Inspired by the experimental New York dance-scapes of the 80s and 90s, and born out of a need to bring the Victorian dance community together, Out of Bounds is an exciting artist sharing platform presented by two of Australia’s leading dance companies, Lucy Guerin Inc and Phillip Adams BalletLab. This August, 25 independent Victorian dance artists will develop and present a short showing of their recent choreographic investigations to local audiences and fellow artists at Temperance Hall.
The initiative provides artists the opportunity to receive critical feedback from the two organisations’ respective Artistic Directors, Lucy Guerin AO and Phillip Adams, as well as from attending artists and peers. Out of Bounds seeks to represent dance artists from across all forms, practices, cultures, histories, lineages, styles, disciplines, aesthetics and experimentations. The program’s aim is to show new work in a raw state—providing a generous, open space for artists to take risks and try out their ideas.
Congratulations to the following artists joining the Out of Bounds 2023 August program:
Alex Dobson, Alexander Powers, Alec Katsourakis, Bek Coates, Carmen Yih, Enzo Nazario, Giovanna Yate Gonzalez, Iris Elgar, Jiawen Feng, Karlia Cook, Loxy (Lachlan Purcell), Mara Galager, Mitch Spadaro, Mitchel Adlridge, Opal Russell, Paul Jay, Rachael Wisby, Sarah Saxon, Shian Law, Valentina Emerald, Vourneen Ni’Cainin, Yuiko Masukawa, Zoë Bastin.
Alex Dobson is a contemporary dance artist and choreographer based in Naarm. They have performed works for independent artists Jo Lloyd, Alisdair Macindoe, Zoë Bastin, Thalia Livingstone, and renowned Australian companies Phillip Adams BalletLab and Tasdance. Dobson has choreographed, danced, and shown work for Dancehouse’s Emerging Choreographers’ Program 2021, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020, Tempo Dance Festival 2020 (with DIANGLE), and Melbourne Fringe Festival 2018, 2019. Dobson’s movement practice operates through the unseen forces of queer theory, feminist ideologies and personal histories. Alex works with modes of attention, risk-taking, desire, and self-care.
Alexander Powers is a Naarm-based artist experimenting across electronic music, dance and choreography. She has created two full length choreographic works, ‘Time Loop’ in 2019 at the Brunswick Mechanics Institute, and ‘inputs outputs’ made for video displayed at Foundation Fiminco, Paris. She has danced for renowned choreographer Luke George in ‘Public Actions’ for Dance Massive 2019 and was the chosen participant in Arts House’s 2021 artist working group Makeshift Publics. Internationally renowned as DJ and electronic musician Female Wizard, Alexander was awarded Best Electronic Act at the 2021 Music Victoria Awards on the back of her second album of experimental techno, ‘TIE-EE-YIE-EE-YIE-EE-YIME’ released on Heavy Machinery Records. In 2023 she released ‘What A Body Can Do’ on her own label Powertrip Records.
Alec Katsourakis is an emerging Greek-Australian choreographer, dancer, dance, and yoga teacher. Their choreographic practice is focused on play, games and logic. Alec seeks to bring together artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to create vital and inclusive works through his project-based dance collective InPlay Projects. Alec has worked with prominent Australian and New Zealand dance choreographers including Stephanie Lake and Sean Macdonald. They have performed in works by Raewyn Hill, Huang Yi and Sam Coren during his time as a contemporary dance major at the New Zealand School of Dance. Alec has been obsessed with filmmaking since the age of 12 and often makes dance films as passion projects. Their film works have been featured in Dance(lens) at Dancehouse, The Festival For Work In Development in Wellington NZ and Testing Grounds.
Bek is a Naarm-based, Chinese-Australian artist who indulges in hybrid movement and utilises different genres of dance and design as a medium to honour her individuality. Regularly practicing hip hop, house, waacking, contemporary and ballet, she immerses herself in street dance culture and classical theatre practices to foster her freestyle and choreographic skills. Bek’s work centres on the continuous discovery of self, understanding and developing both cultural and social identity. Regarding the experience of alienation and the excavation of knowledge relating to her Chinese ancestry, Bek explores the unconventional through interdisciplinary and improvisational movement works. Bek strives to maintain an authentic approach to movement through the implementation of somatic practices and awareness when conversing, exchanging, and traversing amongst street dance culture. Recent projects include lead choreographer for Kitty Rae’s latest music video and performer for the Ladies Hip Hop Jam (commissioned by State Library Victoria).
