RAV partners with VicHealth to commission new works
27th October 2010
Regional Arts Victoria has commissioned new works from two of Australia’s leading performers, comedian Damian Callinan and burlesque legends Finucane & Smith, as part of VicHealth’s Arts About Us program.
The program aims to promote discussion about race-based discrimination, and the role that diversity plays in combating this. The program has awarded funding to 16 different projects throughout the state.
The partnership has enabled Regional Arts Victoria to commission Callinan and Finucane & Smith to create contemporary, challenging and innovative performance pieces designed for regional touring.
The works will fuel discussion of issues surrounding cultural diversity, intercultural relations and discrimination in regional areas.
Damian Callinan has created The Merger, which premiered at the Adelaide Fringe Festival earlier this year. It subsequently played at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, where it was nominated for a Barry Award for Best Show.
The Merger centres around the fictitious Bodgy Creek Football Club, and the lengths to which the struggling club will go to recruit new players.
Using his trademark quick wit and physical comedy, Callinan brings issues of cultural diversity to the fore.
The work is currently in development for a 2011 tour which aims to include performances in theatres as well as non-traditional venues such as football clubs and RSLs.
Finucane & Smith have begun creative development for The Caravan Burlesque, a performance which will recreate the essence of cabaret as it was in Paris and Germany at the turn of the 20th century.
Finucane describes The Caravan Burlesque as “a discourse on freedom and diversity dressed up as a hot night out.”
“When art seduces people through cultural and political barriers, extraordinary possibilities arise with audiences; possibilities for change and engagement,” she says.
Finucane & Smith have earned international acclaim for their Burlesque Hour since it first stormed the Melbourne stage in 2004 with a sell-out season. Since then, it has appeared in numerous guises around the world. Its most recent incarnation, the Carnival of Mysteries, will take over fortyfivedownstairs as part of the Melbourne Festival in October.
The first stage of creative development for The Caravan Burlesque was held in July. It will tour Victoria in 2012.