Next Wave Festival 2016 program announced

Next Wave The Delta Project Under My Skin photo by Pippa SamayaNext Wave Festival is Australia’s biennial festival of the new generation in art, and this year will see 36 world premiere works featured across Melbourne venues from Thursday 5 May 2016.

In 2016 Artistic Director Georgie Meagher has gathered together some of the most intelligent, powerful and thought provoking artists from across Australia to amplify quiet voices and brings diverse perspectives to the fore.

“There are many issues facing society which can be difficult to understand and live comfortably within; we are embracing confusion and disagreement in this Festival, bringing together artists that push us to think about the relations between our lives, our politics and our universe,” says Artistic Director, Georgie Meagher.

Curated in clusters of free and ticketed activity across Melbourne, the 2016 Festival brings together the very best of new art in Australia. In 2016, 75% of all projects will be led by women, while strong representation of First Nations artistic voices will also continue, with 20% of projects led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Highlights of the Festival include:

An video-operatic exploration into the year 1997, led by composer Daniel Jenastch (VIC), and performed by poet Autumn Royal, singer Sarah Byrne and dancer Atlanta Eke.

Visual artist Katie West (WA) reflects on the impact of colonisation upon her sense of self as an Aboriginal woman, presenting a personal meditation practice and series of delicate artworks created from local flora.

Ecosexual Bathhouse
Perth artists Pony Express turn Royal Botanic Gardens-Victoria Melbourne’s Domain House into an immersive labyrinth of intimate encounters and sensory interactions – because if we can learn to love the Earth, maybe we can save it.

The Fraud Complex
Curatorial duo Johnson+Thwaites (NSW) question authenticity in life and art, with renowned local and international artists Abdul Abdullah, Abdul Rahman Abdullah, Hany Armanious, Tully Arnot, Bindi Cole, Megan Cope, Bindi Cole, Beth Dillon, Sara Morawetz, Técha Noble, Yoshua Okón and Tyza Stewart.

Part science experiment, part love-story, the award-winning team behind ANGRY SEXX (Melbourne Fringe 2014) present a furious experimental sci-fi comedy about violence, technological singularity and long-distance relationships.

The Horse
Dylan Sheridan (Terminal, Next Wave Festival 2014) returns with The Horse – innovatively mapping star patterns and turning them into a dreamlike concerto.

Mummy Dearest
Sydney writer, performer and queer-rights activist Annaliese Constable presents a hilarious and brutally honest take on parenting and childhood.

Dancers Amrita Hepi (NSW) and Jahra Wasasala (NZ) join forces in PASSING, combining hip-hop prowess, contemporary dance and spoken word poetry in a physical dialogue between two daughters of diaspora.

The Second Woman
A 24 hour performance epic with artist Nat Randall (NSW) repeatedly performing a single scene inspired by John Cassavetes’ cult film Opening Night opposite 100 different male leads, explore the trade of emotion, intimacy, chemistry and authenticity in performance.

Still I Rise
Queensland artist Hannah Brontë presents a politically charged, fiercely feminist rap and music video environment that explores an alternate Australia with an entirely female parliament including an Indigenous woman Prime Minister.

Under My Skin
Ground-breaking dance company, The Delta Project (VIC) explore what we choose to hide and reveal in a cross-cultural work by deaf and hearing dancers that uses both Auslan and English, with dance as a universal communicator.

The Voices of Joan of Arc
Actor and theatre maker Janie Gibson (VIC) creates an intimate performance together with violinist Xani Kolac (The Twoks), giving voice to the prophetess and warrior’s story of resistance.

Alongside the main artistic program sits a number of initiatives unique to the 2016 Festival. They include:

  • A series of Indigenous language workshops facilitated by the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages, reflecting a commitment to awareness-raising of Victoria’s first languages
  • A new program for writers with disability, Writers in Residence, delivered in partnership with Writers Victoria – part of a long-term inclusivity strategy for artists and audiences
  • Four discursive commissions, situated both on and off-line, that reflect an experimental approach to public programming that makes space for poetry, enquiry and dialogue across artforms
  • A digital publication housed at, Worm Hole, featuring writing and artworks produced in parallel to Next Wave Festival 2016

Fourteen projects in the 2016 Festival have been developed through Kickstart – Next Wave’s flagship learning program. Unique to Australia for its multi-faceted approach, depth and scale, Kickstart is money, time and space for young artists to develop ambitious projects – to think bigger than they ever have before.

For over three decades Next Wave has shaped the Australian arts landscape through imagination, bold ideas and a passion for the new. Established in 1984, Next Wave is a development organisation and a curated biennial festival. Career development, presentation opportunity and multi-disciplinary representation have been integral since its inception.

Thousands of artists and curators have participated in the biennial festivals, from musician Kate Ceberano and composer Chris Mann, to theatre-makers Angus Cerini and Lally Katz, and visual artists Patricia Piccinini and Christian Thompson.

The Next Wave Festival runs 5 – 22 May 2016. For more information, and complete program, visit: for details.

Image: The Delta Project’s Under My Skin – photo by Pippa Samaya