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Generative Dancing Roundtables


Photo by JNY Photography.

Generative Dancing Roundtables is a series of hybrid talks developed in partnership between VCA Dance at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music and Dancehouse. These facilitated conversations bring together dance practitioners and thinkers across live and virtual spaces and will later be edited into a series podcast. The Roundtables invite generative investigations of current choreographic practices, challenges and interrogations. They will foster inter-generational dialogue and exchange between dancers, choreographers and pedagogues working across a diversity of genres, bodies and politics.

This year’s series follows the successful launch of the series in 2022 with (In)corporeal Encounters: Proposing Choreographies for the Future.

Generative Dancing Roundtables are co-curated by Carol Brown and Philipa Rothfield assisted by Angela Conquet.

Generative Dancing #1: Glocal Street Dance Cultures in Australia

How can we think about the relationship between the (g)localised dance culture and its black cultural roots? What place does it occupy within Australia or within different cities in Australia? How does it afford its practitioners a sense of belonging to a local as well as global dance community? What are the challenges and tensions inherent in this dynamic? A podcast on what it means to belong to, practice, be part of local Street Dance / Hip Hop cultures, or Street Dance / Hip Hop scenes in Australia with Amelia Duong, Rachael Gunn and Efren Pamilacan in conversation with Julie Ann Minaai and Elena Benthaus.

A podcast jointly produced by Dancehouse and Victoria College of the Arts Dance.

Generative Dancing #2: Place-Based Corporeal Activisms

A conversation bringing into focus two examples of place-based corporeal activisms from India and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Prarthana will be discussing her concept of ‘corpo-activism’ in relation to the performance-based social justice movement of a group of cis and transgendered sex-work activists, Komal Gandhar (Kolkata). As the cultural wing of Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), the largest sex-worker’s collective in eastern India, Komal Gandhar activists use dance, drama and street performances to lobby for decriminalising sex workers in India, fight against gender-based violence, and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. The talk will map the afterlife of historic colonial-era legislations around dance work and sex work that continue to haunt racialised-minoritised communities in eastern India.

Tia will talk into indigenous agencies of belonging, where place is often engulfed by Eurocentric ideologies. Advancing place based praxis as a means to unsettle ‘historical amnesia’, her intercultural pedagogy recentres the often fragile yet resilient localities of indigeneity, in particular, the development of her framework “te mana Motuhake o te Kauri” (the authority of the Kauri tree) that encompasses Kaupapa Māori theories and methodologies that responsive to place-based/practise led research.

Amaara Raheem

Prarthana Purkayastha (UK)
Tia Reihana (NZ)

Generative Dancing #3: THE IN/OUT SIDES OF DANCING

Featuring an inter-generational panel, with guests ranging from undergraduate students to established practitioners, this edition of Generative Dancing is about the inside and outside of dance and dancing. What happens inside dance and how does it relate to the wider socio-political context? What identities are at stake in generative dancing? How is the identity of the dancer formed, performed and derived? What happens inside the studio, inside the dancing we are doing, the teachers we have, and what happens outside and around dance? What is the context within which we do what we do? Who sees it? How is it presented? How is knowledge transmitted?

Anstassia Krstevska

Derrick D. Brown
Angélique Willkie

About the Speakers
Derrick D. Brown is a dance, and performance science researcher with concentrations in the cognitive psychology and human motor behaviour domains. He is currently a senior lecturer Senior Lecturer Dance Science at VCA. Before academia, he worked for thirty-five years professionally in dance, first as a dancer, teacher, and rehearsal director. He danced with Peridance, Ballet Manhattan, Pretty Ugly Dance Company, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. He has taught in companies throughout Europe, including Finnish National Ballet, Les Ballet de Monte-Carlo, Noord Nederlands Dans, Staatsoper Hannover, The Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, and Cullberg Ballet.

Performer, singer, dramaturg and pedagogue, Angélique Willkie pursued a career in Europe over 25 years, where she performed notably with Alain Platel/Les Ballets C. de la B., Jan Lauwers/Needcompany, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, to name just a few. As a singer, she has collaborated with Zap Mama, dEUS, DAAU and Zita Swoon Group. She also lent her voice to musicians Walter Hus and Spectra Ensemble, Kaat De Windt, David Linx, Fabrizio Cassol and the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles. In addition to her career as a performer, Angélique Willkie taught for eight years at the École supérieure des arts du cirque (ESAC) in Brussels. She is currently a professor in the Department of Contemporary Dance at Concordia University. and she continues to work as a dance dramaturg in dance, both in Montreal and in Europe. More recently, she marked a return to the stage in works by Montreal-based choreographers, including Helen Simard, Daina Ashbee, Sovann Rochon-Prom Tep and Mélanie Demers.

About the facilitator
Anastassia Krstevska is a Naarm (Melbourne) creative, working with contemporary dance, comedy, and analog photography to create work which engages in social commentary. In 2019, Anastassia completed a Bachelor of Politics Philosophy and Economics from the ANU in Canberra. Ironically, it was during this time that she discovered a passion for performing, writing and dancing. In 2018, she was an ACT Raw comedy finalist. From 2017-19 she wrote, performed and directed the Women’s Revue – a skit comedy show highlighting the experiences of women and non-binary students at the ANU – whose iterations were performed to sold out audiences. After returning to Melbourne, Anastassia began studying dance full time, completing the first year of a Diploma of Elite Performance at Transit Dance in 2021. In 2022, she choreographed and danced in the show Slutnik™ at the Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe festivals. She is currently undertaking a degree in Contemporary Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne.

Generative Dancing #4: The Returns of Performance: Demon Machine

In the first of the 2024 Generative Dancing Roundtables, Choreographer and Head of Dance, Carol Brown will be in conversation with international guest artist, Silke Grabinger and dramaturg Ludwig Felhofer (Austria) about Demon Machine; a 1924 work created by the founder of Australia’s first modern dance company, the exiled Viennese choreographer, Gertrud Bodenwieser (b. Vienna 1890, d. Sydney 1959). Silke has recently created a response to Demon Machine, Unter_boden with her company SILK Fluegge. Torn between utopian and dystopian expressions, between the protecting golem and suppressing demon, she asks whether the violence of the machine that Bodenwieser imagined has disappeared in the face of digitization or whether violence has moved to the immateriality of data.

Carol Brown

Silke Grabinger
Ludwig Felhofer

About the Speakers

Silke Grabinger connects urban and contemporary dance with performance art and robotics. In her teens she achieved success as b-girl SILK. Silke promotes breaking and hip hop culture with the project B-Girl Circle. She has worked with choreographers Dave St-Pierre (CAN), Margie Gillis (CAN) and Daniel Ezralow (USA) and produced her first Solo performance [SLIK] in cooperation with Pilottanzt (AT) in 2008. After performing in Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE, she completed her studies in space and design with a Masters degree in time-based media. Currently, she is undertaking a PhD in Dance and media. In 2021 she founded KLISCOPE, in a former chapel, a performative space open for experiments and visions.

Ludwig Felhofer, born in 1993, studied philosophy and German language and literature before working as a German-language lecturer at the ELTE in Budapest. Since 2019 he has been working regularly for SILK Fluegge on performance and dance pieces in the field of dramaturgy.

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