Now Pieces #1
Now Pieces continues a long standing disciplined exploration of embodied performance practice that leads to crafted, spontaneous and artful communication made on-the-go. On the last Sunday of the month, Now Pieces offers an improvisational performance evening at Dancehouse dedicated to low-fi public performances curated by and featuring local dance luminaries.
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This ‘Now Pieces’ will give all improvising artists freedom to experiment live within their own practice, creating a safe place where they can step outside of their usual stimuli to comfortably push their own boundaries.
My curation places three dance improvisers with three improvisers from different art practice. Within this extended practice, the artists will use each other for inspiration grounded by their own improvisation techniques.
The concept aims to challenge the artist’s pre-conceived ideas of space they are comfortable to improvise in and feel surrounded and supported by other artists taking this risk.
Collaborators/Performers: Ben Hurley, Cate Consandine, Devika Bilimoria, Zoë Brown-Holten, Victoria Chiu, Mindy Meng Wang.
Victoria Chiu trained at the VCA, Melbourne, Australia. Chiu’s practice investigates physicalising concepts in relation to histories of self, peoples and place and she works at intersections of dance, screen and technology. Chiu’s work is culturally significant and will continue giving voice to diverse bodies as they contribute to today’s global movement landscape. Chiu has collaborated, performed and toured extensively with European, Australian, Singaporean, Chinese and New Zealand companies and artists including Cie Gilles Jobin, Micha Purucker, Cie Nomades, Jozsef Trefeli, Roland Cox, RDYSTDY, Rudi Van Der Merwe, Kristina Chan, Candy Bowers, Linda Sastradipradja, Fiona Malone, Amelia McQueen, Gabrielle Nankivell, Bernadette Walong, Australian Dance Theatre for Superstars of Dance, Liu Ya Nan, Arts Fission, Yinan Liu, Mindy Meng Wang, Nebahat Erpolat, Ma Haiping, Shian Law and Cate Consandine. Collectively her choreographic work including The Ballad of Herbie Cox, Floored, Do You Speak Chinese?, Fire Monkey, Grotto, Viral, What Happened In Shanghai, Genetrix and Soursweet have been presented in Europe, North America, China and Australia. Victoria and RDYSTDY won the Green Room Award 2021, Best Digital Dance for, Soursweet. In 2023 she is co-chair of the Green Room Dance Panel.
Benjamin Hurley is a queer independent dancer, choreographer and teacher based in Naarm, who graduated from the VCA in 2016. They have had an internationally recognised career, working with world renowned choreographers and artists, including Phillip Adams BalletLab, Dance Theatre Heidelberg under the direction of Ivan Perez, Sway Pole, Arts Fission Singapore, Alessandro Sciarroni, and they have performed repertoire by Trisha Brown Dance Company at the Venice Art Biennale. They have also fostered lasting collaborative relationships with independent Naarm based artists including Victoria Chiu, Deanne Butterworth, Lee Serle, Scott Elstermann, Emma Riches, Arabella Frahn-Starkie and Isabelle Beauverd. Their practice has been funded by numerous funding bodies, residencies and scholarships, and they have presented a body of works across multiple contexts, including most recently a solo work titled ‘UpAndUpAndUpAndUp’ which received a five star review in ArtsHub magazine.
Cate Consandine works across a wide range of formal and discursive mediums including sculpture and spatial practice, film and performance. She works with the body as material for her practice, and is particularly interested in the physical expression of psychological states, the relationships between bodies and space, and their contingent emotional registers. Her work seeks to locate experience between stillness and movement, or the place where desire is posited—the edge of movement—and particularly fixes on the liminal body; a body on edge in the landscape.
