Extraordinary things can happen in ordinary places, away from metropolitan centres in regional and rural areas.
Bundanon’s commitment to the Shoalhaven population has seen an explosion of interactions between the local community and Australia’s leading artists.
The Inaugural Annual Dance Affair
The Inaugural Annual Dance Affair is created by Everybody NOW! a group of performance makers and producers who create participatory, large-scale, immersive experiences that are celebratory and playful, propelled by passion and curiousity.
Inspired by the rise and fall of the social dance scene, The Inaugural Annual Dance Affair celebrates that the dance circuit is alive and ready to kick up the dust again. It is a large scale, site-specific and completely participatory dance celebration. Throughout the performance audiences are guided through decades of dancing stories – real stories from local dance legends.
Everybody NOW! led by Ian Pidd, Kate McDonald and Bec Reid work with real stories and real people. A local cast of millions – musicians, dancers and special guests.
Local Dance Groups: Shoalhaven Rock and Roll Club, Dance Works, Shoalhaven Country Line Dancers, The Shoalhaven English Country Dance, Find Your Feet, Shoalhaven Multicultural Group, Celtic Belles, Nowra Scottish Dancers, Reeve Wallace School of Dancing, Shoalhaven Performing Troupe.
The hot-to-trot Local Band working with Band Master Rafael Karlen: Kim Hair (singer/performer), Peter Lavelle (Guitar), Hans Kieft (Bass), Ian (Drums), Jen Williams (Clarinet).
It’s neither here nor there It’s everywhere and nowhere.
B-Side was a partnerhip with Urban Theatre Projects steered by journalist and broadcaster Daniel Browning and writer/director Andrea James. B-Side has been on offer to First Nations writers since 2013 and gives them the opportunity to tease out an idea in a professional, supported and cultrally safe environment. It was offered to South Coast artists in July 2018.
Four young emerging artists, Kaitlen Wellington, Connor MacNamara, Kryton Stewart and Bee Cruse (each with their own practice) were mentored through a process of generating and recording material for podcast. They came into residence over a week. The project was guided by ‘Gulpa Ngawal’ (deep listening). The group went on a deep listening bush walk with Uncle Max, recorded natural sounds and the human voice. They spent quiet time reflecting, writing and composing music. Together they developed a process of collaboartion and collage, weaving their singular voices and music into an integrated fifteen minute work called ‘What is dreaming?’ inspired by Uncle Max.
How to listen with your heart and senses and not just your ears; not matter what our life circumstances are – we are all vulnerable people. – Ann Frankham, Ensemble Member
‘Heads Up’ was about being part of a listening community. For five months in 2018 the 60+Ensemble gathered at Shoalhaven Heads to talk and write about trees and more than that, to listen to each other without judgement and often without comment.
‘Heads Up’ evolved out of an 18 month project with our local seniors and was based on the premise that well- being is enhanced by active participation in the arts.
It sounds so simple and yet how difficult it is to open our hearts and our ears at the same time. Our compassion muscle is weakened so often by life’s busy-ness.
To listen without judgement is a skill which takes a lifetime to learn, and so what better stage in life to truly exercise it, than in our older years. (Annette Tesoriero, Director)
The result was a beautiful and moving, multilayered performance including story-telling, video and live music. Presented at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Cetnre, Studio on May 12, 2018
Performers: Ann Frankham, Annie Howard, Elizabeth Elder, Horst Reimann, Inez Atai, Jennifer Abbott, Larraine Franklin, Mary Williams, Pat Rowe, Roslyn Wilson, Shirley Read-Jahn, Tessa Volpatti
Video: Sam James | Music: Max Croot, Govinda Abbott, Juliana Mathews | Katandra Women’s Choir | Director: Annette Tesoriero (Shoalhaven Health and Arts)
The Ghost Project
Perhaps the ghosts are real, perhaps they are the conjuring of the mind. Our imagination is as fearsome as our reality. – Anna Tregloan
The Ghost Project created by Sydney based artist and designer Anna Tregloan was a representation of local ghost stories collected during her visits to the region.
These stories formed the basis of an interactive art installation including projection, sound and objects presented at the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery. The Ghost Project was a pseudo museum, a cabinet of curiousities, in which artifacts, memories and stories came to life.
Experiencing how a simple memory can become a simple movement, simple sound or piece of music and then all put together, is something quite powerful. – Claire Manning, participant
In February 2017 around 60 seniors participated in a workshop program led by the key artists.
Annette led ‘Deep Listening, Joyous Voice’, an exploration of listening, singing and speaking. ‘Every breath ends, every sound decays; we are in essence ephemeral but abundant life is found in the smallest breath and the slightest sound’.
Philip guided participants through ‘Body Questions’ investigating movement and text derived from the lived experience of ageing, taboo and self determination. Individuals danced their autobiography.
Damien Barbeler invited five participants at a time to Bundanon to respond to the landscape. Using paper and pastels they created a score of Pulpit Rock and the surrounding landscape which was interpreted by live musicians.
As well as scheduled workshops there were other offerings. We set up a pop up shop in Nowra for a month which became a base for guided conversations, music making, costume making and filming video portraits with Sam James. We invited participants to take part in an excursion to Riversdale and attend a masterclass with the Sydney Symphony Fellows followed by a generative writing project.
The Program conlcuded with a big celebration ‘Pool Party’ at the Shoalhaven Surf Life Saving Club where everyone gathered to share their experiences, perform, paint and party.
The 60+Performance Ensemble were invited to make a work for Bundanon’s annual Siteworks Event. The theme for 2017 was ‘The Birds and the Bees’.
They came up with a title, ‘One Enchanted Evening’ a twenty minute choreographed performance in front of the Brook Andrew caravan which provided a surface for Sam James’ beautiful projections. Performers danced and held their ground, their bodies communicating stories of love and loss.
Retro screens were installed in the Brook Andrew caravans playing the video portraits of the 60+ community.
Cities are built on individuals’ secrets: every corner, every lane, every public building is full of secret moments… – Carlos Gomes, Director
Planet Nowra was a partnership between Sydney based Theatre Kantanka’s artistic director Carlos Gomes and guest artists Alison Clouston & Boyd, Katia Molino, Kym Vercoe and Sean Bacon working with local artists, makers and children.
The concept of ‘Planet Nowra’ was to uncover the hidden secrets of Nowra – to highlight aspects of the region, to re-imagine and reflect upon place, dream about the future and share personal stories. What are the landscapes? Who are the inhabitants? What do they think? What makes Nowra unique?
The artists collaborated with locals to re-examine their city through diverse artforms and to capture the spirit of Nowra. The process consisted of a series of making workshops in different mediums over the course of a year and involved around 100 people – including school children, local makers, artists, musicians, young people.