Carmen Yih & Jiawen Feng
Carmen Yih is an emerging Chinese-Australian dance artist in her final year of the Victorian College of the Arts’ Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance). Her practice traverses film, community and youth practice, street dance, and contemporary dance spaces. As the daughter of two Chinese diaspora immigrants (Vietnamese-Chinese and Hong-Kong Chinese), Carmen is interested in taking an auto-ethnographic and interdisciplinary approach to her practice, using movement as a way to understand her own cultural standing, and as a way of communicating beyond vocal language. She is currently focussing on decolonising her movement by reconnecting with social, street, and folk-dance forms. Carmen was most recently commissioned by Signal Arts City of Melbourne for two film projects as part of Signal Screen x Sound Commissions. She has also performed as part of the MCA’s Genext program, and for ‘Butterfly Soupe’ at La Mama’s War-rak Banksia festival. Carmen is a member of Burncity Waack, a Melbourne Waacking community dedicated to sharing and preserving a freestyle dance form originating from the 1970s LA gay, black and Latinx community.
Jiawen Feng is a Naarm-based emerging dance artist. They have experience working with acclaimed choreographers and artists including Kialea-Nadine Williams, Kimball Wong, Brianna Kell and Daniel Riley (‘RISE’, 2020), Gregory Lorenzutti (‘Theatrum Botanicum’, 2022), Carol Brown and Jordine Cornish (‘Mental Spaces’, 2021). Most recently, Jiawen worked with Lucy Guerin (‘Splinter Groups’) and Ngioka Bunda-Heath (‘Footprint’) for the 2022 VCA Graduate Season. In 2021, their coursework creation ‘Outside In’ (Grainger Museum) made in collaboration with Valentina Dillon initiated their strong interest in multimedia performances and interactive technologies. They then brought ‘The Cat Game TM’ (pre-show event), an experimental interactive media project involving simple motion sensing with smart phones and programming, to the student work season of VCA Dance 2022. They were also a part of Swinburne University’s Siggraph Asia Project (Motion Capture) and Volumetric Capturing project (2021-2022) organised by Kim Vincs. Wendy’s movement vocabulary combines improvisation, release-based techniques and Chinese Classical training. Their current work in development is an autobiographical work with their mother, where they endeavour to further incorporate their cultural identity into their practice and challenge the way dance communicates to an audience.
Originally from North America, Enzo is an independent artist now based in Naarm. He graduated from the VCA in 2017 with a BFA in Theatre. During his time there he performed plays by Chekov, Brecht, Pinter, Bovell and worked with Bangkok based dance company Pitchett Klunchun for Asia TOPA 2017. After graduation, some of his credits include ‘Wild Cherries’ by Daniel Keene, directed by Beng Oh and presented at La Mama; Netflix series ‘Clickbait’; and ‘Neighbours’ on Network 10. Enzo has toured with ‘5 Angry Men’ led by Stephen Phillips across Womadalaide and White Night. Enzo completed his dance training at Transit Dance in 2022 and has worked for various choreographers including Ashley Mclellan, Kayla Douglas, Mason Kelly and Rebecca Jensen. Enzo was a part of Alicia Frankovich’s work ‘Rich In World/Poor In World’ for this year’s Melbourne Now. Enzo is currently in development with Chunky Move for a new major work for 2024.
Giovanna Yate Gonzalez
Giovanna Yate Gonzalez brings over 10 years of diverse experience to the performing arts industry. She has established herself as a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographic assistant in Colombian dance companies including Concept Anvar and Dinamov Danza. Giovanna has showcased her talent in numerous national and international festivals, demonstrating her versatility on stages across Brazil, Mexico, and Costa Rica. As a lighting designer, she has curated an impressive repertoire, including ‘Siren Dance’ by Lilian Steiner at Dance House, Sydney Dance Company, and Homo Novus Festival. Her expertise in lighting design has also contributed to productions like ‘Snow White’ at the National Theatre. In 2023, Giovanna took on the role of Lighting Designer for the show ‘Queers of Java’ in collaboration with Lengger artists from Indonesia, presented by Sydney Dance Company. Her skills were acknowledged through her selection as one of five participants in the highly regarded Besen Artistic Program’s Lighting Designer role at Malthouse.
Iris Elgar is a dance artist living on the lands of the Wurundjeri people. Keenly interested in both performance and choreography, they often bring theatricality, queerness, tenderness, and introspection to their work. Iris enjoys working with rhythm, voice, and intention-driven movement, and they love dance for its readiness to foster empathy, understanding, creativity, and connection. In 2022, Iris graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. During their degree, they performed in works by Brianna Kell and Daniel Riley, Gregory Lorenzutti, Ngioka Bunda-Heath, and Lucy Guerin. At the end of their degree, they were awarded a 2023 Phillip Adams/Temperance Hall Mentorship Award and are currently undergoing their consequent residency at Temperance Hall.
