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First Dance


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‘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.


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 h... Read more

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. 

Brodie Lancaster

Brodie Lancaster is an author and essayist from Melbourne. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Vogue Australia, the Guardian and New York magazine. Her first book, the pop culture memoir No Way! Okay, Fine, was published by Hachette in 2017. She co-hosts See Also, a w... Read more

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., Spi... Read more

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 duration... Read more

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 ... Read more

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 extensi... Read more

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 H... Read more


Arts House

521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne VIC 3051

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.