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.

The Bill #4

Two For Now, Born in a Taxi

'No Former Performer Has Performed This Performance Before' (2022), Born in a Taxi. Photo by Lisa Paul Dunn.
7pm, Thurs 3 August 2023

Sylvia Staehli Theatre, Dancehouse

General Admission: $15


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The Bill extends the improvised performance realm through the sensibilities of Contact Improvisation.

A monthly platform curated by Two for Now (Emily Bowman and Joey Lehrer) and dedicated to dance improvisation performance where moments of high exposure and fleeting visibility are caught in the flow of spontaneous production. At each event, an established guest or group is invited to perform in a double bill alongside Two for Now, for a duration of up to 30 minutes each, followed by an Artist Chat.

The Bill #4 brings together Born in a Taxi and Two for Now for an evening that uncovers methodologies of enduring improvisational practices. What values and principles guide our creative process? What are our methods for approaching improvised performance? What’s important in sustaining a long-term improvisational partnership?

Read more about The Bill >>

Curator: Two for Now (Emily Bowman and Joey Lehrer)
Collaborators/Performers: Emily Bowman, Joey Lehrer, Penny Baron, Carolyn Hanna, Michael Havir
Moderator: Vanessa Chapple

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Two for Now:

Emily Bowman and Joey Lehrer are an improvisational duo [ two for now ]. They have been dancing, researching, teaching, performing and documenting their Contact Improvisation (CI) collaborations together, for the past decade. Between them, they have collectively over three decades worth of CI experience.

Their practice has been supported by various prestigious national grants as well as residencies for performance research such as Tasdance (2017), Bundanon Trust (2018), Strut dance SEED (2018), Dancehouse Artist Cut (2019) and Dancehouse’s Emerging Choreographers Program (2021). In 2022, they presented their first full-length collaborative improvisational work titled Weathering as part of Dancehouse’s Season Two program.

As individuals, Emily and Joey have taught and performed CI extensively across Australia, as well as around the world (New Zealand, Malaysia, Germany, United States, Canada, India, Japan). They are respected practitioners of the CI form and key contributors to the Australian CI community. Emily is currently undertaking practice-led research (PhD) at Deakin University, which involves researching and performing CI with Joey.

Guest Artist: Born in a Taxi

Born in Taxi are one of Melbourne’s most highly regarded physical theatre ensembles and creators of contemporary performance, producing highly original, physically driven, and participatory works in theatres, site-specific and outdoor contexts that focus on real-time co-creation. Over the past three decades, the depth of their research has led the company to develop a unique methodology and pedagogy in movement-based ensemble improvisation, the ‘engine’ behind their practice, process, and performances. Taxi has developed a cross-disciplinary style that lives between theatre and dance.

Since 2015 Co-Artistic directors Penny Baron and Carolyn Hanna have teamed up with sound artist Micheal Havir to form a trio with a deep commitment to practice-based performance in long-form improvisation. Each year the trio presents, No Former Performer Has Performed This Performance Before (NFP) annually until one of them dies. A live ‘study’ into performance risk, improvisation, and audience-performer reciprocity NFP draws on the mediums of dance, theatre, live art, visual art, improvisation, and sound. Micheal Havir uses recorded and live text, looping, and audio processing creating narrative threads in response to the movement and text generated by the performers.

Edgy and immediate, intuitive and responsive, NFP is in its 8th year.

Moderator: Vanessa Chapple

is a performance director/dramaturge, multidisciplinary artist-researcher, teacher and community facilitator based in Naarm, Australia. As a long time improviser her practice traverses Contact Improvisation, dance-movement, and vocal-instrumental music forms. She uses the attunement and dramaturgical tools of improvisation within her directorial/performance/facilitation roles in participatory arts projects for children and families, many of which have been seen across Australian including at Arts Centre Melbourne, National Gallery Victoria, ArtPlay, Womens Circus, Circus Oz, Sydney Opera House and numerous local and regional council areas. Vanessa has an ongoing collaborative role in The Ballroom Projects with Nancy Sposato and Cat Sewell and is co-artistic director with Rivka Worth of In Your Arms, a somatics and dance participatory project for babies and caregivers. Vanessa is currently undertaking doctoral research at
the Creative Agency Lab, School of Education, RMIT. Her artistic research is focused upon ecosomatics, living systems creative ecologies, process philosophy and participatory arts pedagogy. She is a student of Somatic Movement Educator training (BMC®) with Somatic Movement Education (SEA), Australasia and is a co-founding member of ASTER, the Association for Somatic Therapies, Education and Research. Vanessa sits on the board of Community Music Victoria (CMVic).

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