Posted on: September 22nd, 2017


Next up for our Liveworks artist features is local legend, Agatha Gothe-Snape. Working across many forms, her practice has developed to encompass dance, works on paper, collaboratively produced objects, PowerPoint slide presentations as well as improvised and procedural performances. Agatha will be drawing on all of this diversity for her ambitious Liveworks performance, Rhetorical Chorus. Inspired by a chance encounter with the legendary American conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner, this eagerly awaited work has evolved into a multifaceted exploration of the ways in which knowledge is produced, circulated and consumed. We were eager to catch up with Agatha and learn more about this much anticipated work.



Posted on: September 20th, 2017

At Performance Space we have championed queer artists for over 30 years, and we believe in equal rights for humans of all genders, sexualities, backgrounds and races.

We stand with our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex  community: the staff, artists, board members, audiences, volunteers, partners and community that make our organisation what it is, and we extend our deepest respect and gratitude for everything you bring to our culture at large.

Don’t forget to vote and make your voice heard in the marriage equality postal survey as it arrives in your mailbox this month. And, as the debate roils and ricochets across our media and our screens, take care and look out for each other. We’ll be looking out for you!

With love,

Jeff Khan and the PSpace family x


Posted on: September 15th, 2017


Kicking off our Liveworks artist features is New Zealand based practitioner, Mark Harvey. Drawing from a background in dance and visual arts, Mark’s conceptually driven performances focus on the body as a medium for social and political dialogue. Often merging serious concepts with a sense of deadpan humour, Mark’s Helping Hand performance for Liveworks should be an intimately challenging affair. In anticipation of the festival, we were curious to catch up with Mark but he unfortunately finds himself in Finland right now so kindly sent through these responses instead.


1 – Can you tell us about your first really memorable performative experience?

For me there were two really memorable early experiences. One was when at the start of highschool in the mid 80’s I conceived, directed and co-performed with half my class a live stage response to the Young One’s version of Living Dole, which razzed up the whole school with its punk and anarchistic overtones. No one thought we could do it, and for me I feel I discovered something interesting for me about live performance that attempts to question the status quo.

The other time was when I started dance training at 19 and completely froze on stage during a ballet performance – the power of the potentiality of vulnerability and risk of failure that served to question dominant norms really stood out to me.


2 – Do you have a favourite performance work?

I don’t have one favourite work but I am a fan of many of Vito Acconci’s works from the early 70’s. The sense of simplistic actions along with psycho-social material he tested has always appealed to me.


3 – Would you agree that a lot of your work focuses on the body as a medium for political and social dialogue? If so, where do you think this stemmed from?

Yes I believe that’s the case for me. It comes from me growing up in a family with profoundly deaf parents, and, in addition to me always being physically active with growing up with doing work for no pay in my father’s small construction business, playing sport such as rugby at age 4 and then giving up on all of that macho stuff and training in contemporary dance at age 19 and then doing it professionally for a few years before turning to the dark side of art.


4 – A sense of deadpan comedy seems to be ever present within your performances. What is the importance of humour within you work?

For me I never intend to make my work funny for the sake of it. This way I think if people will find something funny then it might just be funnier for them. If they don’t find it funny then there’s less risk of not only it being found problematic because its jokes don’t work but also the work conceptually falling over. Where humour can eventuate for me there’s definitely an influence of my construction site and deaf culture origins, not to mention I guess an affiliation with punk related pop culture of decades gone by. (I also cherish awkward and vulnerable moments.)


5 – The narrowing and polarisation of individual views in contemporary society is a growing concern that your work for this year’s festival seems to address. Is this concept of exposing participants to differing political perspectives through performance partly in response today’s escalating divisions?

Absolutely. As I answer this there is about to be an election in my own country and the public discourses around it are more volatile than ever. Also, for me I don’t see people discussing their differences out in the open very much – so this is a chance for me to see what can happen if I can engage them on these kinds of levels.


If you’re willing to divulge, how do you envisage this taking place?

I will be setting up physical provocations that invite chatter and banter with punters. A goal of mine is to help people feel like they can do this with me if they are up to it. For me, the conversations I have with people is the most important part of my work, along with the physical challenges I often intentionally put myself through.


6 – Do you think people will be more understanding of opposing ideals when placed in these atypical situations?

That’s a good question. I’m expecting people to feel like they are being listened to and I’ve found that when this is achieved they tend to be more willing to take in other perspectives.

