MELBOURNE NEWS

Culture and heritage

Powerful Pasifika artists shine at Arts House

A person holding a microphone who is singing on stage.

Be swept away by new contemporary dance, music and theatre at Arts House from 23 February to 28 May.  

The season features world-premiere dance works from Lucy Guerin Inc and Sarah Aiken and collaborators, a theatrical inquiry into the impossible task of seeking the truth by THE RABBLE, and much more. 

In We Take Back Our Mother Tongues, spellbinding electronic music, video installations and DJ sets will be woven together into an evening of climate justice and spirituality on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 May. 

This work was created by FAMILI, an all-star collective of queer Pasifika and First Nations artists. 

‘I was keen to express our cultural identity, our music, our traditional instrumentation, our expression, our language, our gender and sexuality, through contemporary sounds,’ said project lead Ripley Kavara. 

‘The aural and visual narratives traverse our diasporic experiences in so-called Australia; we are black and brown settlers navigating this space in solidarity with First Nations communities, highlighting similar experiences of colonisation and the different effects that it has had on our communities.’  

‘Our connection to culture is fragmented and to some extent lost because we are here, away from our lands and waters.’ 

FAMILI creates contemporary electronic music that draws on traditional instruments from the Pacific Islands, like conch shells, log drums, bamboo shakers, split canes, flutes, and a range of percussive and melodic instruments.  

‘We use song structures and harmonies common to Pasifika music where there’s a lot of spiritual collective singing, and it’s different from what you’d hear in a Western religious context,’ Ripley said.  

‘There’s something sacred about people singing together, to each other, and that’s something present across most cultures.’  

This season at Arts House, tickets to all shows are $20, or $10 for BLAKTIX.  

To view the full program and book tickets, visit the Arts House website. 

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