Posts Tagged ‘Metro Arts




EDGES: A Song Cycle

Understudy Productions

Metro Arts

July 20 – 23 2016


Reviewed by Katy Cotter




Last night I entered (for the millionth time, I’m sure) the hallowed halls of the Metro Arts building in the city. I never get sick of the place. It was opening night of Understudy Productions’ debut show Edges: A Song Cycle. For those who are not familiar, Edges is a coming of age musical about a group of friends in their early twenties. They reflect on the people they were or pretended to be in high school, and the people they hope to become. It focuses on the tumultuous relationships, the importance of friendship and forgiveness, and the necessity of dreaming big. It also warns about the crazy ex and that closure is paramount.

Edges was written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul in 2005. Apparently, while they studying musical theatre at the University of Michigan, they were dissatisfied with the roles they were being assigned so they decided to write their own show. They were only 19 at the time, and now the show has been performed around the world.

Understudy Productions is a brand new Brisbane-based company founded by Alexander Woodward who last year graduated from the Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium of Music. With the help of his creative team, the company strives to create professional opportunities for local performers. Edges was the perfect choice to display the incredible vocal talent of the six cast members, including Woodward, giving each a decent amount of time in the spotlight. They played multiple characters which at first was jarring, though it was quickly established that each song was a snapshot into a person’s life, and then we moved on.

The production itself was minimalist; set at the beach. The friends were spending the day reminiscing while lounging on picnic rugs, eating strawberries and drinking craft beers. A small wooden boardwalk crossed the stage adorned with mood lights and surrounded by pale white sand. Behind this sat the band.

The musical itself is the right amount harrowing and hilarious. The audience enjoys the emotional rollercoaster without being overwhelmed or begging for there to be one central character to root for. I must mention my favourite performance from the Musical Director, Dominic Woodhead, who sang Along the Way. This young man is not only an incredibly talented musician, but his comedic timing was superb during this number. He was completely endearing and charmed the pants off the audience.

The transitions between songs were awkward space and needed more consideration as to what the performers were doing instead of just waiting for their cue to start singing. Those transitions are vital in maintaining that relationship between the performer and the audience. If there is awkward space, then the audience drops out of the world being created for them. And, of course, in large scale musicals there are many magical distractions like flying witches or hobbits disappearing. Edges has a raw and vulnerable quality.

This show is a whole lot of fun but it only runs until Saturday. Understudy Productions is a group of young creatives that are passionate about musical theatre. We need to support those who are brave enough to step out on their own and carve their own path. Support the arts, Brisbane, and most importantly, support the locals!




Claire Marshall and Metro Arts

Metro Arts Sue Benner Theatre

April 13 – 16 2016


Reviewed by Ruth Ridgway



The changes for women over the past 120 years have been significant … but are we there yet? Or are the current times of social media where women are socially conditioned to police each others’ ‘acceptable’ images a step back in time for women?

– Claire Marshall


The first version of Flaunt, by independent choreographer and director Claire Marshall, was shown in a season at the Brisbane Powerhouse in 2014. For the 2016 season at Metro Arts, Marshall has extensively reworked this piece, making it much richer, with its themes of gender construction, and cooperation and competition between women fully integrated with its theatricality.


Flaunt grabs the attention and doesn’t let it go.


It’s like a journey in a time machine, with a central figure (Amelia Stokes) appearing to be brought out of cryogenic storage to experience the lot of women in five different eras: the early 1900s, the 1950s, the 1970s, the 1980s and today.




Both sound and costume design are by Marshall. Each era is accompanied by music from that time, with the sound design also effectively using layered words (such as ‘sexuality’, ‘freedom’, ‘fertility’) and spoken extracts, including a letter, and part of an academic paper about gender construction.
The costumes are simple, but effective: over short black pants and crop tops, the dancers don Edwardian ‘hobble’ skirts, 1950s full-skirted dresses, pastel chiffon 1970s evening dresses, clunky 80s jackets with shoulder pads, and for today, bright little tops teamed with blue wedge sandals.
In a clever device, different floor coverings, lined up in rolls at one side of the performance space, are spread over the floor to match the costume changes for each era. The other main feature of the set design (Frances Hannaway) was a frame, about medium-shed-size, of steel posts and cross-pieces.




