Now Pieces #4
Amelia Jean O’Leary
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.
Read more about Now Pieces >>
This ‘Now Pieces’ creates space for First Nations dancers to come together and share stories through improvisation. Each artist carries their own lineage and stories, through various scores they get to share and offer a dance. Together we will layer and connect in support and unity.
My hope in curating a full mob Now Pieces is to share how wonderful and diverse Blak dance is. With no expectation to be anyone else we prosper in our individuality whilst always loving and supporting each other.
Collaborators/Performers: Theodore Cassady (Munanjali/Butchulla), Jyden Brailey (Tharawal/Yorta Yorta), Zoë Brown-Holten ((Th)Dunghutti, Gomeroi and Wiradjuri), Amelia Jean O’Leary (Gamilaroi Yinarr).
Amelia O’Leary is a First Nations Gamilaroi Yinarr from Northern New South Wales and has lived in Naarm (Melbourne) for the past eleven years. O’Leary’s dance practice is grounded in the duality of power and softness. It breathes freedom and honesty of exploration and human experience, becoming a product of both the digital and physical realms. As an independent artist, O’Leary is interested in creating her own soundscapes and projections as part of an integrated practice. O’Leary has created multiple dance works and films including Yinarr the film that was presented at Yirramboi festival 2020 and Dance (Lens) Festival 2021. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2021, O’Leary performed her first full-length work ‘Yinarr’ in Adelaide Fringe and Dancehouse in 2022. She was also a part of ‘Collision’ by Jo Lloyd presented at Junction Arts Festival and ‘Garabari’ by Joel Bray at Arts House in 2022. In 2023 O’Leary shared her second full length work ‘A Certain Mumble’ in Frame Festival at the Northcote Town Hall.
Theodore Cassady who stems from the Munanjali/Butchulla peoples in Beaudesert and Harvey Bay/K’Gari regions in Queensland has been working as a Naarm based independent artist trained in contemporary dance and ballet. He attended the Adelaide College of the Arts and completed training in 2016, working with a number of national and international choreographers including Leigh Warren, Larissa McGowan, Kialea Nadine, Peter Sheedy and Lewis Major.
Theodore choreographed for the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2016 and worked with many esteemed choreographers in the Blak space over the years including Vicki van Hout, Kaine Sultan-Babij, Thomas Kelly, Gina Rings and Frances Rings.
As a Naarm based artist, he interned with Stephanie Lake Company for their development of Manifesto, worked as swing performer for Joel Bray’s ‘Considerable Sexual License’, performed at Dancehouse for Ngioka Bunda-Heath’s ‘Bridge’ and has performed for Yirramboi’s Barring Yanabul. Currently, Theo is working as Associate Producer for ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and currently in development with Jacob Boehme for his upcoming work Guuranda for Adelaide Festival 2024.
Jyden Brailey is a Tharawal, Yorta Yorta artist living in Naarm and an experienced performer in award winning shows (Soul of Possum by Brodie Murray). Jyden is a passionate leader and sees benefits in sharing stories and supporting others to share theirs through performance. He has supported the creative team behind Melbourne Theatre Company’s Cybec Electric writers program and also featured in ILLBIJERI Theatre Company’s Ensemble in productions such as Conversations with the Dead by Richard Frankland. Most recently jyden has featured in Yirramboi shows One Day by MTC/Nathan Maynard and Alluvium by Stone Motherless Cold.
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.