Some work Iris has performed in and/or choreographed include: ‘Rise’ (Brianna Kell and Daniel Riley, 2020), ‘I am Not a Magician’ (Iris Elgar, 2022), ‘Theatrum Botanicum’ (Gregory Lorenzutti), ‘Maude King is Still Performing’ (Iris Elgar, 2022), ‘Frank and Tomaat Test the Grounds’ (Iris Elgar and Valentina Emerald, 2022), ‘Footprints’ (Ngioka Bunda-Heath, 2022) ‘Splinter Group’ (Lucy Guerin, 2022), ‘Again, and’ (Iris Elgar and Valentina Emerald, 2023), and ‘Tina and Tomaat are On The Table’ (Iris Elgar and Valentina Emerald, 2023).
Jiawen Feng is a Naarm-based emerging dance artist, originally from Shanghai, China. Graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts with a BFA (Dance) in 2022, they have worked with acclaimed choreographers and artists including Kialea-Nadine Williams, Kimball Wong, Brianna Kell and Daniel Riley (‘RISE’), Gregory Lorenzutti (‘Theatrum Botanicum’), Carol Brown and Jordine Cornish (‘Mental Spaces’), Lucy Guerin (‘Splinter Groups’), and Ngioka Bunda-Heath (‘Footprint’).
Jiawen is experienced in working with technology as the capturee or performer. From 2021-22, they were a part of Swinburne University’s Siggraph Asia Project (Motion Capture) and Volumetric Capturing project organised by Kim Vincs. Most recently, they worked with Megan Beckwith on ‘Parallax’, a 45-minute solo (choreographed and artistically directed by Megan) integrating rigorous movement score, animation and 3D illusions—performed at Castlemaine Fringe Festival. Jiawen’s movement vocabulary is a culmination of improvisation, release-based contemporary techniques and Chinese Classical Dance.
Their current work in development ‘Ode to Being’, is an autobiographical work set to premiere in Melbourne Fringe 2023. In their practice, they endeavour to further incorporate their cultural identity and challenge the way art communicates to an audience.
Karlia Cook is a Naarm based contemporary dance artist, residing on the un-ceded and traditional lands of the Boonwurrung people of Kulin Nation. Karlia is of Māori and European descent with ancestral connection to the Ngāpuhi people of Aotearoa. Karlia’s artistic practice is focused on deconstructing form and building worlds that morph between the physical and ancestral, utilising the body as a site for dreaming and storytelling. Karlia is currently working as a freelance artist as well as completing a Master of Dance at the VCA. Previously, Karlia completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts (contemporary dance) at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Since graduating , she has worked with companies including Chunky Move, Joel Bray Dance and New Zealand Dance Company. In 2022, she performed in the world premiere of Joel Bray’s ‘Garabari’ at Arts House. In 2023, Karlia choreographed a short work ‘Oneness’ for New Zealand Dance Company as part of the Matariki Hunga Nui Program.
Loxy (Lachlan Purcell)
Loxy’s performances patch together dance, theatre and whatever else he can get his claws on. Rooted in jazz dance and improvised theatre techniques, Loxy has begun creating interdisciplinary works that ask us to read between the lines. His work hijacks pop-culture and refashions mainstream art to better fit his life experience. Loxy’s solo work makes up part of his wider practice as a choreographer. Beginning his career dancing in theatres, he has since begun to collaborate with musicians and actors. Moving forward, he intends to bring his practices into spaces where art is often sidelined.
Mara Galagher is a performance artist based in Naarm working within dance, performance art and video art. Recently she performed in Alicia Frankovich’s work ‘Rich in World, Poor in World’ as a part of NGV’s Melbourne Now performance program. Mara has also worked with artists Gabriella Imrichova and Alexander Powers on multiple projects, most notably, ‘24.01.23-25.01.23’ for Contact High at Gertrude Glasshouse, and ‘ALIENS OF EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY’ at Temperance Hall. Other artists and companies include, Jo Lloyd, Tasdance, Lilian Steiner and Deep Soulful Sweats. Mara is forming a practice around decay and degeneracy, highlighting the least flattering moments and being a sacrifice for other’s disturbed wants by succumbing to a repulsive form. She grew up training and performing Russian, Serbian and Ukrainian Folk dance as well as classical ballet. Having this foundation in stoic and disciplined artforms is something she both acknowledges and dismisses when moving and making.