This framework echoed the theme of ‘construction’ of gender, while also resembling a cage, or part of a set in a circus or a nightclub. The dancers and the choreography made great use of it, climbing, vaulting through, swinging and hanging from it, as well as using it as a support to lean on or huddle against.
The sound, costume and performance show the restrictions suffered by women in every era. Their support for each other is contrasted with the cruelty of women towards others as they police their appearance and actions, and force them to conform.
This time there are three dancers instead of four: Essie Horn, Courtney Scheu, and Amelia Stokes (who was one of the cast in 2014). They all have strong individual presence, with Stokes a particularly magnetic performer. They showed courage and skill in their use of the frame, and dexterous management of the on-stage costume and floor-covering changes that were part of the performance.
The lighting (Michael Richardson) is dramatic and submerges the audience, as if we are in a club.
It was good to see this show again in its striking 2016 reincarnation.




A Slight Ache & The Lover


A Slight Ache & The Lover

now look here

Metro Arts

March 8 – 19 2016

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good.

– Santideva


Who are you?

– Edward, A Slight Ache, Harold Pinter

RICHARD Is your lover coming today?


… It’s the husband asking and it’s the husband who returns at three, as the leather jacket clad lover, for a little bit of afternoon delight. We realise that this English middle class married couple, in an effort to spice up their love life, enjoy some regular role play, and in-role erotic games of cat and mouse in the parlour, frequently ending up under the table. I vaguely worry that a vase of fresh flowers on the tabletop above them will come crashing to the floor during a fit of cloth-concealed passion. But there is something very reserved about their fantasies. Everything left to the imagination. And certainly nothing broken. Imagine! There’s something generally very reserved about the couple and despite Kerith Atkinson’s beautifully prepared 1950s housewife contrasting nicely with her whore, I don’t feel convinced that Danny Murphy is the ideal husband and lover for her, which makes it impossible to believe the relationship. I should be swept up in the couple’s absurd antics, and a little shocked and delighted by their coping mechanisms, and I’m not.

Everything is funny; the greatest earnestness is funny; even tragedy is funny. And I think what I try to do in my plays is to get this recognisable reality of the absurdity of what we do and how we behave and how we speak.

– Harold Pinter

It’s very clear that Pinter admired women, and saw that society, in general, too often does not. Or didn’t in 1963 when The Lover was written, originally for TV. In The Lover, Pinter shows us that women can successfully fill multiple roles and men – this man at least – cannot. After a time, Richard becomes frustrated, tired and confused, and simply wants, once again, to come home to a wife, not a whore or a mistress. (He goes to great lengths to explain the differences between them. It’s very simple, really).

SARAH I must say I find your attitude to women rather alarming.

RICHARD Why? I wasn’t looking for your double, was I? I wasn’t looking for a woman I could respect, as you, whom I could admire and love, as I do you. Was I? All I wanted was…how shall I put it…someone who could express and engender lust with all lust’s cunning. Nothing more.

Like Albee’s earliest plays, Pinter’s early work sits on the Absurd shelf, right by Realism, with its uncanny insight into human paranoia, projection, dissatisfaction and assumption. Yes, it’s Realism, but not as we know it.   


An African drum ritual is appropriately odd (but not). It precedes a flashback to another time, another place, another rendezvous… The beat starts slowly, quietly, intensely before quickening; they both play – she scratches the skin with her nails – and it’s strange, unsettling, and hilarious. I’m not sure it should be quite so amusing. Pinter’s comedy is subtle, tucked away into the dark corners of his Realism, but Director Kate Wild has teased it out into the open, like a daydream, giving her actors some opportunities to play. But I’m unconvinced and this production is frequently funny because the chemistry between Atkins and Murphy is so awkward… Of course, others consider it the perfect casting, which is fine. And intriguing.          


Why do you think the conversations in your plays are so effective? 


I don’t know. I think possibly it’s because people fall back on anything they can lay their hands on verbally to keep away from the danger of knowing, and of being known. 

