Research, Advocacy & Cultural Dramaturgy

MEETINGS AND CONVERSATIONS (ongoing)

Meetings and Conversations is a program designed to assist artists in the evolution of their artistic practice with special emphasis on inter-disciplinary work. The aim of the program is to establish a productive mode to maintain, develop and cultivate independent artists in a productive, discursive context. The meeting-and-conversations mechanism enables intensive discussion followed by a period of contemplation and feedback.

The artists participate by bringing a current or developing project to the table. The workshop leaders' role is to navigate the artists through a process customised to their specific needs which may be project-based or process-based. 

WORKSHOP Body Listening (ongoing)

Body Listening is an intensive workshop for actors, dancers, directors, performers and choreographers wishing to develop their working process in physical, spatial and vocal contexts. The workshop offers a series of exercises with regard to concentration, focus and the application of physical and vocal energy designed to develop the participant's presence in the space.

Initial exercises are designed to articulate the awareness of the performer's physical centre by examining factors in the equation of motion: speed, stability and acceleration. These factors are developed through challenges to the performer's physical centre in vertical and horizontal planes. Specifically the exercises examine modes of locomotion such as walking and running, and require the learning of a series of tableaux or statues in static positions.

The physical exercises are designed to input breath, breath on sound, sound and text. The exercises are then transposed to the architecture of indoor and outdoor spaces. Physical and vocal energy is applied over distance and time, in relation to the dimensions of the space and the presence of other performers.

This work is directed toward the development of the sensory potential of the body as a 'discriminating ear', for receiving, processing and responding to information.

WORKSHOP Making Work (ongoing)

Making Work is designed to develop artists' individual dramaturgy in the making of artworks in discrete art-form practice and across a range of media: drama, dance, installation, video, performance. It is for performance-makers, designers, choreographers, dramaturgs, writers, directors and video-artists with an interest in performance.

Each participant is invited to bring a project as an idea, a concept or a work-in-progress. These may be in the form of text, video, movement or a verbal presentation. Participants may be individual artists or collaborating artists.

An emphasis is on developing modes and models of collaboration between artists and between art-forms. The workshop requires participants to actively contribute to each other's projects. This engagement is facilitated by the workshop leaders in consultation with each participant.

The process of the workshop allows for the workshop leaders to utilise case studies of current and recent company projects to provide dramaturgical strategies which may be of benefit to participants.

PROGRAM Collaboration Laboratory (2002)

Collaboration Laboratory was devised as a whole-of-college program around inter-disciplinary arts practice for the Victorian College of the Arts' six vocational schools – film, drama, dance, visual arts, music and technical production. The students participated in mixed workshops, lectures and seminars designed to stimulate their interest and expertise in the development of works across art-forms.

The educational focus was on assisting the students to think more deeply about their working processes. The program leadership proposes ideas and encourages activity that allows the student to inquire into their own practice, and then the relationship of their practice to other art-forms. The propositions are meant to be self-inquiring, and designed to disturb the industrial imperative present in much vocational arts training.

Necessarily, the program is as much about the way the artist perceives their work as it is about the work itself. The idea is to look in the spaces between discrete artforms, to identify and experience the folds of their interconnectedness so the objective is not to make works of art but to discover a process of seeing.