Mitch is an independent dance artist, mentor and psychotherapy student who has been working collaboratively since graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2016. Mitch has worked for STRUT Dance (WA), Stephanie Lake Company (Vic), The Blue Room Theatre (WA), Oriental Land Company (Tokyo, Japan), and Boorloo-based artists Lauren Catellani, Bennett Miller, Ellen-Hope Thomson, Yvan Karlsson, Daisy Sanders, Jo Omodei and Sofie Burgoyne. Notable works include ‘Behavioural Ecologies’ (red), (a site-specific durational work associated with Bennett Miller presented in Waylyup for the Fremantle Biennal), ‘Desire Lines’, Fringe World 2020 (Catellani), ‘Colossus’, Perth Festival 2020 (Stephanie Lake Company), ‘A Tending’, SITU-8 2020 (Thomson and STRUT), ‘To Place’, Perth Festival 2021 (Catellani and The Blue Room Theatre), ‘A Resting Mess’ development 2021 & 2022 (Sanders), ‘Short Cuts & Groundworks’ 2022 (Omodei and STRUT), and ‘Body Horrors of the 21st Century’ 2022 (Burgoyne). Mitch was a mentee recipient for Luke George and Daniel Kok’s work ‘Hundreds and Thousands’ presented at PICA. Mitch was one of three co-producers facilitating in the works 2021, the first iteration of a lab for independent dance artists at PS Art Space in Walyalup/Fremantle and has sat on selection panels for arts organisations in WA.
Mitchell Aldridge is a Darwin-born dancer, photographer, filmmaker, and musician, with a Bachelor of Arts (Dance) from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). He has performed in Perth Festival with STRUT Dance’s ‘Hofesh in the Yard’, choreographed by Hofesh Schechter, Co:3 Dance Company’s ‘Archives of Humanity’ by Raewyn Hill, ‘10 Duets on a Theme of Rescue’ choreographed by Crystal Pite, and The Farm’s ‘The Ninth Wave’ by Gavin Webber and Grayson. He also works independently, featuring in many of STRUT Dance’s In-situ/Situ-8 and Short Cuts seasons. Mitchell also works with Brooke Leeder & Dancer’s as both a dancer and filmmaker. Working in film, Mitchell has appeared in Revelations Film Festival’s ‘These Walls’, directed by Brodie Rowlands, ‘FourByFour’, a 360 degree Virtual Reality film collaboration between Co:3, Tura New Music, and Frame VR/XR:WA, and ‘Structural’ for the WA Museum Boola Bardip. His first entirely self-produced and scored dance film, ‘Interstice’, was selected for Australian Dance Theatre’s Flow: Dance on Screen series in 2021. Mitchell has produced several other short dance films, and on 2022 collaborated as a visual-projection artist for Daisy Sanders’ ‘womb for world weeping’.
Opal Russell, from Kiama NSW, began her early training with Wollongong Performing Arts School and Austinmer Dance Theatre. In 2019 she received a scholarship placement for Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year and was awarded Most Innovative Choreographer at Sharp Short Dance Choreographic Award, Sydney. Opal has performed works by Rafael Bonachela, Ashley Wright, Thomas Bradley, Vicki Van Hout and Leah Marojevic. She has also worked with Pepa Ubra presenting her research at Critical Path. In 2020, Opal performed as a soloist in Stephanie Lake Company’s ‘Colossus’ and participated in March Dance Festival Sydney as a dancer and choreographer. In 2021, Opal worked digitally on a collaboration with dancers in Mexico for ‘Proper Motion Dance’ by Lisa McDonald. Currently, Opal is extending her training by studying a Bachelor of Dance at the University of Melbourne.
Paul Jay is a Melbourne-based exercise scientist and dance artist whose work grapples with themes of nature, existentialism, and queer friendship. Paul completed a Masters of Dance at VCA in 2019. Key influences include Australian choreographers Helen Herbertson, Rosalind Crisp, Olivia Millard and Rebecca Hilton. Previous work includes ‘Gay Wrath Parade’ (2019), his iterative solo project ‘48 POINTS’ (2016-18) and the One Direction-themed ‘World of Payne’ (2015).