Zac Boulton – the milkman, John – appears at the door with the milk, although it’s clearly cream he’d like the housewife to take. He’s quite persistent! It’s a distraction, and one we can’t help but imagine she’ll go for, but no; it’s Pinter, not a Hollywood team of writers, and she remains faithful to her husband, her lover.


Is there more than one way to direct your plays successfully? 


Oh, yes, but always around the same central truth of the play—if that’s distorted, then it’s bad. The main difference in interpretation comes from the actors. The director can certainly be responsible for a disaster, too…

Zac Boulton is the mysterious Matchseller in A Slight Ache (written originally as a radio play and adapted for the stage); it’s Boulton’s most disciplined performance to date, without dialogue yet demanding intense focus. There is very little movement involved but his deflated, decrepit posture and noisy shuffling is a perfect capture of sadness, and his shaking is the whole world imploding. Of course we have to wonder if he’s real, or if he might be a figment of Edward’s imagination. Murphy is far better suited to this role and brings to it a measure of consideration, calculation and inner terror that prompts us to consider our own imminent death. His perspective on the wasp’s purpose in the world, and his rather cold treatment of it in the opening scene serves as a neat summary of the themes in the play. (He traps it in the marmalade pot, while the wife watches on, alarmed and grateful to her husband and protector for keeping them out of danger. Because so much danger in their hum-drum lives).

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

– Gautama Buddha

Pinter demands that we consider our mortality and our identity by drawing attention to the mundanity and imagined menace of the every day. Murphy’s Edward is suitably suspicious and increasingly terrified of the Matchseller, an imposter, eventually rising and filling the role that Edward relinquishes. Of his two roles in this double bill, Edward is the character that Murphy embodies and delivers in the most affecting way. And by the end, when he is crazed and confused and drained of all life force, we feel more for him then for Flora, who doesn’t miss her husband and protector because either he is replaced by the Matchseller or he has become the Matchseller. We’re never really certain but I decide that he has become the man, who becomes younger and stronger as Flora’s attention is lavished upon him. As Flora, Atkinson offers on a silver platter, vivid descriptions of her well-kept garden, and the oddly seductive imagery of the final interior scenes; she’s a 1950s housewife after Salome.


Wild has assembled a creative team (including Costume Designer Penelope Challen & Lighting Designer Christine Felmingham), to take the muted colours and larger pieces of a comfortable middle class life – a table, a sofa, a hat stand, a chair – out of their natural surrounds and position them on stage beneath gentle light and within a soundtrack of too-cute tunes. As much as we enjoy the music though, scene transitions (the passing of time, the changing of clothes) needn’t take an entire track… Atkinson’s wardrobe is noteworthy, the very essence of classic Chanel meets contemporary Marc Cain (The Lover) and Burberry (A Slight Ache). 

It’s rare to see Pinter done well so if it’s your bag, baby, see this double bill before it finishes on Friday.

Excerpts from The Paris Review


2high Festival Launch


2high Festival Launch 


This Must Be the Place

Friday October 30 2015


Attended by Katelyn Panagiris




2high Festival has a long history of supporting Brisbane’s emerging producer, providing a unique learning experience in festival management, under the mentorship of many industry professionals. This year the team has programmed a vibrant and energetic festival combining in the mix, a program of science.


The Backbone 2high festival is the official unofficial training ground for festival workers, artists, administrators and leaders in the industry. With an alumni group that would make universities blush, and support and acknowledgement for the experience industry wide – 2high has long been the place to cut your teeth in the industry and to exchange knowledge with tomorrow’s leaders.


2high is a circus trick. One standing on the shoulders of another. An ongoing exchange of trust. 2high represents the relationship between the mentor and the mentee who work together to synergise and share their knowledge, networks and abilities throughout the festival making process. This relationship, coupled with tangible experience and ongoing training specific to festival management is what truly sets the 2high experience apart and has made this experience such a success.




Since its inception in 1994 Backbone Youth Arts has built, shaped, created and reinvented the 2high festival to respond to the changing needs of the industry and emerging arts workers. What do we need to learn today to be prepared for the demands of our audiences and artists tomorrow?


