FRAME: Full Program Announced


A Biennial of Dance

A major new biennial dance festival for Australia, FRAME is an evolving and transformative assembly for audiences, makers, and presenters to celebrate and experience dance. In announcing the full program, FRAME presents dance in an expanded field including performances, creative development sharings, films screenings, exhibitions, and talks.

City of Melbourne Creative portfolio lead Jamal Hakim said FRAME provides a unique opportunity to showcase Melbourne’s leading dance performers, artists and creatives.
“Melbourne is Australia’s dance capital and we’re so proud to twist, twirl and shout our part in delivering an unmissable festival of dance.”
“Our arts sector is critical to a vibrant and eclectic city and this festival responds directly to the needs of artists – working collaboratively with more than 17 organisations and diverse people across cultures, genders and dance forms to create a festival like no other.”

The inaugural FRAME will run from March 1-31 and feature works presented by Arts House, Bunjil Place, Centre for Projection Art, Chunky Move, Dancehouse, Darebin Arts Speakeasy, Lucy Guerin Inc, Punctum, The Australian Ballet, The Substation, Temperance Hall, and more.

The full FRAME program offers something in dance for everyone, including talks with creative teams following some performances. Read below for highlights of the full program.
The Honouring, Jackie Sheppard – Arts House
A physical theatre show with movement, dialogue, text and puppetry, The Honouring is about suicide and grief within the First Nations community. The performance poses a deeply taboo question: when suicide is played out almost every day, does it then become a practice of ritual that has become weaved into our cultural identity? The Honouring explores the transitions that the spirits take after suicide and pays homage to their souls. The Honouring was first presented at La Mama in 2019 for YIRRAMBOI festival. Creator Jackie Sheppard will be redeveloping and expanding the show for FRAME.
A Bestiary of Unimaginable Animals by Nana Biluš Abaffy – Temperance Hall
A Bestiary of Unimaginable Animals is an experimental choreographic as well as visual work for three dancers and a congregation of beasts, created by Nana Biluš Abaffy. Inspired by the medieval bestiarium, an elaborately illustrated compendium of both real and unreal animals, minerals and other forms of life, the work sets into motion a kaleidoscopic world of motley menageries and as yet unrealised environments. A Bestiary of Unimaginable Animals plays with a self-organising animality as it moves through a fragile habitat that can shift or break at any moment. Unfolding over four days, this newly commissioned work invites audiences to step into a bestiary of the unimaginable.
1 – 4 March. Temperance Hall, 199 Napier St South Melbourne.
Cuddle by Harrison Ritchie-Jones – Chunky Move
Partners in crime raise the stakes and go all out on a dance heist, bigger than ever before. The window is short and the road is dangerous — will they make it out alive? In Cuddle, two of Melbourne’s contemporary dance artists on the rise, Harrison Ritchie-Jones and Michaela Tancheff, expertly explore and subvert expectations around intimacy. Circled around the space like spectators at a wrestling match, the audience witness a difficult, dynamic duel that’s full of surreal sonic and visual surprises.
11 March. Chunky Move, 111 Sturt St, Southbank

Exposed by Restless Dance Theatre – Arts House
With our backs to the wall, we build boundaries and communities to protect our most fragile sides. But what happens when those borders prove unstable? Exposed is an evocative exploration of vulnerability and risk, taking as its central metaphor that most uncontainable of bodily expressions: the breath. Our breathing is a register of threat, calm or panic, and here the sonic possibilities of the breath entwine with a haunting score to accent the movements of seven Restless dancers Exposed is a brave response to a universal experience, in which traumas and failures mingle with desires and hopes. It teases the line between standing up for yourself, and opening up to another, through a series of visual and aural experiences that will leave their mark.
22 – 25 March. Arts House, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne

A Certain Mumble by Amelia Jean O’Leary – Darebin Arts Speakeasy
A new work by First Nations Gamilaroi dance artist Amelia O’Leary and Chinese Malaysian dance artist Janelle Tan, expressing their multiple truths and stories of what it feels like to be an outsider in Australia. These two young artists invite us into the murky space between the conviction they hold in their identities, the perils of being misunderstood, and the subterranean rumblings telling you you don’t belong here.

IN-VOCATION たまおこし by Yumi Umiumare Dancehouse
Entangling old world Kabuki mystique with volumetric 3D video, IN-VOCATION たまおこしsummons the sacred power of female archetypes and deities. In collaboration with a clairvoyant from Japan, local artists, and an international guest performer, Yumi Umiumare opens a Jujutsu呪術 (Magic) portal to discover the colourful characters of OKUNI, an initiator of Kabuki Japanese theatre. Evolving out of Yumi’s solo work, Buried TeaBowl – OKUNI the team of mystics return to prod their collective memories and discover the many essences of the divine feminine. Punk, playful, and exuberant, this is an intimately epic and profanely sacred ritual that incites an audience revolt of the spirit.
21 & 28 March. Dancehouse, 150 Princes Street North Carlton.

