Stories from Home
View all events in this series
What happens when collaborating artists share no common language but sound?
We’ll ask choreographer Gideon Obarzanek and musical director Genevieve Lacey, two of the artists involved in the incredible Chinese-Australian project One Infinity. This dance and music collaboration saw Australian artists work with musicians from the Jun Tian Fang guqin cultural centre in Beijing.
Lacey spent a month at the centre in October 2015, developing the project and learning from local artists. The One Infinity performances, taking place as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival, sprang from that original collaboration and feature artists from both countries.
Hosted by curator and dancer Nithya Nagarajan, join Obarzanek and Lacey – plus Jun Tian Fang founder Wang Peng, and British composer and One Infinity collaborator Max de Wardener – for a conversation about artistic exchange and language beyond words.
Presented in partnership with Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Genevieve Lacey is a recorder virtuoso, serial collaborator and artistic director, with a significant recording catalogue and a career as an international soloist. She creates large-scale collaborative works across radio, film, dance, theatre and public art, and has premiered scores of works, written for her.
Gideon Obarzanek is a director, choreographer and performing arts curator. He was recently Artistic Associate with the Melbourne Festival and co-curator for XO State at the inaugural Asia Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts (Asia TOPA).
Nithya Nagarajan is a curator, dancer and interdisciplinary performance-maker. As Manager – Community and Participation for the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Nithya leads the artist residencies, creative exchanges and public programs at NIDA’s first physical outpost in Victoria. She holds an award-winning PhD from Flinders University where her research focused on Indian contemporary dance and intersectional feminism.
Wang Peng is the founder of JunTianFang; a contemporary guqin master of both craftsmanship and performance; a designer of aesthetic space; and the Intangible Cultural Heritage Inheritor of the 'traditional guqin craftsmanship' programme in China.
He is also the Deputy Secretary General of the Guqin Professional Council of the China Nationalities Orchestra Society, the Deputy Director of the Display Art Council of the China National Interior Decoration Association, and a part-time professor at Renmin University of China.
Max de Wardener was born in London, and studied music at York University and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His classical commissions include a percussion concerto for Colin Currie and Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, and three works for the London Symphony Orchestra.
Max has also written extensively for film and TV, including two feature films for acclaimed director Pawel Pawlikowski, and the Emmy award winning TV series DNA.
More recently, Max has finished recording an album of unusually tuned piano music for Kit Downes (ECM), as well as an album of compositions for Cristal Baschet and Ondes Martenot performed by Thomas Bloch for Village Green Records.
‘Home’ can mean many things for artists – from intimate knowledge of a genre, artform or practice to a deep connection with a national culture, its customs and traditions. What happens when we open our homes to others … or bring our familiar ground to them? Can shared stories create a home for all?
During this year’s Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Wheeler Centre presents a series of discussions that unravel the thinking behind three shows, each arising from the meeting of different cultures and artforms. Join us as we count out the creative dividends of collaboration, exchange and knowing your neighbours.