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.

Holding Balance Workshop

Abigail Benham-Bannon, Gabriela Green Olea, and Marcela Olea

6 December 2020
1:30, 2:30, 4:30 & 5:30pm

Workshops are recommended for ages 16+. No prior dance experience is needed. These workshops will take place via Zoom, so please wear comfortable clothes and ensure you have cleared a space that you can safely move within for all workshops (as big as possible!). You should also have a pen and paper handy, as well as any other artistic materials you would like to work with.



Please note, these workshops will be recorded and documented. If you would not like to have your image taken or used, please contact Abigail via email: [email protected]. Please also get in touch with Abigail to advise of any specific access needs.

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Holding Balance is a collaborative workshop series presented as a part of Submerge that takes place via Zoom. Each workshop looks at the spaces and places we find ourselves in today, how we connect, how we live in crisis, the dreaming and the work, and what’s on our horizon.

Join us for a complex happening, a new social order led together in conversation and creativity. Each workshop informs the next, and in each moment we aim to respond to each new situation and social encounter.

Please attend as many of the following as you wish.

Workshop 1: “Introductions”

In this workshop we will get to know each other by exploring and sharing our stories through simple movement and creative responses.

Workshop 2: “Crisis”

In this workshop we will connect with our bodies through simple movement to explore our grief amidst the crises of our world, bringing the experience from an individual one to a communal holding of this space.

Workshop 3: “Radical Dreaming/The Work”

What does it mean to dream radically, and what is the work towards that dream? In this session we will use memory, imagination and movement to explore these questions.

Workshop 4: “Horizon”

What is the ‘horizon’, and what is the space in-between? In this workshop we will explore what it means to be in-between, and what it means to work towards a horizon.


Through these workshops we will invite you to contribute to a collaboratively created blog of images, words, music, etc. that arise out of our shared experiences. This will be shared publicly through ‘Submerge’ alongside a creative response constructed by Marcela Olea throughout the workshop series.

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Abigail Benham-Bannon is a movement-based artist engaged in investigating the intersections between dance and geography (i.e. the interdisciplinary study of social-environmental relationships). Her creative practice is interested in the complexities of this shared dance-geography space, and is based on core values of community, sustainability, and environmental and social justice.

Gabriela Green Olea is an activist and dance artist who works across many mediums, with all people and within inclusive environments. As a daughter and granddaughter of a refugee family, her work responds to the ideas of cross-cultural identity and the transitional space of belonging to community and place. Gabriela graduated from the VCA in 2014. Gabriela choreographed a social project CPAL for the This is Not Art Festival in 2018. In 2019 she choreographed WHO WE ARE with dancers in regional NSW, living with and without disability mentored by Vicky Malin (UK). In 2020 Gabriela performed at the Sydney Festival in ENCOUNTER by Emma Saunders for FORM Dance Projects. Gabriela has worked with Ngioka Bunda-Heath a Wakka Wakka, Biripi women at Artshouse, the Brunswick Mechanics Institute and at Campbelltown Arts Centre. Gabriela is currently a Dancehouse Emerging Choreographer in Melbourne and is working with Emma Saunders on her ‘Curated Program’ and the We Are Here Company.

Marcela Olea After completing Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts and a Master of Arts in Experiential and Creative Arts Therapy, Marcela Olea’s artistic practice kicked off in 2013. Her art making process is guided and inspired by moments that stand out. Within this spontaneous and playful way of working Marcela immerses herself in the flow of a piece which can take on any number of shapes, forms and meanings. She is always excited to see what emerges. Marcela Olea has exhibited her work both in Solo and Group Exhibitions. Her Solo Exhibition ‘Freedom of Movement’ was an arts based response to the current refugee and asylum seeker crisis, highlighting her personal journey and linking broader questions around human rights and the freedom of movement. Marcela has presented her work in Group Exhibitions in galleries and exhibitions such as; Newstead Arts Hub , Castlemaine Creative Artists Exhibition at Redesdale Hotel, Melbourne International Flower and Garden show and Castlemaine Rotary Art Show. Marcela Olea’s art therapy has provided her with opportunities to work with her local community, youth and activists and around issues such as refugees, community building and homework.

This program is funded by the Packer Family and Crown Resorts Foundations. The pilot program was proudly supported by Clifton Hill/North Fitzroy Community Bank Branch – Bendigo Bank and the Robert Salzer Foundation.

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