NEWRETRO by Lucy Guerin Inc – NEWRETRO is an epic new performance installation by leading Australian choreographer Lucy Guerin, celebrating 21 years of the award-winning dance company Lucy Guerin Inc (LGI). A large-scale assemblage of ideas and excerpts of Guerin’s choreography from LGI’s past productions is reconfigured to create a new long-form work inhabiting the iconic galleries at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA). Featuring a company of 21 exceptional dancers, the work addresses physical memory, movement lineages and the dancer’s embodied knowledge in an immersive experience at once intimate and spectacular. NEWRETRO is an exhilarating celebration of the dancers, the artform and a significant bodr of work.
25 March – 2 April. Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank.
TADRA, and other visions by Jahra Wasasala in collaboration with Henry Lai-Pyne – Chunky Move
Activators is Chunky Move’s commissioning program for small scale experimental new work with an open-ended approach to the format and platform for presentation. For Activators 10, Chunky Move is excited to work with Aotearoa (New Zealand)-based Jahra Wasasala, Fijian world-builder, movement psychopomp and writer. Jahra will be working in collaboration and presenting with Naarm-based artist Henry Lai-Pyne and Aotearoa-based artist Oliva Luki (Spewer). The residency at Chunky Move studios will culminate in a one-off public showing as part of FRAME.
31 March. Chunky Move, 111 Sturt St, Southbank

TWO by Raghav Handa – Arts House
In the Kathak tradition of classical Indian dance, a drummer takes control while a dancer follows their lead. In TWO this fundamental rule is put to the test, as dancer Raghav Handa and maestro tabla musician Maharshi Raval explore the ways in which traditional power dynamics and conventional roles can be upended in the pursuit of creativity. Fusing powerful physicality with virtuosic performance, TWO is a dynamic, energetic dance celebration imbued with a playful spirit and zest. Conversational and intimate, it’s a candid exploration of the process of art-making and the interplay between artists. TWO is a witty, personal work about an inter-generational, intercultural relationship.
1 – 4 March. Arts House, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Us And All Of This by Liesel Zink – Arts Centre Melbourne, Bunjil Place, Geelong Arts Centre
After a three-year hiatus, the Betty Amsden Participation Program returns for its eighth installment in a new multisite participatory project. In an epic, once-in-a-lifetime event, 300 local participants will join award-winning choreographer and creator Liesel Zink at one of three venues across Victoria to create a large-scale, meditative and sculptural public dance work. Arts Centre Melbourne, Geelong Arts Centre and Bunjil Place will each engage 100 people varying in age, ethnicity, gender and body type who love to move and are keen to be involved in a new dance performance. Renowned sound artist and composer Lawrence English will create the soundscape for this performance allowing the movers to explore togetherness and community. People are encouraged to attend one of the three locations to witness the 100 participants weave throughout the space.

Creative Development Sharings

An Afternoon of Work-in-Progress Studio Showings – The Australian Ballet 
As part of the inaugural FRAME festival program, The Australian Ballet will be hosting An Afternoon of work-in-progress Showings, featuring choreographic explorations by artists Prue Lang, Yuiko Masukawa, Sandra Parker and Lilian Steiner. Audiences will move between studios to see all four 15-minute pieces.
19 March. The Australian Ballet Studios, The Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre Level 5, 2 Kavanagh St Southbank.

Horror, Body and Hauntology by Martin Hansen – Lucy Guerin Inc.
LGI artist-in-residence, Martin Hansen, shares his ongoing research project Horror, Body and and Hauntology. How do the thinking body and the horror genre interrogate each other? How can horror and the body think together to gently shift the theatre as a container? What can aestheticised horror tell us about real horror and what real horror lies in the theatre? At the culmination of his residency, Martin will present three work-in-progress showings followed by a Q&A.
10 – 11 March. WXYZ Studios, 130 Dryburgh Street North Melbourne
The Mothering Project by Forest V Kapo and collaborators – Punctum
How do you celebrate and recognize what cares for you and or takes care of you, and what do you care for in return? This enquiry moves the word mother beyond the gendered notion and role of mother. From a noun to a verb while separating it from the biological act of giving birth to the active engage-ment of mothering. It’s not a replacement it’s a response – gathering the identities and tasks of parent caregiver mother into a collective.
12 March. Dance Studio, The Engine Room, 58 View Street Bendigo.
Film Screenings
Curated by the Centre for Projection Art Choreographic Experiments On Screen will showcase dance on film. A highlight of this series is TOXX by Luna Mrozik Gawler.
TOXX meditates on the planetary inheritance of industrial residue, traversing territories of toxicity, queer(y)ing the eco-monstrous figure to reckon with the grotesque figurations of ecological presents and the radically ulterior futures that might lie beyond. The porous progeny of the Toxicocene find themselves compromised, united in their corporeal contamination across every cell, site, and species. TOXX lingers in the disquiet of these post-normal narratives, refusing the convenience of utopic/dystopic binaries in favour of the morphic muck of transition without expectation of arrival.
Composite Moving Image Agency & Media Bank, 4/35 Johnston St, Collingwood and also a satellite showcase at Bunjil Place and Metro Arts in Meajin (Brisbane).15 – 18 March.

FRAME presents a number of dance exhibitions taking place across Melbourne with the Centre for Projection Art at Abbotsford Convent and Brunswick Mechanics Institute. The Substation also presents REALREEL, curated by Jo Lloyd and Melanie Lane.

REALREEL is an exhibition curated by Jo Lloyd and Melanie Lane bringing together a nation-wide selection of artists that centre the body [dance] on screen with a focus on experimental, contemporary performance making and varied, Australian choreographic voices. Spanning from cultural storytelling to speculative fiction, the exhibition reflects on the language of dance on film as an archive of memory, ephemerality and imagination. Traditionally a live art form, these films shift dance beyond the limits of the body and into a space that captures time, movement and human experience in extraordinary ways.
1 March–1 April | Wed – Sat. The Substation, 1 Market St Newport

For a complete list of performances, film screenings, creative development sharings, talks and more visit

  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • WordPress
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>