On the Couch with Melanie Lane

Melanie Lane photo by Barbara DietlWho is Melanie Lane?
I’m a choreographer and performer based between Naarm/Melbourne and Ngunnawal-Ngambri Country/Canberra. I make contemporary dance performance in theatres, galleries and sometimes for film, and I’m thrilled to be bringing my upcoming show Arkadia to Rising this June at The Substation. It’s a show that explores fictional utopias through dance, music, design and animation – a melting pot of myths and fantasies that transform into reality at the beautiful Substation main hall.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I’d most probably be involved in film or music, a believer in art as a vessel for world building, community and hope.

Who inspires you and why?
My community of artists and arts workers. I’m constantly inspired by the power and poetry of work from my friends and colleagues in the face of the ongoing challenges of artistic survival.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Keep listening, learning and showing up.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Ngunnawal Ngambri Country [Canberra]. Some of the most peaceful, beautiful country to spend time in, clear night sky, infinite bush walks. Sometimes returning home can be the best place of rest.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Yum cha in Chinatown, because it’s the perfect weekend recovery/renewal/gossip/pleasure activity in the city.

What are you currently reading?
Medieval Bodies: Life, Death and Art in the Middle Ages by Jack Hartnell – a recent birthday gift.

What are you currently listening to?
I shamelessly listen to my husband’s (aka Clark) body of work, one of his most recent albums Sus Dog. Some experimental Balinese gamelan, local Naarm artists Rama Parwata, Female Wizard, Nina Buchanen and have been harking back to old childhood classical favourites for research on a new show for kids – some Prokofiev, Debussy, Stravinsky amongst others.

Happiness is?
Stroking a cat.

What does the future hold for you?
A bunch of shows coming up in 2024-25… excited to bring a program of new works to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Europe… watch this space!

Melanie presents her new dance opera, Arkadia, at The Substation (Newport), as part of the 2024 Rising Festival from 5 – 8 June. For more information, visit: www.rising.melbourne for details.

Image: Melanie Lane – photo by Barbara Dietl