Performing Lines WA is calling for expressions of interest from independent artists with a theatre based practice to support through the Managing and Producing Services initiative for theatre and dance artists in WA (MAPS for Artists).
Performing Lines WA provides core artists with a range of managing and producing services. For example, we may assist with fundraising for projects, manage project funds and contracts, produce new works and manage touring, undertake mentoring, support you to establish or further develop your practice, provide access to local, national and international networks or manage project marketing.
Core artist support will be offered to the successful artist until mid 2014.
After touring Australia for the past three-months with Mobile States, Sydney’s acclaimed performance trio, post, is heading to Mandurah Performance Arts Centre (MPAC) tonight on a mission to settle an ongoing debate – which one of them actually is the best?
They’ve devised a system, but the criteria keep changing. There are Dolly quizzes, enneagram tests, underwear comparisons, hand-eye coordination assessments, voting, debates and pie charts. Mish Grigor from post tells us what the heck Who’s the best? is all about.
Words: Sarah Rowbottam & Tom Cramond (PLWA) and Mish Grigor (post)
plwa. First up, briefly tell me about yourself.
post. We are, collectively, post: a company who make what can best be described as theatre- funny, dark, irreverent theatre for people who like theatre and also people who don’t (like theatre). Individually we are Zoe, Mish and Nat. Zoe is from the country, Mish is very tall and Nat has recently acquired a baby that she made inside her body.
plwa. What’s the story behind creating Who’s the best?
post.It started as a joke. We’ve been working together for almost a decade, and started to kid in the dressing room about which one of us is the best. We kind of jokingly threatened each other with the possibility that maybe we should ask the audience, fight it out on stage and get them to vote. Of course, to actually make a show like that is an absurd notion, you just can’t do that… Right? So we decided that we would try.
plwa. Ina few short years post has made quite an impact on the Sydney theatre scene. What makes a ‘post’ show different from the rest?
post. Well, we don’t claim to be doing anything amazingly different to anyone else. But everything we present on stage comes from us, conversations we’ve had and things we think. It’s a direct result if the specific combination of our three brains, so I guess what makes our shows different to other shows is that we make them. They are a unique brand of madness that is specific to us. We always try to make work that is innovative, and original and smart, but also accessible and satisfying for an audience.
plwa. I’ve been reading up on the development of Who’s the best? on the Next Stage 2011 blog and it seems like a riot was put together. What was one of the most hilarious moments making the work?
post. There were a lot of hilarious moments, like our ill fated attempts at hand eye coordination tests… There were also a lot of intense moments that are hilarious in retrospect. We got quite caught up in the web of minutiae that we had spun for ourselves: once we spent an entire day arguing about who has the best street smarts and what do street smarts even entail anyway- do you get bonus points for living in a dodgier area? If you’ve never been mugged, is that just luck? It was a proper argument, until we realized that none of us actually cared anyway.
plwa. These last three performances at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre mark the end of a three-month Australian tour with Mobile States. What is your most memorable touring moment so far?
post.One night in Darwin, involving some very vocal audience members, our production manager’s birthday, a concoction called a ‘Bertie beetle’ and a trip to a questionable ‘local institution’…
plwa. Briefly tell me about your modes of testing for working out who the best is.
post.Lots of argument, lots of categories, sub categories, sub sub categories and sub sub sub categories of all the possible desirable traits a person might have, and lots of time sitting around a table with a graph and a calculator.
plwa. How many tests have you come up with over the past two years?
post.There are way too many to count. It’s an exponentially expanding system.
plwa. In 2010 Zoe was the best and in January 2011, you were the best. But now you are looking to see who the overall “best of the best” is. Who’s currently in the lead? Will Mandurah audiences get the final vote?
post. Well, technically, yes. But it’s really a competition that will go on forever. Whoever wins now is only ever going to be the winner for now- the title is always up for grabs.
plwa. And lastly, what’s next for post?
post. We’ll have a bit of a rest, and then start working on our new show. We’re not sure what it will be exactly, but we think we might attack the canon.
