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 #2

Jacqui Maida & others TBA

'On The Table Session Hosted by Astrid Zeman' (2023). Photo courtesy of On The Table.
6:30pm, Mon 2 October – 4 December 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 are wheelchair accessible.

The Sylvia Staehli Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with all gender and accessible bathrooms available.

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

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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 #2 (October-December 2023)

Monday 2 October , 6.30pm — Jacqui Maida

Jacqui will guide us through an exploration of my their evolving improvisational practice called The Lettuce, Book and the Lighting Desk. Come and explore frameworks and tools for articulating the improvised and abstract distance between movement ideas, the identification of movement ideas, and the manipulation of these ideas. The session will include an introduction to Jacqui’s practice, designated movement and conversation time, journaling time and thinking time!

Monday 9 October, 6.30pm — In The Moment:

In The Moment are an inter-generational collection of improvisation artists who share practice weekly and build upon the lineage of improvisation in contemporary dance practice in Melbourne. They work with improvisation as a performance technique through disciplined exploration of embodied practice that leads to crafted, spontaneous, and artful communication made on-the-go.

ITM’s Peter Trotman & Bronwen Kamasz will host this session and offer a friendly and supportive environment for practicing improvised performance for people of all experience levels and creative practices.

Monday 16 October, 6.30pm — Leila Lois:

Dancer and Dance Wrier Leila will share her project in-development: Dances & Dreams of the East. An interdisciplinary poetry/ dance/ immersive work that explores ancestral echoes and movement from her heritage (Kurdish-Celtic). In this session, Leila will share cultural dance practices and invite us to connect with our own generational resonances. She will also share excerpts from a performance/spoken word project that explores the life of Kurdish Princess and ballerina from Ballet Russes, Leyla Bedirkhan.

Monday 23 October, 6.30pm — Emily Bowman:

A laboratory hosted by Contact Improvisation practitioner and academic Emily, investigating Post/Contact Practices. She will facilitate a space if generative dancing-research and rigorous play. We will do some dancing in relation with others in solos/duets/groups and look at ways of adapting CI through scores and potentially mini performances. A chance to explore Emily’s interest in cultivating conditions for dancing with multiple bodies, working with failure more than ease, considering questions of consent, disorientation, and creating collective opportunities (in safe environments) for generative improvised dancing in and post contact.

Monday 30 October, 6.30pm — Thomas Schmocker

Performance artist, musician and psychology student Thomas Schmocker will lead us through explorations of ‘gaze’. With so much out of any one person’s control, chronic feelings of disempowerment can be common. We will explore the power of individual and communal gaze, and question if the observation of gaze enlightens, heightens or hurts feelings of (dis)empowerment.

Monday 6 November, 6.30pm — Ebony Muller

Performance artist and academic Ebony will revisit their dance/movement improvisation practice developed as part of their doctoral research from 2018-2021. Participants will be invited to partake in a cyclical practice that invites improvised movement, sounding, stillness, reflection and discussion. Underpinned by notions of care and its ethics, this practice encourages participants to listen, relate and negotiate with themselves and various human and non-human others in myriad ways.

Monday 13 November, 6.30pm — James Paul

James Paul is a sound/video/robotics/installation designer currently doing a PhD about perception and semiotics. Their session will be 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 the translation of movement/spatiality/breath/voice/microphone contact into sound.

Monday 27 November, 6.30pm — Lasse Mouritzen

Lasse is in town from Denmark, where he works as a creative producer and dramaturg at Sydhavn Teater. He will bring us inside the questions of his practice surrounding the processes, potentials and dilemmas, of leaving the black box and entering the neighborhood(s). With a background in both urbanism and performance studies, he interrogates context-driven and environmentally embedded projects. Join us to examine how site-specific/directed processes can challenge neighbourhoods towards ecological perspectives.  

Monday 4 December, 6.30pm — Caitlin Dear

Caitlin will put their research practice Perceptive Ontologies ‘on the table’ for people to test out and discuss. This practice was developed as a model for inquiry into the nature of human sensory perception; examining their fluidity and relationality from a phenomenological position. We will play with embodied methods for transmuting perceptions and expanding our sensory range/dexterity. These acts will be speculatively discussed as political imperatives by relating crip theory to perceptive science.

Sunday 10 December, 5pm — Finalé: End of Year Party

Join us to celebrate 3 years of On The Table! The OTT X Finale Christmas Party is a 3 part chance to gather, unwind, see performance and enjoy drinks and snacks on the house. Come for one thing or all the things! Everyone from Narrm’s dance community is invited. Whether you are new to OTT or a regular attendee you are more than welcome to join us and spread the word.


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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