady in musicals like Sweet Charity and Fame – The Musical, Kelley has won as many hearts as awards. For Sweet Charity she received the Green Room, Variety Heart and MO Awards for Best Female Musical Theatre Performer. In Fame – The Musical, she both starred and choreographed, winning a MO Award for Best Female Performer/Choreographer in a Musical and the Green Room Award for Best Original Choreography.
Her choreography has seen her create for many television shows such as the Logies, MTV Awards and Channel Seven’s Packed to the Rafter’s. She was also the special guest judge and choreographed some memorable group routines for the Australian ‘So You Think You Can Dance. ‘This has led her to be invited as the only Australian choreographer to create group routines for the American ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’
In 2008 she was the Australian judge on the NBC American series Superstars of Dance working alongside Nigel Lythgoe, Simon Fuller and Michael Flatley.
From 2002 to 2006 Kelley worked as the choreographer, lead performer and creative motion capture consultant on the GOLDEN GLOBE, BAFTA and OSCAR winning, feature film Happy Feet, for George Miller, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow. Happy Feet was number one box office in Britain and America upon it’s release. Kelley was selected to be honored in the feature film category at the Los Angeles Choreography Media Honorsfor her work in Happy Feet.
She co-choreographed Hugh Jackman’s The Boy From OZ Australian Arena tour for producers Ben Gannon and Robert Fox in 2006. Kelley and co-choreographer/director Kenny Ortega won the Helpmann Award for best choreography in a musical for this production.
Kelley has also choreographed several other stage musicals including Footloose for Gordon Frost/SEL, for which she earned a Helpmann Award nomination, the Sydney Opera House concert production of Follies, and Fame – The Musical in Australia, Asia and South Africa. Whilst playing Rizzo in Grease – The Arena Spectacular in 1998 she was also Assistant Choreographer and Assistant Director. In 2005 Kelley choreographed a new arena production of Grease for Gordon Frost/SEL. She also choreographed a new production of Hedwig and The Angry Inch for Showtune productions, and Xanadu the Musical working alongside Tony Award Winning Broadway Director Christopher Ashley.
Other theatre credits as a performer include Dancin’ Man and Dynamite! with David Atkins, West Side Story for the Victoria State Opera and the role of Rizzo in the return Melbourne and Sydney seasons of Grease – The Arena Spectacular.
From 1991 to 1993 Kelley first came to public notice as Jo-Jo in the popular soap E-Street which aired on Network Ten Australia and Britain’s Sky network. She has also performed on many other television shows as an actor, dancer and singer. She sang at the 1997 Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and at the opening of the Olympic Stadium in Sydney.
Kelley is also one of Australia’s leading music video choreographers working with many pop artists and award-winning international acts. Her directorial debut in music video was nominated for Best Video at the Australian Music Awards.
Kelley staged and choreographed Human Nature performances on their international tours with Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Celine Dion. She has choreographed many Logies performances for Pop Idol’s as well as staging Ricky Martin’s Logies performance.
Kelley was also choreographer and staging director of The Main Event Arena concert starring John Farnham, Olivia Newton-John and Anthony Warlow.
Kelley has finished choreographing, consulting and playing a role in an Australian feature film called “In Her Skin” starring Sam Neil, Guy Pearce and Miranda Otto.
She made her directorial stage debut on a new rebooted GFO version of Fame the musical, which she also choreographed. This show toured Australia in 2010 and won her another Helpmann award.
In 2011, Kelley finished working on a new Australian musical film called Goddess, starring Ronan Keating and Magda Szubanski, and directed and choreographed Natalie Bassingthwaite’s single ‘All We Have.’
She most recently was seen as the on camera choreographer on ‘I Will Survive’ for Network Ten, and played an acting role on the ABC series Dance Academy. Kelley was also choreographing the Australain Opera’s Salome directed by Gale Edwards and last year choreographed the AO Opera of Carmen staged on Sydney Harbour.
She is currently the associate director to Baz Luhrmann on Strictly Ballroom.