The 2016 2high Festival boasts many exciting contemporary works from artists across multiple art forms. The three-day long festival in January, co-presented by Metro Arts, is comprised of six interesting programs, as well as installations, ideas and pop-ups.


The Science program, curated by Elizabeth Long, is dedicated to seeking new knowledge at the crossroad of science and art. Works include Stand Back, I know Science, Water Pollution, Lenguas Ironicas and Sweat of the Earth.


The F-Word program, curated by Sophie-Jane Huchet, is a feminist program with space for discussions, zines to read and performances including Don’t Read The Comments by Digi Youth Arts, The Girlfriend Experience by Taryn Allen, Mess by Young Goose Productions and You Mad, Bro? by Brodie Shelly and Madeleine Little to name a few.


The performance program, curated by Hannah Farrelly, presents two unique platforms: YAAS and Bare Bones. YAAS, or the Youth Arts Australia Showcase, is designed to showcase some of Australia’s best young artists in performances I am by Bust a Move Dance, Joyride by The Light Ensemble, Interrupting the Internet by YAK YAK Youth Arts Kuranda and Parental Guidance Recommended.


This program exemplifies 2high’s commitment to an inclusive space where all voices are heard and valued.


Bare Bones is dedicated to theatre, dance and circus that is primal and physical. Performances include Sonic-Body-Actions, Imago, Eye Resolution, Sisyphus, The Mechanics of Entanglement, Naked, Submerged, An Act of Intimacy and many more.


There will also be music performances by Airling, Aquila Young, Fierce Mild, Quintessential Doll, Pontouf, Jouk Mistrow, Born Joy Dead, Landings, Georgia May, Sean Anthony, Brendan Maclean, Phoebe, Opaeka, Ella Fence and Yóste in a Music program curated by Roy Gordon, Aidan Hogg and Steph Linsdell.


Finally, the I am Vital program, curated by Kaitlyn Tighe, celebrates what makes each and every one of us vital. You can visit the I am Vital Selfie Booth throughout the festival and use #IamVital to express why we are vital (as artists, as people).


2high Festival 2016 is a truly exciting festival with something to satisfy the diverse tastes of every art lover in Brisbane as Metro Arts is filled to the brim with music, dance, circus, theatre, installations, pop-ups and discussions. It promises to be an inclusive, eye-opening festival, celebrating the vital part that the arts play in our community. Don’t miss it! January 15 – 17 2016





Dust Covered Butterfly


Dust Covered Butterfly
Metro Arts, Thomas Hutchins & Jake Shavikin
Metro Arts Sue Benner Theatre
June 2 – 20 2015

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward





Dust Covered Butterfly invites you along for a morally challenging ride of epic proportions ignited by fictitious story and fuelled by real events of serial killers, survivors, and kidnap victims. This new performance locks performer, character, and narrative in a basement with live original music where only the strongest can survive.

Plastic bags. Holy. Hundreds of them. White plastic shopping bags, having attained a reputation for languid beauty thanks to a famous film and awful infamy thanks to a number of killers. (I started a serial killer Google search but it was too disturbing). It’s a creepy set, living, breathing, and pulsating, but corpse cold at first, until later when it bleeds red. I don’t remember seeing the Sue Benner Theatre like this, although I recall sitting at a long table in the space where our seats are, with our bare feet in the dirt below, to join Robbie O’Brien and Erika Field for dinner during The Raven. Still, I’m disoriented, which is probably the ideal state in which to view this show.


We sit at the base of a stage of steps – the rises where the seats would be if we were not sitting in them on the stage – and slowly, a male silhouette appears to reign over this strange, silent white world. Microphones have been pre-set in their stands on the bottom step, the apron as it were. As if it were a stage. As if it were a cabaret show about to begin. AND WITH CHRIS FARRELL’S ENTRANCE IT DOES.




Think of Llorando in Mulholland Drive and, I don’t know why, but you’ll have the sense of it. Somehow Farrell manages to contain immense sadness veiled by something approximating sheer determination to enjoy the good times whilst struggling to behave appropriately in public places. When you see Farrell perform that might make more sense. Or…it might not.





