Saltbush is an exquisite interactive journey that invites children (around 4-10 years old) to explore, play and dance through the culture and landscape of Aboriginal Australia in a unique and immersive storytelling experience.
Saltbush centres on the journey of two friends from different Aboriginal backgrounds as they cross Australia on foot. Their journey sees them travel across diverse Australian landscapes (countries)—river country, urban landscapes, the desert and the sea, all the while discovering the land and better understanding and acknowledging how it shapes and inspires personal journeys.
Through its use of sensor and infrared cameras, children are invited to explore, play and dance with the performers as the landscape unfolds around them, providing a unique immersive experience where the audience becomes part of this visually beautiful journey.
Saltbush is a plant that can be found across Australia and so it represents a common thread between Indigenous nations and First Nations peoples. This shared idea acted as a point of inspiration for the narrative, contemporary painting, dance, and instrumental music created by First Nations artists.
An ensemble of First Nations artists have collaborated with Insite Arts and the internationally acclaimed Italian company Compagnia TPO to tour this celebrated work all over the world since 2009, from the Sydney Opera House to New Victory Theater in New York. TPO’s award winning artistry in multi-media theatre for young people is combined with the work of acclaimed First Nations artists — Lou Bennett (music), Delwyn Mannix (visual art), Deon Hastie (choreography), Sasha Zahra (dramaturgy) with artistic direction of Insite Arts director Jason Cross and TPO director Davide Venturini.
“Children’s theatre doesn’t get any better than this. This inspired array of Italian and Aboriginal artists is the perfect fusion of dance, art and breathtaking digital design.” — SUNDAY MAIL
Co-Artistic directors: Davide Venturini (Italy) & Jason Cross (Australia)
Choreographer: Deon Hastie (Australia/ Tjapukai)
Performers: Syrenne Anu (Kuku Yalanji, Woppaburra, Butchulla, Kalaw Kawaw Ya), Luke Currie-Richardson (Kuku Yalanji, Djabugay, Mununjali, Butchella, Merian Samsep), Jordan O’Davis (Australia /Yuggera/ Waka Waka)
Dramaturgy: Sasha Zahra (Australia)
Composers: Lou Bennett (Australia/ Yorta Yorta/Dja Dja Wurrung) with Spartaco Cortesi (Italy)
Visual artist/Designer: Delwyn Mannix (Australia/ Wangkangurru)
Digital Designer: Elsa Mersi (Italy)
Producers: Insite Arts
Insite Arts works with artists to initiate ideas, develop and create art, and take it to audiences across Australia and around the world.
Insite Arts brings thirty years of experience in the performing arts industry. Insite’s work encompasses intimate showcases, small independent venue presentations, major theatre and festival productions and large-scale major outdoor events. Collaborations with artists to create contemporary productions across genres, cultures, styles and scale are the cornerstones of Insite’s work.
Established in 2008 as a professional independent producing company for Australian artists, Insite’s head office relocated in 2018 to Adelaide with a second office based in Melbourne. Directors of Insite Arts Jason Cross, Lee Cumberlidge, Victoria Raywood and Elena Vereker work in a collaborative artistic and managerial partnership. This has involved the creation and presentation of more than 50 new Australian works, resulting in 144 presentations across Australia. This is alongside 140 international presentations across 32 countries reaching audiences of more than 60,000 annually. To read more detail of the company’s previous projects go here.
Insite Arts is led by its four Directors, Jason Cross, Lee Cumberlidge, Victoria Raywood and Elena Vereker, along with a small core team of Producers, Penelope Leishman and Kate Hancock, Administration Coordinator, Beth Raywood Cross and Digital Media Manager, Courtney Beaumont.
Presented as a part of Melbourne Fringe's XS Program. Insite Arts is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. This presentation is supported by the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative.