Native dignity

Reimagine how life was for 19th-century Koori Victorians in this provocative Blak & Bright Indigenous Literary Festival performance.

Booked Out

18 February 2016, 7:00pm8:15pm
Booked out
Accessibility Has wheelchair access

Join poet Robbie Batzke, opera singer Shauntai Batzke and contemporary dancers Carly Sheppard and Baden Hitchcock in a provocative and entertaining performance that challenges our interpretation of colonial race relations.

This creative questioning, prompted by the work of colonial artist ST Gill, invites us to reimagine life for Koori Victorians in the 19th century, and offers up radical visions of hidden histories and possible futures.

About the presenters

Robbie Batzke is a proud Miriam Torres Strait Islander man. Originally from Cairns but now based in Melbourne, he is the founding director of Soul4GIVE, a not-for-profit Indigenous advocacy for the advancement of Indigenous wellbeing. Robbie has previously acted as artistic director for musical events in Queensland and provided music management for various performing artists. He now shares his story and social views through the medium of spoken word and poetry.

Wiradjuri singer/songwriter Shauntai Batzke will make her Sydney Opera House debut later this year with the Short Black Opera Company in Deborah Cheetham AO's opera Pecan summer. After a short stint in New York working with singers, maestros and directors from the Metropolitan Opera House and completing two consecutive years with the Melba Opera Trust, Shauntai is now working on Puccini roles for the stage and music programs with Soul4GIVE.

Baden Hitchcock is a Melbourne-based indigenous contemporary artist. A recent graduate from VCA, he has worked with choreographers Antony Hamilton, Lee Serle, Becky Hilton, Lina Limosani, Maria Randall and Prue Lang. He has most recently performed in Antony Hamilton's production Nyx as part of the Melbourne Festival. Baden also has a strong background in music, receiving his Performance Certificate in violin and also being a member of the Short Black Opera Company, performing in Pecan summer. He received and participated in the Australian Dance Theatre internship as well as a choreographic residency at Art House – North Melbourne Town Hall.

Based in Melbourne, Carly Sheppard is an emerging performance artist specialising in dance and choreography, and descending from the Kurtjar, Wallangamma, Takaluk and Kunjin language groups of North Queensland. After studying Careers in Dance at NAISDA Dance College and a Bachelor of Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts and Music, Carly has been developing her multidisciplinary practice across forms of dance and choreography, visual art, music and theatre.

Jason Tamiru is a proud Yorta Yorta man. He is the producer of Blak Cabaret, associate producer of The shadow king, creative producer of Smith Street Dreaming, and founder and producer of the Melbourne Comedy Festival’s Deadly Funny program. He is also associate producer of the inaugural Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival, and recipient of the VIPA 2012 Uncle Jack Charles Award and the British Council’s National Indigenous Leadership Award.

Presented in partnership with Malthouse Theatre as part of the Blak & Bright Indigenous Literary Festival.