Rachael Wisby (she/her) is a physical artist who lives and works in Naarm on the stolen lands of the Wurrundjeri people. Rachael graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2018. She has enjoyed learning from and dancing with artists including Lee Serle, Jo Lloyd, Phillip Adams, Geoffrey Watson, Jenny Kinder, Nana Biluš Abaffy, Walter Dunderville and Natalie Abbott. Rachael’s artistic practice articulates a desire for physical action that undermines the body-mind dichotomy. She makes performance-based, body-derived work that manifests as self-generating choreographic systems. She is most concerned with the fabricated, the fantasised and the fictitious body. Rachael is a student of the body and extends her inquiry with studies in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Sarah Saxon is an independent choreographer, dancer, and dance filmmaker interested in linguistics, body language, and the subconscious. She uses her site-specific improvisation practices, HikeDance and MemoryDance, alongside her writing practice, to inform her choreographic and dance-film work. Sarah holds a BFA (Dance) with Honours from VCA. Her short film ‘Tomatoes & Oranges’ was screened by the Ian Potter Gallery in 2020. Her ‘Inhabitance’ series spans live performance and dance-film and she has received support from Lucy Guerin Inc and Temperance Hall for the development of ‘Inhabitance VI’. Sarah has performed in numerous works, most recently Phaedra Brown’s ‘Waiting Game’ at Melbourne Fringe (2022) and Caroline Ellis’s ‘Conspire’ in Dancebourne Arts’ ‘The Fairy Doll Triple Bill’ (2022 & 2023). Sarah co-produced VCA student choreography season, Student Works 2019 and 2020 as well as Grad Fest (2020) for the VCA’s graduating dance cohort in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.
Shian Law is a Malaysian born queer artist based in Naarm. A graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts with formal training in dance and choreography, Shian’s artistic practice spans performing, performance-making, dramaturgy, collaborative research, writing, pedagogy and advocacy that orientates towards exploring the aesthetics of body and movement. More recently, they have re-kindled an immense passion for Chinese calligraphy, and painting in both Chinese Classical and the western style.
Valentina is a Naarm-based contemporary performance artist who centres her movement practice around the deep knowledges of the body. Her choreographic interests lie in using an interdisciplinary approach to create structures and environments for the body to move within and react to. Valentina has worked with prominent artists including Lucy Guerin, Gregory Lorenzutti, Daniel Riley, Hamish McIntosh, Zoë Bastin, John McCormick on virtual reality motion capture, and Kim Vincs on experimental volumetric motion capture. She has performed in venues such as NGV, Temperance Hall, Federation Square, Testing Grounds, MPavillion, and various clubs and festivals throughout Victoria and New South Wales. Valentina is also a member of duo Tina & Tomaat, who have a monthly performance practice where they employ absurdity to challenge expectations of performance.
Better known by her nickname Vee, Vee grew up on Gadigal/Bidjigal Country (Sydney) and has danced across almost every genre from ballet to ballroom since she was three. Her interest in contemporary dance saw her move to Aotearoa (New Zealand) to take up her tertiary studies with the New Zealand School of Dance (NZSD). Since graduating in 2019, Vee has performed in Festivals across Australasia including Wellington Fringe, Wellington Improv Festival, Pacific Dance Festival Auckland, Tempo Dance Festival Auckland, and Melbourne Fringe Festival as part of NZSD, House of SAND and InPlay Projects. Now based in Naarm, Vee performs and choreographs with Scimm. Dance Company as a Rising Artist, and enjoys creating new pieces on the company and its youth company Platforms, Pre-Pro course Nexus, and youth program Ascension. Vee is also a co-choreographer and performer with InPlay Projects alongside peer Alec Katsourakis, developing hybrid performance pieces.
Yuiko Masukawa is a Japanese choreographer and dancer based in Melbourne working with classical form in contemporary contexts. She was a principal artist with Melbourne City Ballet (MCB) from 2014-2019. As a choreographer with MCB, she created works for each contemporary season and over 10 full-length ballets for Melbourne City Youth Ballet in her role as Artistic Director. Her work was nominated for outstanding achievement in youth dance at the 2018 Australian Dance Awards. In 2020, Yuiko undertook choreographic secondments with New York City Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet, supported by the Ian Potter Cultural Trust. In 2022, she presented ‘why we are, who we are’ in collaboration with T.Shriraam, and ‘Running Machine,’ an international, interdisciplinary work at Arts House between Japan and Australia, and undertook a choreographic secondment with Lucy Guerin. In 2023, She presented the first development of her work ‘Yugen’ at The Australian Ballet as a part of FRAME: A biennial of dance.
Zoë Bastin is an artist. Her expanded choreographic practice considers exhibition, installation, publication and performance as part of the same political project – the reorganisation of societal structures that limit bodies. In 2021 she completed a PhD at RMIT, University. Bastin has previously exhibited & performed at the Villa Lena Foundazione, Chunky Move, Bus Projects, Dancehouse, Midsumma Festival, Felt Space, c3 Contemporary Art Space, Seventh Gallery, Testing Grounds, BLINDSIDE, Bloc Projects, KINGS Artist Run, MADA Gallery at Monash University, Project Space at RMIT University & The Substation.