red shoes performance-makers and Browns Mart Productions present
25, 26, 27 May 2012
Gosse St Park
Spencer Hill, Alice Springs
Under Today is a contemporary, interdisciplinary performance which utilizes dance/movement, media, live music and a soundscape composed of previously unrecorded stories of the local Indigenous and non-Indigenous community, to trace the points of tension, connection and loss in this town called Alice Springs or Mbantua.
Under Today is a documentary of the Eastside of the river made up of a series of layered stories, of voices that intersect, contradict and coexist in unexpected ways –
‘Eastside was never eastside in those days – our people used to come and camp … stay there in humpies… we used to sleep outside all lined up all us kids and all the grandmothers...’
‘The Italian people, I think we are very funny people. Like the Romans. You know they build and then they destroy…'
Under Today will be performed over three nights in May. The performances will take place in the dug-out dirt drain which provides a pause between Gosse St, the last street on the urban grid on the east side of the river, and the dramatic rocky outcrops of Spencer Hill. Here the tensions between the built and natural environment are most keenly felt –
‘People used to get upset about the sites being destroyed by the houses getting built. Nobody listened to them because they thought they were just making up site as they went along.’
The audience will be seated along the wide ridge of the drain which forms a natural ampitheatre with views into the basin of the drain and across to the slopes and hill, which avail multiple performance platforms and video projection planes, transforming the exisiting surfaces and audience experience of the site.
Under Today is a development of a collaborative work by performance-maker Dani Powell, Alice Springs, and media artist Alexandra Gillespie, Canberra, performed in Goyder Street Lane, Eastside for Shifting Ground (Art, Land, Culture, May 2007). The work was developed in 2009 with the assistance of the Sidney Myer Fund, Arts NT and the Alice Springs Town Council and previewed on site in October that year. This production has been produced by Browns Mart and funded by the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NT and the Alice Springs Town Council with presenting partner Araluen Arts Centre.
Under Today has developed with the contribution of many creative artists along the way. Since the preview of this show in 2009 I have in the past 6 months been developing the script with new oral histories, and the invaluable dramaturgical assistance of Karen Hethey. Developments have also been made in sound design with Damian Mason coming on board this year and in choreography with Miriam Bond. We are delighted to have Carly Sheppard join the ensemble for this performance along with the young Tracey Webb and Monica Collins.
Under Today artists 2012
Dani Powell (animateur, writer, director) started making performances in Central Australia in 2000. In 2001 she began a creative partnership with Emily Cox which they called red shoes. In 2003 Dani undertook a Post-Graduate Diploma in Animateuring (Theatre) from the Victorian College of the Arts. That year she produced the weight of a sleeping child, and upon a river and then we might sleep against the external wall of ACCA in Melbourne. Dani returned to Alice Springs to continue red shoes’ productions and work with young people. She was Assistant Director of Big hART’s Ngapartji Ngapartji production from 2006-2009 and Community Producer of the project itself. In 2008 she was the Artistic Director of the Opening Ceremony of Art in the Heart, Regional Arts Australia National Conference.
Alexandra Gillespie (video/media artist) works in the nexus of media and visual art. Her practice includes video, photographic, installation, interactive and collaborative works, in these works themes of place and history are explored. Recent works include Insulate the Future, 2010 exhibited at Gallery Smith, Melbourne, Collars, 2009, exhibited at Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Bathurst Regional Gallery and presented at the International Symposium of Electronic Arts (ISEA) Singapore 2008. Ningenneh Tunapry: we understand media artist/designer for Tasmanian Indigenous gallery 2007, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart. Alexandra is currently a PhD Candidate, School of Art, Photography and Media Arts, Australian National University, with a College of Arts and Social Sciences Scholarship.
Damian Mason (sound artist) is a musician and sound designer based in Central Victoria, and has been producing work for theatre, television, radio, installation and film for over 15 years. Damian has worked on several productions with the arts company Big hART, including Hurt, kNot at Home, Beasty Grrl, Radio Holiday and was composer, performer and musical director for the stage show Ngapartji Ngapartji. Damian also composed the soundtrack for the documentary ‘Nothing Rhymes with Ngapartji’ recently screened on ABC TV.
Miriam Bond (dancer/choreographer) has worked as an independent performer, teacher and choreographer in Alice Springs for the past five years. A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, she has performed with companies and choreographers in Australia and overseas. She is the co-founder of the Dusty Feet Dance Collective and also works as a dance artist with InCite Youth Arts and Centralian Senior College.
Frances Martin (performer/maker) has a background in circus and physical theatre. Before moving to Alice Springs she worked as a Circus Trainer for Westside Circus in Melbourne and has been involved in the creation and production of several shows with Westside Circus as well as the developmental showing of Under Today and the Alice Springs Cabaret (2007 and 2008). She has just returned from Europe where she participated in the Interior Landscapes summer school with the Institute International de la Marionette in Charlevillemezieres.
Karen Hethey (dramaturg/ puppetry consultant) is a freelance puppetry artist and animateur with a background in professional puppetry, directing, clown, movement improvisation, site-specific multi-artform performance installation, spectacle theatre, community performance and applied Anthropology. Karen currently divides her time between professional international touring commitments with Spare Parts Puppet Theatre (The Arrival), independent theatre projects and her commitments as a core devising and design artist with WA artists’ collective SWERVE. Her independent work has ranged from self-devised solo performance work to site-specific performance installation, to directing large scale puppetry productions. Karen has facilitated workshops in puppetry manipulation, devising and construction in Australia and internationally and has worked extensively in many cross-cultural collaborations with indigenous artists in remote and regional Australia.
Kristy Schubert (performer/dancer) studied creative writing, literature and dramatic performance and Flinders University with First Class Honours and subsequent postgraduate research. She has worked as a freelance consultant in Alice Springs, gathering community knowledge from Indigenous and non-Indigenous people about various sensitive subjects (such as suicide and family violence) and then composing these into various forms (such as posters, soundtracks, animation, training packages, statistical charts and reports). She also has a strong background in dance and has used these skills in many performances in Alice Springs.
Fina Po (performer/illustrator) has a background in environmental studies, philosophy and writing. Fina joined the red shoes ensemble in May 2009 as an emerging performer. She has trained with internationally acclaimed butoh performers Yumi Umiumare and Tony Yap in Melbourne, where she has also trained in and studied Oki-do yoga. She has previously been involved in coordinating the community-based Melbourne Environmental Arts Festival and has also illustrated and written a series of zines called Elder Cleft. Fina also illustrated the props for Under Today with botanical illustrations of native plant species.
Michelle Goodwin (cellist) began playing the cello at the age of ten, and received seven years of classical training in solo and orchestral performance. After a hiatus of a number of years while studying and establishing a career in anthropology, Michelle returned to the cello in 2012 to explore improvisation techniques and contemporary and experimental styles of music through collaborations with other Alice Springs based artists.
Tracey Furber Webb is Eastern Arrernte and was born in Alice Springs in 2004. She is the daughter of Corrina Webb and Craig Furber. Tracey grew up moving around Tee Tree, Harts Range, Santa Teresa and Alice Springs. She is at school at Irrkerlantye and is studying ballet.
Monica Collins is an Eastern Arrernte girl and was born in 2004. Growing up in Sandy Bore and Hidden Valley, she now lives in Alice Springs with her parents, James Collins and Janice Turner. Monica is at school at Irrkerlantye and enjoys ballet.