Farrell is a beautiful, complex performer, taking us on a journey in this show that feels like we’re watching Dexter, in chapters, on the National Geographic Channel. It’s kinda’ wrong but it kinda’ works.



The text is Cotter’s, borrowed and torn apart and stitched together again from various sources, interviews with serial killers and personal accounts from survivors of the most unimaginable atrocities in basements for extended periods of time. I think I hear later, literally on the street outside Metro Arts, that the original concept was for a show without text. This almost explains the contemporary dance element, each performer indicating through shivers and ticks and leaps, an aspect of their character or their actions throughout the piece. It almost works at times, and at other times it’s distracting or not quite clear enough to warrant the extent of the repetition.


And the single plot line is not quite as clear as it could be – we need just a few more obvious clues as to what’s happening, but perhaps these are present when the players switch roles. So, there is work to do, but in this stage of its four-year life cycle, Dust Covered Butterfly is nevertheless an extraordinary combination of intriguing elements and formidable talent.


There are SO many elements, so many layers to this show, and just one disturbing theme.



What happens in the mind of a serial killer to make them decide to…

keep someone? AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS?



Captor – Captive – Bait



Three figures prepare to take on the roles and apparently, due to the audience vote; there is a different outcome for each performance. (And this as interactive as it gets, however; you might find this is confronting enough and not even feel comfortable to raise your hand!). On opening night we witnessed Katy Cotter as Captor, Bella Anderson as Captive and Michael Whittred as the Bait. Each is as comfortable in their role as if it were the only role they play during the season.




Anderson is stunning, or if I were to apply senior student speak, Anderson is a total babe; I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more from her. She’s a trembling, remorseful captive with SPUNK. Poor thing. My heart breaks while my head whispers, “You stupid, stupid girl!” This is obviously the desired effect, it feels right. As Whittred, clad in a trench coat and jocks, leaps between the role of the Bait and his other as ROCK GOD. Robbie Williams, we love you but just stand still sometimes like THIS. OK? OK.




Very effective. Whittred’s presence and his haunting, searing rock musical score make this show the Something Rotten of the season and I expect to see a few noms on the table, regardless of the final outcome in the popularity stakes. (There are only 50 seats per performance). There is strong work here. Whittred’s rock mini-score is so polished, it’s ready for the studio. In fact, there’ll be a recording available at the end of the season. Leave your details at Box Office to get a copy so you can say, “I heard it first”.


In its current form it really does feel as if the show is crying out to be a musical. I’d love to see it put in front of James Millar and Peter Rutherford (then see them get behind it!). Dust Covered Butterfly is the stuff of New Musicals Australia, a development process that takes its successful participants to Hayes Theatre for a full season. AND THEN THERE’S THE NEW YORK MUSIC THEATRE FESTIVAL. Of course, with the final shows this weekend, you might be forgiven for thinking it’s part of the Queensland Cabaret Festival. GUYS, YOU REALISE THE LINK HERE IS KRIS STEWART.




As you might expect, Cotter plays the Killer coldly, and as you might not expect, warmly, with devastating compassion for her captive. Her care and concern becomes chilling and we get a glimpse into a serious case of Stockholm syndrome, which continues to fascinate me because of course, anybody in a long-term relationship is familiar with it. No, really, you must recognise the cycle of seduction and isolation and protection and obsession and intimidation and destruction… Is it just me? Okay, don’t tell Sam I said that. Maybe tell him? No, don’t tell him. Okay, tell him. I’ll just be here…waiting.


Cotter’s pink top reads not, “This is my dance space” but “KILLER”, and Anderson is dressed in a flirty white Some Like It Hot baby doll Marilyn frock with curious blackened – dead – fingers and toes, like Laura Palmer, dead, wrapped in plastic. But it’s not David Lynch throwing this party; it’s Thomas Hutchins, in his directorial debut, and it’s impressive. I like the choices here and I’d like to see it live again. Go catch it in this form though. It has a very short lifespan in this interesting space, with the current season ending June 20.


