Natalie Abbott and Rebecca Jensen present Physical Fractals, a performance that challenges perceptions and shifts the dimensions of reality.

A fresh crop: Next Wave Festival 2012

A brave group of VCA graduates unveiled solo projects at this year’s Next Wave festival – many for the first time.

By Annie Reid

The VCA has proudly supported the Next Wave Festival since it launched in 1984, with many of its former students now enjoying success across Melbourne’s arts industry.

Freelance contemporary percussionist, Matthias Schack-Arnott (BMus Perf 2010) will present a work that explores sound and confinement in Chrysalis.

The 10-minute work is performed for one audience member (at a time), who is asked to sit enclosed in a cocoon-like structure designed by Buro Architects.

Matthias Schack-Arnott’s work, Chrysalis invites the audience to reflect on the nature of confinement, as they sit in a cocoon-like structure designed by Buro Architects.
Matthias Schack-Arnott’s work, Chrysalis invites the audience to reflect on the nature of confinement, as they sit in a cocoon-like structure designed by Buro Architects.

Matthias plays on its outside walls, using grains of sand, rice and pressurised air.

‘The VCA has been a massive help to me as a young artist, by creating an atmosphere of exploration and innovation to different music making,’ he says.

Natalie Abbott (BDance 2007) will perform her first full-length choreographic piece, Physical Fractals, with fellow alumna Rebecca Jensen (BDance 2007), as the result of two years with Kickstart, Next Wave’s flagship creative development program.

In The Warmth of the Curve, Michelle Sakaris explores circumambulation – the ritual of circle walking.
In The Warmth of the Curve, Michelle Sakaris explores circumambulation – the ritual of circle walking.

The duo will present an aural journey to an intimate audience; hurling microphones to generate feedback, punctuating the space with blackouts and using live sound mixing and lighting to distort the audience’s perception.

For Michelle Sakaris, (BFine Arts 2009) an early fascination of circle walking inspired The Warmth of the Curve, which explores circumambulation – the ritual walking around a sacred object.

Michelle also credits her formative years at the VCA as crucial in shaping her career.

‘It’s the culmination of a few years work, and the idea of de-contextualising ritual practice has continued long after my VCA graduation,’ she says.

The 2012 Next Wave Festival program included a talented group of VCA alumni this year — a few of these graduates are listed below:

  • Fiona Bryant (Hiatus) (BDance 2004; PGDipChor 2006)
  • Joseph L Griffiths (Shelters) (BFineArt 2007)
  • Mark Bridget, Bridget Badalois, Zoe Rouse (BProd 2012) (Shotgun Wedding)
  • Rennie McDougall (BDance 2009), Lily Paskas (BDance, 2006), Lilian Steiner (BDance, 2009) , Paula Lay (BDance, 2008), Simon Charles (BMus Comp, 2005) (music) (Supertone)
  • ROGUE: Derrick Amanatidis (BDance, 2005), Sara Black (BDance, 2005), Danielle Cannavan, Holly Durant (BDance, 2005).
  • Suhaili Micheline, Kathryn O’Keefe, Harriet Ritchie (BDance Hons, 2007). (Fresh Produce)
  • Lee Searle (BDance, 2003)  (Fresh Produce)

A version of this article originally appeared on Channel, the Faculty’s previous publishing platform.