Choreographic Exploration Residency – Taree Sansbury

Posted on: May 26th, 2017

This July Performance Space and Critical Path will join forces to support a new dance residency project. Taree Sansbury will be hosted by our partner organisations, Creative Practice Lab, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW and Campbelltown Arts Centre to develop her new performance work mi:wi. 

Taree will use this residency to investigate the simplicity and implications of physically weaving materials, and what is revealed from the practice of a tradition passed on through thousands of years to this present day, as well as how these temporalities might be embodied. The work explores mi:wi as a concept; a word meaning ‘innards’ or ‘an inner spirit’ passed down through mothers since the time of creation. Her work will intertwine contemporary Indigenous dance techniques and the traditional practice of weaving from the Ngarrindjeri people of South Australia. Taree will develop choreographic material for three performers that brings together text, video, and movement. Through this work Taree hope to find new ways of thinking about Aboriginal dance.



Taree Sansbury is an emerging freelance artist and NAISDA Dance College graduate. She is a proud Kaurna, Narungga and Ngarrindjeri woman from South Australia. In her short time as a freelance artist Taree has worked with some of Sydney’s highly acclaimed independent makers such as Vicki Van Hout Long Grass, Victoria Hunt Tangi Wai and Thomas E. S. Kelly [MIS]CONCEIVE and has also worked with companies such as Force Majeure and Branch Nebula. More recently Taree performed in Martin Del Amo’s latest work Champions in the 2017 Sydney Festival.


Taree Sansbury is developing a dance theatre work: mi:wi. It has been commissioned by Next Wave as part of their Kickstart Helix program. This development is supported by Performance Space with the Creative Practice Lab, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW, and Critical Path with Campbelltown Arts Centre.



Artist In Residence UNSW – Justin Shoulder

Posted on: May 26th, 2017

Performance Space and UNSW Creative Practice Lab are partnering to support the development of a new solo performance work by Justin Shoulder.

Occupying Io Myers studio for the month of June, Shoulder’s work-in-progress evokes a post-apocalyptic landscape rife with decay, where the human and the android have merged for survival. Carrion uses the performance space as an archaeological site to uncover queered and Filipino ancestral mythologies, and imagine multiple futures that transcend the dystopic/utopic binary of the anthropocene.

Emerging from extended collaboration and training with celebrated choreographer Victoria Hunt (Tangi Wai, Liveworks 2015), Shoulder has devised an articulated gestural language for Carrion using BodyWeather methodologies to strengthen his performance practice. This residency will focus on further developing the choreography of the work, as well as integrating the immersive light and visual design of Ben Cisterne into the performance. A score will accompany Carrion’s movement vocabulary from composer Corin Ileto and costume by Matthew Stegh fusing the human and bionic.



Justin Shoulder has been working in performance, installation and queer nightlife events production for the past nine-years. He considers his practice to be a part of a queer ecology co-creating both the spaces for performative expression as well as the figures that inhabit these spaces with his collective The Glitter Militia. Over this time Shoulder has created a family of performance figures called The Fantastic Creatures drawing from the universal storytelling form of the mythical creature. Each creature he has birthed is realised through the construction of full-body highly sculptural avatars and animated by their respective gestural vocabularies. They inhabit nightclubs, theatres, galleries and the street, as well as screen based and virtual spaces.

Victoria Hunt is a Sydney-based dancer, choreographer and teacher. Her tribal affiliations are to Te Arawa, Rongowhaakata, Kahungunu Maori, English and Irish. She is a founding member of De Quincey Co since 1999; guest performer with Mau Company (NZ); and co-curator of The Weather Exchange. Since 2003 Victoria has created a body of solo performance work in collaboration with other interdisciplinary artists. Copper Promises: Hinemihi Haka premiered at Performance Space in 2012, was nominated for a Helpmann Award for Best Female Performer in Dance and toured to the UK and Canada. Tangi Wai…the cry of water premiered in Performance Space’s 2015 Liveworks festival.


Supported by Creative Practice Lab, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW

Queer Development Program 2017

Posted on: April 7th, 2017

Thanks to all the artists, facilitators and partners involved in the Queer Development Program for 2017.
In case you missed out, we’ve put the documentation from Queer Nu Werk up on our Facebook for everyone to enjoy! Feat your eyes on the big, sweaty, queer extravaganza we hosted at PACT and tag those familiar faces in the crowd. We’ve also included a couple of sneaky behind-the-scenes moments from the workshops week where our lucky performers spent time with Pspace family Victoria Spence, Chris Ryan, Brooke Stamp, Bhenji Ra, Emma Price, Frances Barrett, Nat Randall and Julie-Anne Long – learning nu creative methodologies to help then make even more nu werk!