Production pics Morgan Roberts




Assemblies For One Body


Assemblies for One Body

Metro Arts & Rhiannon Newton

Metro Arts

February 25 to March 7 2015


Reviewed by Ruth Ridgway





Assemblies for One Body is about the live act of dancing, and the tension between this live-ness, repetition and choreography.


Rhiannon Newton, Choreographer/Performer



Assemblies for One Body was an intense experience on its first hot and humid night. About 30 of us sat in one row of chairs around the edge of the Basement at Metro Arts – a cellar-like room with plain wooden floor and raw brick walls. On the wall opposite the entrance, sound artist Kynan Tan sat at a computer, with eight subwoofers on the floor in front of him, like conical bowls.


Choreographer/Performer Rhiannon Newton was in the room, warming up. She stripped down to simple black shorts and singlet, and started performing a movement sequence. The movement style was outwardly relaxed, earthy, with no pointed feet. The apparent softness and ease was deceptive –


Newton’s energy and stamina were impressive, as she repeated the sequence over and over.


Starting in one corner of the room, she lifted her right leg, and then stepped, jumped and circled to the furthest corner from the starting point, stopping and raising her arm. At a loud electronic click or bang, she started the sequence again.


The sound thrummed and reverberated, swelling in intensity (but never to a painful point) and dying away again to more of a low hum. At times the conical sides of the speakers were visibly throbbing. I wondered if they would start to move around the floor, but this didn’t happen.


The intervals between the punctuating click grew shorter and the steps smaller and less distinct, and then the intervals lengthened again. Occasionally Newton smiled ruefully at the click signalling the restart of the sequence. The sequence also changed, along with the starting position. With the new movement came a resurgence of energy, which also then waned.


On several occasions, the lights (which were full on in the room most of the time) dimmed and blacked out – giving Newton, and the audience, some respite before the next round of repetition. Twice before the final blackout, the audience clapped as this happened, perhaps thinking that the performance had finished, or perhaps in tribute to Newton’s stamina.


The performance lasted around 30 minutes. As it went on, I started to wonder how Newton could keep going. Was she going to dance until she dropped? Was she forcing the audience to intervene when we couldn’t bear to see how exhausted she was? Thankfully, she stopped before this point.


After the continual movement, the winding down and the increasing tiredness and dishevelment of the dancer, the end was a natural finish. The trajectory of the performance was a building and maintaining of energy, and then an inevitable winding down.


In her program notes, Newton says she has a particular interest in repetition. Repetition can be used to induce a trance-like state. Newton’s performance echoed ritual dance to reach an altered state of consciousness (with the cave-like setting adding to the effect).


But the variation in movement and pace, and the formless throbbing of the speakers, created a tension that worked against the audience going into a trance. At the finish, the applause was loud and sustained.


Book for the show here.


Book for Bodied Assemblies Workshop here. Well, try and then see note below. And then call Metro Arts anyway, because you never know…

*Workshop registrations close at 4.30pm, Friday 27 February. A $1.65 booking fee applies to each workshop registration. To discuss workshop options please contact reception at Metro Arts on 07 3002 7100. Ticket price includes one complimentary ticket to the performance Assemblies For One Body



Trailer – Assemblies for One Body from Rhiannon Newton on Vimeo.


Next Wave comes to Brisbane this week!




Metro Arts is opening its doors to welcome back Brisbane emerging artists currently presenting in Next Wave Festival in Melbourne.


A biennial festival, Next Wave is Australia’s leading platform for the showcase of young artists’ work; and signals our artist leaders of tomorrow.


The 떡볶이Box (The Dokboki Box), which is currently playing in Federation Square, Melbourne, is one the works that will return to Metro Arts. A cross cultural work developed by Brisbane performance maker, Nathan Stoneham, and Korean performance maker, Younghee Park, the work was conceived out of a residency at Metro Arts in 2013.

Come on into The 떡볶이 Box (The Dokboki Box) – a slice of Seoul nestled into our Carriageway, from the creators of the hit work 지하 UNDERGROUND – for songs, stories, and delicious snacks cooked before your very eyes! To keep you right up close to the action, this work has an EXTREMELY limited capacity, so book your tickets NOW! Image by Tom Doman, courtesy of Next Wave.



