Photo: Jessica Devereux

at Arts House

First Dance

‘When a body moves, it's the most revealing thing,’ the great Mikhail Baryshnikov once said. ‘Dance for me a minute, and I'll tell you who you are.’

Some of us move like panthers. Some of us move like projectiles. Some of us move like north-easterly low-pressure systems. Maybe it's the revelatory possibilities of dance that make it such a thrilling, liberating – and even risky – activity. How do our early experiences with dance shape our ideas about our world and our place within it? And what role can dance play in a lifetime?

At Arts House in March, we’ll hear stories of first dances – from baby steps and blue-light discos to bridal waltzes and professional debuts. Through storytelling, music and movement, our incredible line-up of artists will vividly conjure all the elation, freedom and catastrophe of their first tentative dance-steps – and yours.

Presented in partnership with Arts House for Dance Massive.


Portrait of Adolfo Aranjuez

Adolfo Aranjuez

Adolfo Aranjuez is an editor, writer, speaker and dancer. He is currently the Melbourne International Film Festival’s publications and content manager as well as Liminal magazine’s publication editor; previously, he edited the magazines Metro and Archer. Adolfo’s essays, criticism and poetry have appeared in Meanjin, Right Now, Screen Education, The Manila Review, Cordite and elsewhere, and he has worked with numerous organisations including the Melbourne Writers Festival, Midsumma, ABC TV and Arts Access Victoria.

Portrait of Ash Flanders

Ash Flanders

Ash Flanders is an award-winning writer and performer. As well as acting for other people and creating his own solo work, he runs DIY queer theatre outfit Sisters Grimm with Declan Greene. 

Portrait of Brodie Lancaster

Brodie Lancaster

Brodie Lancaster is a Melbourne writer and critic whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, the Guardian, Pitchfork, the Saturday Paper and New York magazine. Her first book, a pop culture memoir called No Way! Okay, Fine was published by Hachette in 2017. She co-hosts Fan Grrrls, a podcast about footy and feelings.

Portrait of Danny Katz

Danny Katz

Danny Katz, Canadian-born, came to Australia at a young age. After failed careers as a musician, stand-up comedian and car washer, he finally turned to writing and became a newspaper columnist for the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Western Australian.

He is also the author of S.C.U.M.Spit the DummyLittle Lunch, and The Poppa Platoon series for children.

Portrait of Onyx Carmine, Sarah-Jane Norman

Onyx Carmine, Sarah-Jane Norman

Working under their legal name of Sarah-Jane Norman, Onyx Carmine has been hailed as one of the most challenging and rigorous Australian experimental artists of their generation. Over the course of their 13 year solo career, Onyx has created a diverse body of interdisciplinary work spanning durational, intimate and body-based performance, dance, installation, sculpture, text, sound and moving image.

Also an accomplished writer and editor, Onyx’s poetry, prose and ficto-critical work has seen publication in Meanjin, Overland, The Cultural Studies Review of Australia, Stylus and Realtime to name a few. They have placed in numerous awards including the Overland/Judith Wright Prize for Poetry and the The DJ (Dinny) O’Hearn Award. Their forthcoming short story collection is currently shortlisted for the inaugural Kill Your Darlings Unfinished Manuscript Award. They have also co-edited publications on Indigenous film are the co-editor and lead writer on a forthcoming publication on Indigenous Australian experimental art practice.

Born on Gadigal land of Wiradjuri, Wonnarua and Anglo-Celtic ancestry, Onyx has been based in Berlin since 2009. They currently divide their time between Berlin and un-ceded Wurundjeri land.

Portrait of wāni Le Frère

wāni Le Frère

wāni is a proud descendant of the Bashi peoples of Walungu, as well as the current Incarnation of the Afronaut. He spends his times teleporting through Universes and time-scapes navigating between dreams of becoming the fire-fist pirate king Hokage master of all four elements, and unfolding tales from a generation who quite honestly might be too good for this Universe.

Portrait of Niharika Senapati

Niharika Senapati

Niharika Senapati is a freelance artist who works in a variety of contexts as a dancer, actor, sound designer and teacher. Since 2012, she has been performing and touring with Chunky Move, working closely with director Anouk van Dijk as a dancer and choreographic assistant. She has performed extensively in Chunky Move works, some including An Act of Now (2017 and 2012), Anti-Gravity (2018 and 2017), Rule of Thirds (2016) and Depth of Field (2017 and 2015). 

Portrait of Raina Peterson

Raina Peterson

Raina Peterson is a dancer-choreographer, writer and theatre-maker who was born and raised on Gunaikurnai land and currently lives and works on Wurundjeri land.

Their works include the critically-acclaimed ‘Bent Bollywood’, and an Indian contemporary dance show exploring trans identity at Arts House, ‘Third Nature.’


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