Hold Me Closer Tony Danza by The Farm to Make its Victorian Debut at MPAC

Hold Me Closer Tony Danza

Monash Performing Arts Centres from May 1 – 3

Queensland-based dance company The Farm will bring their bold, brash, and deeply seductive show Hold Me Closer Tony Danza to Monash Performing Arts Centres (MPAC) for four shows from May 1 – 3.

Commissioned by MPAC and making its Victorian premiere, Hold Me Closer Tony Danza is an immersive dance-theatre show that confronts a world driven by information overload. Tony asks how we can still connect with each other when we feel so far apart? In line with their ethos, The Farm crosses art forms and genres to express what it is like to live in this time, on this planet.

The show suggests that a commonly misheard song lyric contains a deeper proposition about how we form meaning and a provocation that perhaps our understanding of the world is intrinsically flawed. With a strong satirical edge, Hold Me Closer Tony Danza asks the audience to pick a side, show their true colours, and get ready for a dance-off as if their lives depend on it. This one-hour ride asks the audience to feel brave enough to participate in the dance-off where they will sometimes be asked to stand and move around the space with seating available if required.

Hold Me Closer Tony Danza features dancer, choreographer and founding member of The Farm, Kate Harman. Kate has created and performed in works within the realms of dance, theatre, circus, performative installation and in projects created with amateurs and young people. She is a frequent collaborator with The Farm and with them has created the works Cockfight, The Ninth Wave, Throttle and TIDE. Through her work with The Farm Kate has won a Helpmann, Drovers and most recently an Australian Dance Award.

Kate will be joined by choreographer and dancer Oli Mathieson. Oli has worked with The New Zealand Dance Company performing in What They Said, choreographed by Melbourne choreographer Jo Lloyd, which premiered in Tempo Dance Festival 2022. Oli has also worked with Movement Art Practice in residence to research his work Full Digital Upload.

Hold Me Closer Tony Danza is directed by The Farm’s co-artistic director Gavin Webber. Throughout his career, Gavin Webber has worked between Australia and Europe and directed theatre, dance, circus, film and installation. He took The Farm from regional Australia to national and international touring and back to Europe to join PVCtanz in Germany.

Composition and sound design are provided by Australian sonic artist Anna Whitaker. As a composer-performer, Anna’s work has been featured front and centre of productions and theatre companies including La Boite Theare Company, Bleach Festival, Anywhere Theatre Festival, Brisbane Festival and The Farm Company. Her vast background in classical music and technology-based sound art result in musical concoctions from the traditional and contemporary worlds.

Lighting design is provided by Govin Ruben, a Malaysian/Australian performance maker, designer, director and creative producer based between Kuala Lumpur, New York and Melbourne. He is a multiple Greenroom Award winner and a 5-time winner of the National Arts Award in Malaysia.

The Farm is based in Queensland with strong roots in Perth and Berlin. The innovative theatre company pushes the boundaries of contemporary arts practice by challenging preconceptions of what dance is and where it can be viewed, proving to be bold re-imaginers of the ways contemporary performance can affect the lives of everyday people. Hold me Closer Tony Danza confronts our modern world through the subversion of pop sensibilities, with an intensely satirical edge, commissioned by Monash University, Carriageworks, Dancehouse and the Keir Foundation for the 2020 Keir Choreographic Award.

“The starting point was a misunderstood Elton John lyric played to great comedic effect. This tension between
“rightness” or “wrongness” framed a deeper, pop-cultural exploration of differences in opinion through club dancingand seamless partnering” 

Limelight magazine, 2024

Bookings: https://www.monash.edu/performing-arts-centres/event/hold-me-closer-tony-danza/

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