A profound and playful work of dance theatre that challenges the Western interpretation of shapeshifting, Karul Projects presents Weredingo at Arts House – North Melbourne Town Hall from 1 – 5 November 2023.
Hunted for their duality, shapeshifters meet in secret to safely change into their animal forms and congregate with their feathered and furry brethren.
Through sharp movement and text, Weredingo follows the intertwining journeys of three shapeshifters, exploring their experiences and physical powers. It covers the good, the bad; the cultural, the political; the pain and the pleasure.
Led by a First Nations team featuring performers Thomas E.S. Kelly, Benjin Maza, Glory Tuohy-Daniell and Vicki Van Hout, Weredingo is brought to life alongside beautiful animations by Studio Gilay and projection by Wirrim Studios.
In the western context, shapeshifting is limited to folklore and pop culture. However, shapeshifting for First Nations people reflects past, present and future.
Through sharp movement and text, Weredingo follows the intertwining journeys of three shapeshifters, who meet in secret to safely shift into their animal forms and congregate with their feathered or furry friends.
“As our bodies shift through the space, we draw parallels to Black Lives Matter, black deaths in custody and the many injustices for people of colour who shapeshift on a daily basis to not be killed,” says Thomas E.S. Kelly from Karul Projects.
Arts House Co-Artistic Directors, Emily Sexton and Nithya Nagarajan are thrilled to finally bring this delightful, poignant and timely work to Melbourne.
“Having first supported the the development of Weredingo through CultureLab in 2020, we are honoured to welcome back Karul Projects along with Vicki Van Hout, who will join the cast with her cracking humour and piercing performance,” they said.
“Given Vicki’s long-term relationship with Thomas, it will truly be an unmissable moment to see them share the stage,” said Sexton and Nagarajan.
This is distinctive work with a dash of humour If you’re ready to join the support group, wear your animal loud and proud. Whether fur, fleece or feathers, beaks, claws or tails – all animals and outfits are welcome to this shapeshifters support group.
“Come in, grab a bickie and a cuppa. We are welcoming all shapes and kinds in our safe space – but it is not your usual support group,” says Thomas.
Choreographer & Writer: Thomas E.S. Kelly | Performers: Thomas E.S. Kelly, Vicki Van Hout, Benjin Maza, Glory Tuohy-Daniell | Rehearsal Director: Taree Sansbury | Dramaturg: Isaac Drandic | Lighting Designer: Chloe Ogilvie | Animation: Studio Gilay | Projection: Wirrim Studios | Music & Sound Designer: Sam Pankhurst | Costume Designer: Selene Cochrane
Arts House – North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Season: 1 – 5 November 2023
Information and Bookings: www.artshouse.com.au
Image: Weredingo by Karul Projects (2021) – photo by Simon Woods