21 July

$30,000 Keir Choreographic Award goes to Atlanta Eke

Posted by in Arts, News


Melbourne-based choreographer Atlanata Eke has won the inaugural Keir Choreographic Award, taking home the grand prize of $30,000 after the finals held at Carriageworks in Sydney over the weekend.

The four finalists included Matthew Day, Sarah Aiken and Jane McKernan. These were selected from a field of eight who competed in a fortnight-long festival at Dancehouse in Melbourne, performing in front of sell-out crowds and an international panel of judges.

The award is a unique national collaboration between Carriageworks, Dancehouse and the Keir Foundation. Rather than a recognition of past achievements, the award is a commission, requiring each of the eight competing artists to devise a new work for performance.

Atlanta Eke’s winning entry, “Body of Work”, is a concept-heavy piece combining live music, video art and costume theatrics. Full of striking images, clever segues, and suggestive ruptures, Eke explores ideas of time and presence, and especially the “always already present” nature of the past.… Read more

18 July

The Shadow Electric Bandroom becomes a permanent music venue

Posted by in Music, News

Shadow Electric

This August, the Shadow Electric Bandroom – that versatile Abbotsford Convent summertime haven – will become a permanent fixture. It’s a massive one-up for Melbourne’s live music scene and great news for anyone who enjoys playing ping-pong while listening to great local bands.

The Shadow Electric was launched in 2012 by Jay Rayner and David Chestwig in partnership with the Abbotsford Convent Foundation, with a vision to have the venue become host to theatre and live performances.

Since then, it has built a catalogue of much-loved artists including locals like Courtney Barnett, Lost Animal, Worlds End Press and Tex Perkins, as well as international acts Mac DeMarco, Kurt Vile and Prins Thomas.

The Bandroom will launch on Friday, August 8 with Melbourne band Rat & Co, and will open initially four nights a week. As the weather heats up, the Shadow Electric’s Open Air Cinema will screen five nights a week, and will also put on an array of live shows and matinees.… Read more

18 July

Five small Victorian towns will be transformed

Very Small Town Transformation

Who says there’s nothing to do in the country? The artistic and creative potential of regional Victoria is about to be reinvigorated with the Victorian Government and Regional Arts Victoria’s Small Town Transformations project.

Avoca, Dookie, Natimuk, Neerim South and Ouyen (don’t worry if you haven’t heard of them – that’s the point!) will each receive $350,000 for their arts projects, aimed at enhancing social engagement for the local communities as well as attracting visitors from afar. A rigorous application process saw residents of these towns – populated with less than 1500 people – look on their landmarks and public spaces with fresh eyes and propose ways of creating new focal points for activity and entertainment.

Two of the projects will pay tribute to the shared histories of their towns. Avoca will plant a sustainable Chinese garden near to the area’s first Chinese burial site, and Natimuk will create a space to generate alternative power that brings together their Indigenous and farming heritages.… Read more

18 July

Artists announced for 2014 Melbourne Art Tram series

Melbourne Art Tram

Melbourne’s streets are about to get a lot more colourful now that eight new Victorian artists have been chosen to have their work featured on trams all across the network.

It’s basically a moving exhibition that you can admire on your way to work – or feel part of as you roll into the city on one of the one-of-a-kind wonders.

Melbourne Art Trams was initiated last year as part of Melbourne Festival, and takes inspiration from Transport Art – a project that ran from 1978­-1993  that saw 36 trams revamped by renowned Australian artists.

The eight artworks (chosen from 150 proposals) showcase a diverse range of themes that creatively reflect our state’s identity. James Cattell’s Melbourne’s Dreamscape captures the city’s gothic architectural landscape with imagery from the Manchester Unity Building, the State Library and the Shrine of Remembrance, and landscape painter Jeff Makin’s design takes commuters on routes 11 and 86 to the Victorian landscape with a rustic depiction of the Grampians region.… Read more

18 July

Melbourne Writers Festival 2014 program announced today

Helen Garner

When you’ve got Australian literary giant Helen Garner (above) delivering the opening address and McSweeney’s prodigy Dave Eggers wrapping things up with the closing speech, you can be pretty sure that the 29th Melbourne Writers Festival is going to be rather special.

Some of the big-hitters – including Sir Salman Rushdie and YouTube-famous astronaut Chris Hadfield – were announced earlier this month. The rest have just been released, and there’s over 400 authors participating in the ten-day program.

Taking the reins for the second year, Festival Director Lisa Dempster has put together a literary lineup that’s diverse, contemporary and international. Masha Gessenauthor of Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot will talk about her book and her own LGBT activism in Russia. Meg Wolitzer, American author of recent bestselling novel The Interesting will discuss the difficulties women face when writing about family and marriage and Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo will open up about her coming of age debut novel We Need New Names – the first novel by a black African woman to make the Man Booker Prize shortlist.… Read more