Three shows only! Wed 7 – Fri 9 September 2011
60 minutes (no interval)
$30 – $45 BUY TICKETS Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Ormsby Terrace, Mandurah
Devised and performed by post – Zoe Coombs Marr, Mish Grigor, Natalie Rose with Eden Falk.
Mish Grigor, Natalie Rose and Zoe Coombs Marr are post, Sydney-based artists who devise and perform original works. As a company, post are concerned with the political, and make work that attempts to communicate these concerns through direct and involving theatre. A multi art form company, borrowing from theatre, dance, installation and performance art, post are passionate about creating innovative and exciting new work. post have presented pieces in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Newcastle, and Brisbane. post’s show Gifted and Talented won ‘Best Performance’ at the 2007 Melbourne Fringe Festival, as well as the Adelaide Fringe Touring Award, and in 2009Shamelessly Glitzy Work premiered at Performance Space, Sydney before touring to Brisbane Powerhouse and Arts House, Melbourne. In 2010 they teamed up with version 1.0 for A Distressing Scenario at Downstairs Belvoir. Their new show Who’s the Best? was produced by Sydney Theatre Company for its Next Stages program in June 2011 before touring nationally with Mobile States.
Having run a Magdalena project in Perth last year, WA Director Kathryn Osborne was invited to attend Legacy & Challenge, a festival celebrating 25 years of The Magdalena Project.Founded in 1986, The Magdalena Project is a dynamic cross-cultural network, providing a platform for women’s performance work, a forum for critical discussion, and a source of support, inspiration and performance training. The branches of the Project extend far and wide: over international borders and across generations. Groups meet in real time and place as well as online to share, engender and promulgate work and ideas.
The 25th anniversary, Legacy & Challenge, aimed to honour the women who have help facilitate over 100 Magdalena gatherings or events, and bring them all together in Cardiff, Wales the project’s birthplace. The anniversary festival ran between the 16th and 21st of August 2011.
Words: Kathryn Osborne, Director (Western Australia)
In 2010 I was on the committee that produced The Magdalena Perth Workshop Festival, in which we brought 5 national artists to Perth to run 5 workshops over 5 days. When I got to the international festival, the first thing struck me was that although I had helped produce a local Magdalena event, I only really ‘understood’ the power of The Magdalena Project by attending some one else’s event. The experience of this festival is still very fresh so I will attempt to articulate a few things that I have gotten out of it.
I was instantly hit with the international reach of the project. Artists from 30 different countries gather at The Chapter Arts Centre in Wales (the birthplace of the project). Many people spoke different languages so most things were translated. The program was jam packed: Warm ups, workshops, conferences, performances, work-in-progress showings, work demonstrations, book launches, lunch and dinner, wine drinking (not officially printed in the program, but of course vital). I won’t go into much detail about the specific encounters that were the most rich; I would like to talk about the festival in more general terms.
What this project and network gives women artists is strength and a voice. It provides a forum for them to be heard and to meet through their work. I feel so privileged to have been able to witness so much different work and to hear of the experiences of so many different women. It is clear that the Magdalena network has given everyone an opportunity to have their work seen and given them the opportunity to build working relationships with women across the world.
And this is where I switch my tense. Now I feel I have all of these things too. As a young artist living in Perth I feel that the major issue for me to overcome is isolation. Magdalena provides the opportunity to witness cross-cultural work from experienced and emerging practitioners. I have been so inspired and strengthened by simply being able to see what other artists are doing and how they work and learning about what their experience is.
I have also left the festival being able to articulate a feeling of emptiness that I have had for some time. It comes from a lack of feeling like I am a part of a tradition of some kind. The lack of artists to look up to or some obvious lineage that I could say: hey, I’m a part of this. But Magdalena has shattered this illusion and filled this gap. I have seen where I come from, what I am a part of. There are so many women to look up to and who have paved the way for me.
I now know that I must bring these women here to work with me, to enrich my practice and to be my mentors. And this very obvious revelation (but a revelation none the less!) has given me energy and strength to continue to grow as an artist. I have a place. I have a network. I have an international forum to show my work.