Cate Consandine has exhibited locally and internationally including: Belfast Exposed (Ireland), Art Gallery of NSW (Sydney), Centre of Contemporary Photography (Melbourne), Heide Museum of Modern Art (Melbourne), Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne), The Northern Centre for Contemporary Art (Darwin), Galeri Soemardja (Indonesia), Museum of Contemporary Art (Taiwan), POSCO Art Gallery (South Korea), Sarah Scout Presents (Melbourne), Sydney Theatre Warf (Sydney), (ICA) Institute Contemporary Arts (London), The Melbourne Art Fair (Melbourne) and the International Festival & Fair For Video Art (Barcelona). Consandine is represented by Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne, Australia.
Devika Bilimoria is an X-disciplinary artist based in Naarm with an inclination towards notions of queering, materiality, and time to disrupt and examine the construction of gestures, bodies, contexts and cultural experiences. Trained in the South Indian dance form Bharatanatyam, as well as both Fine Arts and Media Studies at RMIT, their art forms span performance, video, photography and installation. In 2022, Devika earned their Honours in Fine Arts at the VCA and was a recipient of the Rodger Davies Award for their durational performance installation, Offerings. That same year they exhibited new video work in PHOTO2022 festival.
Devika has presented work at the National Portrait Gallery, the Monash Gallery of Art, Montsalvat Gallery and Dancehouse, amongst other national and international exhibitions. With Amias Hanley, in 2023 they presented an immersive AV experience, Burial, at Brunswick Mechanics Institute as a part of Next Wave Kickstart program.
Mindy Meng Wang is a versatile Chinese/Australian Composer and world leading contemporary Guzheng Performing Artist. She was born and classically trained in China, and studied composition in the UK. She is a pioneer to bring the Guzheng (ancient Chinese harp) into many western genres such as experimental, Jazz, western classical, Electronic, pop and improvisation.
In Australia, Mindy performs regularly in many events, festivals and top venues including the Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Adelaide, OzAsia, Mona Foma, Dark Mofo, TEDx Sydney, AsiaTOPA festivals. During the last 5 years alone she has had over 100 appearances to a combined audience of over 1 Million people. Her collaborators include Regurgitator, Paul Grabowsky and Deborah Cheetham, Australian art Orchestral, Orchestra Victoria, Sydney Symphony Orchestra among others.
Mindy has won many national and international music awards in the past. Recently, she received Sidney Myer Fellowship 2022, nominated as the finalist at Melbourne Prize for Music, and she won “the Best Musician” of Music Victoria Awards and “the 40 Under 40: Most Influential Asian-Australian Awards”. Mindy is also the artist in resident at Melbourne Recital Centre 2022/2023 as the first ever musician who plays a non-western instrument.
Zoë Brown-Holten is an ascendant from (Th)Dunghutti, Gomeroi and Wiradjuri tribes originating from the south coast of NSW and has relocated to Woi Wurrung country to complete her tertiary studies at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). Prior to her studies at the VCA, she has been trained and mentored by Bangarra Dance Theatre’s youth facilitators, Sidney Saltner, Chantell Kerr and Patrick Thaiday (2015-2019). Brown-Holten’s movement creation is inspired by physical sensations to best portray intention with emphasis on performers’ experience. During her time at the VCA, she has worked with Lucy Guierin, Ngioka Bunda-Heath, Gregory Lorenzetti, Daniel Riley, Brianna Kell and Anna Smith. She had the privilege to perform in ‘RISE’ (Daniel Riley and Brianna Kell), ‘Tracker’ development (Daniel Riley), ‘Theatrum Botanicum’ (Gregory Lorenzetti). Brown is currently curious about interdisciplinary collaborations and retracing songlines from (Th)Dunghutti country to inform the development of her practice. Zoë is the inaugural Ann Kantor Scholar at VCA Dance in 2022. Since leaving VCA Brown has choreographed for a project curated by Jody Haines (photographer/artist) and can be seen in the project ‘Blaktivism’. Brown-Holten is Stephanie Lakes 2023 First Nation Placement receiver and Is currently working with Jacob Boheme on his most recent work premiering at Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2024.