Dancehouse is thrilled to present Finalé — over 8 days and 9 events to celebrate getting out of the lockdown closet and onto the dancefloor. From 5—12 December, Dancehouse will be transformed daily to host a suite of showings, live music, performances, battles and balls.
Finalé does not signal a conclusion so much as a new start for local dance artists who are a part of the Dancehousing program. Finalé is a new annual event centered around improvisation in street and contemporary dance. With over one hundred performers across the season, Finalé celebrates dancers from all over Melbourne for doing what they do best.
The Finalé week will be soundtracked by DJ in residence, DJ Naru, who will be providing beats across social gatherings, and at Sister Sessions. Listen to her special Dancehouse-exclusive edit of I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross in the Finalé trailer.
Now Pieces (7—10 December, 7:00—8:15pm) runs over four consecutive nights. Each Now Pieces stands alone and is connected to all that came before and all that follow. Bringing together a range of dance artists, choreographers and performers from various different backgrounds, styles, aesthetics, training and know-how, Now Pieces celebrates improvisation — at the heart of the matter. Each artist is asked to improvise a ten minute performance in whatever way they choose. Now Pieces in December is curated by Kevin Jeynes and Amaara Raheem.
Now Pieces evolved out of improvisation events held regularly at Cecil St Studio, a dance studio in Melbourne for 21 years, and considered the ‘home’ of improvisation-in-performance. This lineage of improvisation extends back to dance practices developed in the early 1960’s in US and Europe. Now Pieces, like its predecessors, calls for an urgent reconsideration of the medium of dance encouraging the spirit of playfulness, permissiveness and in general, new uses of time, space, body and voice.
Now Pieces and Make It Up Club (9 December, 8:30—9:45pm) will coalesce movement and sound. After coexisting for 23 years in Fitzroy, two of Melbourne’s improvised performance icons finally meet. Together they will present a one-off event in which sound and movement-based artists share the performance space for one hour. Watch as five musicians and six dancers join to make emergent performance for emergent times.
Sister Sessions Volume 8 (5 December, 4—9pm) is a 2 versus 2 ladies street dance battle. Since launching in March 2018, their Ladies Only battles have successfully recruited first timers into the battling practice, as well as increased the participation and visibility of female dancers across the broader dance scene. Seeing more than 150 female dancers across 7 events and counting, Sister Sessions is the most prominent and consistent female dance event in Melbourne.
Free Ball (11 December, 5—10pm) is brought to Dancehouse by Melbourne’s iconic Voguing house, House of Dévine, where the prize is equality and equal pay. This traditional prize culture of ballroom culture and flips it on its head as fifteen voguers compete but all get equal pay. Across three categories, these QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Colour) will dip, tag-team and embody ideas of freedom rooted in their lived experience. Featuring guests from Houses of Alexander, Silky and more, this is the Queer event you have been waiting for. Get involved on Monday 6 December, by joining some of Australia’s Vogue leaders, across three workshops from Houses of Alexander and Dévine.
Jamstas’ CI: Dancing, Sharing, Talking (10 December, 1—5pm) begins on Saturday afternoon with a warmup and physical introduction to Contact Improvisation (CI) before launching into open dancing. Following this will be a sharing and a discussion of the practice, led by the community group established 25 years ago, Jamstas, in the spirit of “you come, we’ll show you what we do”, referencing CI founder Steve Paxton and others in New York in 1972.
Cross Styles: Stage Volume 1 (12 December, 3 & 4:30pm) sees Jam on Toast and Burn City Waack bring the expertise and experiences of five street dance artists from different cultures and backgrounds within the street dance community. This showing explores how to transform street dance into an immersive theatre experience, focussing on storytelling and unfurling in real time. Two of Melbourne’s most-loved street dance groups, Burn City Waack and Jam on Toast, evolve their annual Cross Styles event to transform a cross-form street dance battle into a staged work.
This week is supported by Vichealth.
Now Pieces and Free Ball are supported by Creative Victoria.
Now Pieces is supported by City of Yarra.
Dancehouse is a proud member of Joy’s Rebuilding Rainbow Project.