I feel the world has all of a sudden opened up to me. I am looking forward to bringing this energy and inspiration and voice back to Perth. I am excited about continuing the work on They ran ‘til they stopped. Watch out Perth!
Kathryn Osborne is a Perth-based Director and Producer. She co-founded The Duckhouse Theatre in 2007 with five other female artists who all graduated from Edith Cowan University’s Contemporary Performance course. As a Director Kathryn’s projects include: Acts of Undressing (Yirra Yaakin ‘10), The Bearskinner and The Swallow-Tailed Coat (The Blue Room ’09), Oscar (The Rechabites’ Hall ‘08), The Oresteia (The Blue Room ‘08), and The Suitcase Suite The Curse of the House of Atreus (ARTRAGE Festival ‘06). Kathryn produced The Magdalena Perth Theatre Workshop Festival in 2010 and was the Assistant Director for: Antigone (Thin Ice, PIAF ‘09), House of Memory(The Rechabites’ Hall ‘07); and The Lady Aoi (BSTC production, PIAF ‘07).
She is currently Directing They ran ’til they stopped, a new work created by The Duck House and produced by Performing Lines WA. They ran ’til they stopped will premiere no the 10th November 2011 at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA). Click here for more details.
Trained at The Victorian College of the Arts and The Diana Waldron Ballet Academy, Jonathan Buckels has worked for the last nine years between Germany and Australia as a dancer and choreographer. He is currently in Perth for Fuse – his new full-length dance work performed with Rhiannon Newton. Fuse explores the interrelationship between two people; through the cycle from strangers, to friends, towards cohorts, through dependents and on to parasites. Fuse runs until the 3rd of September at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts so make sure you check it out before it ends!
Performing Lines WA recently caught up with Jonathan and asked him a few questions about getting Fuse to stage and what life is like living as an Artist between Perth and Berlin.
Words: Sarah Rowbottam and Jonathan Buckels
Fuse (2011)Pictured: Jonathan Buckels and Rhiannon Newton Photo: Eva Fernandez
SR. First up, briefly tell me about yourself.
JB. I was born in Liverpool in the UK, came to Australia age 12 and by chance ended up being a walk on extra in a Perth City Ballet season when I was 16. I enjoying it and each year they got me to do more dancing and then they had a tour organized to go to Europe to perform so I quit uni, took up dance and have been dancing ever since.
SR. What is the story behind creating Fuse?
JB. Relationships, and the pursuit of them, have always loomed in my mind as one of the expected things my life should contain. Not just romantic, but also friendships. I am a naturally social person and need to be around others to feel relaxed. While the work is not really autobiographical, I have taken moments and memories form my past to make the work as honest and realistic in emotional shifts as possible. Through small misunderstandings large rifts can be created and it is looking at these moments that I find interesting.
Fuse Rehearsals (2011), King Street Arts Centre Perth. Photo: Jo Pickup
SR.You have been working pretty hard over the past few weeks upstairs at King Street Arts Centre preparing for the opening last Friday night at PICA. Take us through one of your favourite rehearsal days thus far.
JB. Once the structure and most choreography was in a completed phase, we were joined by Floeur Alder as rehearsal director. This stands out as my favorite day because I got to shift from choreographer to dancer. It was so great to work physically and get her insurmountably needed outside feedback to help with the process. After being so insulated and focused it was great to have someone come in with such positivity and freshness to bring the work to its final outcome.
SR. For Fuse you are working with one of my favourite Perth dancers Rhiannon Newton. How has your previous work with Rhiannon, specifically with Chrissie Parrott Performance Company’s development of Domestic Bliss in 2009, helped shape the movement you have created together for Fuse?
JB. Working with Rhiannon has been fantastic. We worked so well together and quickly came to trust each other in Chrissie’s work, so when we started this work I already knew how much I could get out of her and where her many strengths lay.
Domestic Bliss (2009) Chrissie Parrott Performance Company
Pictured: Stefan Karlsson, Jonathan Buckels and Rhiannon Newton Photo: Sarah Rowbottam
SR. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to watch Fuse in development at CIA Studios. I remember there being moments of extreme physicality – pushing, pulling, and throwing – juxtaposed with very endearing slow dances and duets. How are you guys coping physically with this kind of movement? Are there lots of real cuts and bruises?