The 떡볶이 Box (The Dokboki Box) sets up shop in our Carriageway for a full three weeks, serving snacks, songs and stories out of a little orange tent right off the streets of Korea. Join M’ck McKeagueYounghee Park, and Nathan Stoneham – co-creators of the hit  지하 Underground (Metro Arts 2011, Brisbane Festival 2012, Brisbane Powerhouse WTF 2014).

THE 떡볶이 BOX (THE DOKBOKI BOX) // 21 May – 7 June, Carriageway

Metro Arts recognises the need for artists to work nationally in order to build sustainable practices and proactively forges partnerships with like-organisations to enable this activity.


This is the first time that work from Next Wave festival has toured directly out of the festival, presenting an exciting opportunity for Brisbane based audiences to visit works created by Australia’s leading young artists. Chief Executive Officer of Metro Arts, Liz Burcham said ‘Both Metro Arts and Next Wave are multidisciplinary organisations dedicated to developing contemporary practices and this valuable partnership will support the fast tracking of these artists’ careers.’

In addition to presenting the four works by Brisbane artists, included in the suite of works opening on 21 May, is Tukre by Melbourne dancer Raghav Handa and offers a reciprocal opportunity for this young artist.

Raghav Handa is a contemporary dance artist with a background in modern and Australian indigenous dance.

As a performer and collaborator, he has worked in Australia and overseas with many leading Australian choreographers including Marilyn Miller, Martin del Amo, Vicki van Hout, Narelle Benjamin and Sue Healey.

Tukre’ is an intriguing dance piece that explores how lineage and rites of passage transcend borders!

It is inspired by the contents of Handa’s luggage when he arrived in Australia from India. He creates a memory map of his life and heritage through music and dance. Using family heirlooms – a frying pan, a needle and thread, his mother’s saris, he evokes the traditions, rituals and memories of his family journey. This is an engaging piece and gives a very brief insight to what migrants must feel when arriving in a new country.


Two new works by Brisbane artists also take over our Gallery: the first, The Blaktism, sees a young female ‘White Aborigine’ undertake a sacred ceremony in which she receives the rite of authenticity validated by cultural authorities ever present in the Australian cultural landscape. This new pop video work by Megan Cope highlights the absurd nature of racial classification in 21st Century Australia.

THE BLAKTISM // 21 May – 7 June, Gallery

Lesser Gods, by Ryan Presley, sits alongside in the Gallery. This interactive, mixed-media, dancefloor installation begins as a simple game of mirroring audio and visual commands on the central dance floor installation – but soon becomes a more sombre meditation on modern colonial attitudes and the ramifications of following directions.

LESSER GODS // 21 May – 7 June, Gallery

Our Basement space serves as the site for contemplative symposium, Altertruism Demos – a reflection on advocates for advancement Golden Solution’s trio of works in Next Wave; join us for a roundtable discussion on the narrowing gap between speculative fiction and fact, to reassess your freedoms, fears and desires in the face of new unmanned drone technology.

ALTERTRUISM DEMOS // 21-24 May, Basement

We’re also excited to be able to host the work of young Sydney-based dance maker Raghav HandraTukre’ (‘pieces’ in Hindi) explores how lineage and rites of passage transcend borders. Inspired by the contents of his luggage on arrival in Australia, his mother’s ancestral jewellery, and his grandfather’s skill at cutting gemstone, Raghav creates a memory map of his life and heritage through music and dance, to uncover how history is passed down through bloodlines, frying pans and faceting techniques!

TUKRE’ // 21-24 May, Sue Benner Theatre

To book tickets for THE 떡볶이 BOX (THE DOKBOKI BOX) and TUKRE’,  follow the links or phone (07) 3002 7100.

Join us for the openings of BLAKTISM, LESSER GODS, and ALTERTRUISM DEMOS on Wednesday 21st May from 5:30pm.


A multi-artform incubator for independent practice, Metro Arts provides a platform of infrastructure, mentoring, development and producing support, networks and leadership for artists at all stages of practice, while concurrently promoting new and emerging ideas, forms and practices to the market.

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