Dancehouse stands on what always was and always will be Aboriginal land. We pay our respects to the traditional owners of this land, the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation, to their Elders past and present, and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.

On The Table #1

Shelley O’Meara, Marcus Ian McKenzie, Astrid Zeman, Tina and Tomaat, James Paul, Nilgun Guven, Jule Vincent, Alex Dobson, Sovan Ly, Romaine Margaret Mcsweeney, Kimberley Downing

'On The Table' (2022). Image courtesy of the artists.
17 April – 27 June 2023

Skylab & Sylvia Staehli Theatre, Dancehouse

This is a free event. No bookings are required, just rock up. Please bring a water bottle and wear clothes you are comfortable to move in. All sessions up to and including 29/5 are wheelchair accessible.

The Sylvia Staehli Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with all gender and accessible bathrooms available. Skylab is a studio up a flight of stairs.

Please reach out with any accessibility requirements: [email protected]

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Become a member

On The Table is a weekly event for artistic exchange and collaboration run by Caitlin Dear and Rebecca Jensen. Dancers of any training background, as well as people curious about movement though new to dance, are welcome.

Each week’s session is hosted by a different artist or collective who are invited to put something ‘on the table’ for everyone to examine together. The program features artists working with different styles of dance, approaches to choreography, methods of bodily practice and relationships to movement. On The Table particularly aims to highlight artists who work with dance in combination with other fields (for example gaming, science, therapy and visual art). Anyone from these intersecting fields are encouraged to come along!

On The Table #1 (April-June 2023)


Monday 17 April, 6.30pm — Shelley O’Meara

Do you have tits? Did you have tits? Are tits just entering your life now? Join Shelley in TITS OUT a practice based workshop investigating the embodied experience of both having tits and having those tits be constantly policed, sexualised, controlled and objectified. This session is gender-queer run and designed for anyone with a lived experience of having tits. Participants are invited to explore and play, with as much weight or lightness as they desire, the experience of having their tits out.

Monday 24 April, 6.30pm — Marcus Ian McKenzie

Marcus Ian McKenzie makes performances with language, text, sound, and dance. For this session, Marcus will share his interests and practice in asemic and nonsense writing. Using the body as an intertextural writing tool we will move through writing, gesticulation and discussion, experimenting with translating the aesthetics of asemic writing into gestural choreographies, connecting a sub-corporeal form of writing with the moving body.
Let’s get ScRiBbLy.

Monday 1 May, 6.30pm — Astrid Zeman

Vision and touch inform one another. When we see something from afar, we decide whether to reach out and grab, poke, stroke, pat or punch it. Dr Astrid Zeman is a cognitive scientist researching sense perception who also trains in movement and somatic practices. Join her to explore interactions between vision and touch, and how these affect your experience of texture, through movement research and improvisation.

Monday 8 May, 6.30pm — Tina and Tomaat

Join Iris Elgar and Valentina Emerald, the dance artists behind performance duo Tina and Tomaat. T&T are immortal beings that dabble in mischief, dancing, fun, and spontaneity. Their session will be an improvised Tina and Tomaat performance, directed entirely by us, as the audience. Come style T&T and create scenarios for them to improvise within using costuming, music, video projection, staging and scores.

Monday 15 May, 6.30pm — James Paul

James Paul is a sound/video/robotics/installation designer currently doing a PhD about perception and semiotics. Their session is an open sound and movement workshop, working with an audio capture and processing system which transforms the motion and position of bodies through space into a dynamic, tremulous wall of noise. Participants are invited to become instruments; perhaps like wind chimes, perhaps like earthquakes. All sound is generated through microphones and feedback, opening space to explore breath, rubbing, and voice.

Monday 22 May, 6.30pm — Nilgun Guven

Explore and experiment with audio description. Nilgun will share their research into disrupting sighted ableism through subverting traditional forms of access through transdisciplinary collaborative approaches that investigate the relationship between performer, describer and performance-making. This research seeks to allow new aesthetics of access to emerge that may (or may not) contribute to enhancing audience accessibility, quality of experience and appreciation of artform.

Monday 29 May, 6.30pm — Jule Vincent

In this delirious workshop, Jule will share a curated ensemble of exploratory propositions and oblique strategies toward (re-)enchanting our own analogue virtual selves. Contrary to the claims of reductionist tech bros – AI and VR don’t know shit!

With prompts from neuroscience, performance art, embodiment theory and esoterica, we will hack our perceptual and relational algorithms: for play, transpersonal narrative, and potential zones of unmediated alterity. Jule Vincent is an artist, guerrilla ontologist and poet of situations who states that, contrary to the claims of reductionist tech bros, AI and VR don’t know shit!

Monday 5 June, 6.30pm — Alex Dobson

The hips are often recognised as a vessel for storing deepest emotions. In many medicine systems, the pelvic region is often associated with creativity, pleasure and joy. Join Alex as they softly facilitate an interactive workshop investigation into the anatomical and emotional landscape of our hips and pelvises. Activities may include some conversations, brainstorming, writing, moving, somatics, shaking, stretching, and massaging. Alex’s work is informed by the unseen forces of queer theory, feminist ideologies and personal histories.

Monday 12 June, 6.30pm — Sovan Ly

Join Sovan for a series of dynamic and communal activities, games and scenarios. Working with an emotional, sensory and embodied experience over narrative enactment/representation, participants will be encouraged to tune into their senses, get overwhelmed, feel, and express themselves together.
Come explore chaos/tranquillity through contrasting exercise drills and mindfulness tasks, play traditional Cambodian games and test out an immersive, ecstatic party experience – the last rave on Earth.

Monday 19 June, 6.30pm — Romaine Margaret Mcsweeney

This session investigates how people’s inherent social behaviour in public environments can be disrupted through the use of humorous and abstracted physical movements.Romaine will lead us in creating simple movement sequences inspired by everyday mindless actions like zoning out and scrolling or doing your hair. These sequences will be taken into an open area on Drummond Street and composed by Romaine into a choreography of unsettling ambiance, evocative of Non-Playing Characters (NPCs) caught in a loop.

Monday 26 June, 6.30pm — Kimberley Downing

We are beautiful in our broken places.

Take a journey into the wisdom and precision of Al Wunder’s teaching methods.
Experience mindfulness in motion.
Surrender to the coming moment and explore how positive feedback supports risk.

Kimberley Downing began learning from Al Wunder in 2002. She completed his teacher training twice and is excited to share his practice with others.

About On The Table:

Sessions range from workshops and in-progress performance showings to open artistic explorations. Artists might share choreographic material, a practice, an idea, a framework, a question, a score, a reading or any manner of provocation. Everyone is invited to take part in the tasks at hand. Participation can be as little or as much as desired and you are free to come and just watch.

On The Table is free to attend and everyone is welcome whether you’re a professional dancer or you’ve never danced before. Please wear comfortable clothing that you can move in and bring a water bottle.

For any questions or to submit an idea, please contact [email protected]

Instagram: @on.the.table.melb


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