JB. Sadly yes. No major problems, but it is a demanding work and my feet are looking a little worse for wear. But both Rhiannon and I bruise quite easily, so it looks worse than it feels. Hopefully.
SR. I am always really excited when artists bring live musicians into the mix on stage. Is this something you have done before? Any insight into what DJ Massive Trav will be mixing each night?
JB. I was in a show recently in Berlin with Australian dance maker Brendan Shelper and we had music performed live by Melbourne instrumental band Bombazine Black. They were incorporated into the action and it felt so great to hear the small changes each night that give the show fresh feeling each night. Trav is also giving a feeling of keeping this show different each night. He really is understanding the show more each night and adding effects and loops to help with where we are emotionally and physically during the piece. He blends music by Etta James, Billie Holiday and the Eels with electronic tracks from the likes of Aphex Twin and Luke Hess to create a very eclectic but homogeneous soundtrack.
Fuse (2011) Pictured: Rhiannon Newton and Jonathan Buckels Photo: Eva Fernandez
SR. I know you spend half your time in Berlin and half your time in Australia. Do you have any plans to tour Fuse to your other (German) hometown?
JB. I hope so. I work with a group battleROYAL in Berlin and with their backing we are looking to get this work shown in a few places.
SR. Working as an independent artist in Western Australia (and across the world!) can be tough at times. How does getting by in Perth as a practicing artist compare to working in Berlin?
JB. Because Perth is so expensive to simply exist in, the artists here seem to have to be very organized and active. Berlin has a very relaxed supportive nature and this is reflected strongly in its relationship with independents. It could be a byproduct of this that makes Perth seems to be very serious about art and dance. This can obviously be a good thing, but I feel in Berlin they have less to prove, because dance and theatre is so much more part of the environment, which means works are created a bit more freely and openly. If a show fails they just move on, instead of tweaking and remaking existing works. I’ve tried to create fuse with this relaxed way, with humor and light and shade.
SR. I know a key part of creating Fuse was to appeal to a large audience. In fact, I think it might be working because my mum (who isn’t a core dance supporter) called me after reading The West Australian newspaper article wanting to buy tickets. What is it about Fuse that appeals to non-dance audiences?
JB. Fuse is understandable by a wide audience because it is based on something we almost all know of, probably first hand. Anyone that has had a relationship will see moments in the work that they will relate to. The work is focused on the journey the characters make and the changing of roles, dominance and emotions.
26 August – 3 September 2011
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA)
Bookings through PICA on (08) 9228 6300 or ONLINE BOOKING
$30 Full $22 Concession
Concept and Direction by Jonathan Buckels with dancer Rhiannon Newton.
Live music by DJ Massive Trav
Presented by STRUT dance.
As a dancer, Jonathan has worked for the last nine years in numerous dance groups in Germany including the Oldenburg Staattheater, MSSchrittmacher, SETanzthaeter, Tanztheater Hagen, Sabine Seume.Ensemble and the Mark Sieczkarek Company. In Australia 2007 he performed in Strut dance’s season of Schreibstueck and in 2009 was engaged as a dancer with Buzz Dance Theatre for the work Genie(us). Jonathan created his first full-length work in 2003 with Gaello Morello, co-choreogrphing the work “Amor und Psychose” for the Globe Theater, Hagen. His short works have contributed to performances including the ball is round (Oldenburg Staattheater) and Love… more or less (Tanztheater Hagen). In 2007 Jonathan choreographed a full length, modern dance version of Carmen, for Perth City Ballet, Australia. His work “solo”, created with Carsten Clemens, has been performed in numerous festivals in Germany as well as in Perth, Australia. This work has since been reworked into the full length “Oddeesee” which premiered at LOFFT Theatre’s Tanzoffensive ’09, to critical acclaim.
Performing Lines WA delivers the Managing and Producing Services for theatre and dance artists in WA (Maps for Artists), which is a joint initiative of the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s art funding and advisory body, and the State of Western Australia through the Department of Culture and the Arts.