Lastly here is a few beautiful words from some of the participating artists on their experience with the program.

“As a regionally-based emerging queer artist, I found the Stephen Cummins Queer Development Program to be an exceptional professional development opportunity, exposing me to fresh and exciting ideas around creating new work and enabling me to work with an amazing array of artistic talent – both in terms of the facilitators and my fellow workshop participants. 

The selection committee did a stellar job of curating an incredibly diverse group of artists, from a wide range of backgrounds, ages and experiences, which made the cross-pollination of ideas throughout the week vibrant, exciting and dynamic. My fellow werq-shoppers were not only interesting and talented, but also genuinely lovely human beings to boot – a wonderful bunch to work with”!

– Rachel Scollay

“Every workshop allowed me to extend myself and expand my thinking in regards to my practice. From creative thinking, problem solving, new theoretical approaches and thrusting me out of my comfort zone I gained many new skills and tools during the week. I also gained so much from the time spent with my fellow participants, the opportunity to learn and absorb from each other was invigorating”.

 – Kieran Bryant

Queer Development Program 2017 from Performance Space on Vimeo.

QUEER NU WERK SATURDAY MARCH 25 – Brendan Maclean Joins the line up!

Posted on: March 16th, 2017

Performance Space in association with PACT Centre for Emerging Artists presents




PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, Erskineville

We are thrilled to announce the full line up for next Saturday’s big event!


DJs Hip Hop Hoe & Stereogamous


Brendan Maclean

KoCo Carey

Bhenji Ra & Slé

Stephen Cummins Workshop Artists

Join us from 6pm at PACT for a sausage sizzle, a drink some amazing performance and a dance to great tunes! We are celebrating a month of amazing artist residencies and workshops for one night only!

Tickets $10 online ($15 at the door unless sold out!) – buy now


Just announced – STIFF GINS, The Spirit of Things at Yirramboi Festival!

Posted on: March 9th, 2017

Spirit of Things: Sound of Objects
Wednesday 10 May 2017 8pm
Melbourne Recital Hall

Performance Space is thrilled to announce that Spirit of Things: Sound of Objects will tour to Melbourne for the Yirramboi Festival in May 2017. Making its premiere at Liveworks 2016 Spirit of Things: Sound of Objects is the first full-length theatre work by Indigenous musical duo Stiff Gins (Nardi Simpson and Kaleena Briggs).


Experimental Choreographic Residency 2017 – Atlanta Eke

Posted on: March 8th, 2017

Performance Space and Critical Path are thrilled to announce that Atlanta Eke is the recipient of our Experimental Choreographic Residency for 2017 for her new work The Tennis Piece (Working Title).

Atlanta will use the three-week residency to explore new choreographic material for a solo dancer that studies the relationship between human movement and mechanical inventions throughout history. She will consider the fraught relationship between technological advancement and the growing obsolescence of the human body as a technology for movement production.

Atlanta will be joined by composer Daniel Jenatsch and technologists Ready Steady Studio (Hana Miller and Jacob Perkins) to collaborate on a choreographic experiment that will see a collection of programmed tennis ball machines and a robotic lute working together in co-operation and chaos, slowly subsuming the presence of the dancing body. The three-week development will utilise the principles of game theory to structure the movements of the dancer, the machines, and their relationship to one another.



Atlanta Eke lives and works in Melbourne. Her work as a dancer and choreographer is concerned with dissolving pre-existing perceptions and expectations by changing fixed representations of the body through movement. She works with and beyond the limitations of the body, in collaboration with fellow dancers and visual and sound artists in variety of contexts. Her work with dance is currently project specific, within each project a question for the next arises, along side an effort to deconstruct the modes of production and presentation of the previous work. Atlanta questions the political and temporal implications of positioning performance in theatrical and exhibition spaces and timeframes, she is currently interested in working on the format of the exhibition as a resource for dance and choreography as well as developing hybrid transitional spaces for crafting new cultural rituals.


Performance Space and Critical Path Present
Experimental Choreographic Residency 2017
23 May – 9 June


Posted on: March 2nd, 2017

Are you a savvy comms person with great organisational skills and a love for experimental art?

Applications for our new Marketing and Development Manager have been extended! Now due 17 March!


More details