On the Couch with Tariro Mavondo

Tariro Mavondo Arts Review On the CouchWho is Tariro Mavondo?
Tariro Mavondo is a multi disciplinary storyteller and is a dynamic and captivating performer based in Melbourne. She was born in Zimbabwe, raised in Frankston and lives in Brunswick. She loves good food, art and music and can be found dancing with trees at Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I do a lot of project by project work predominantly with arts organisations, I would like to start creating programs with an artistic / creative focus in non art spaces like in legal, business sport sectors for instances. I would also like to tour around Australia performing in theatre productions more as well as doing more art residencies overseas in South Africa for example.

Who inspires you and why?
Wangari Maathai is one of my biggest inspirations her contributions to environmental and women’s rights movements in Kenya have been modelled elsewhere around the world. She is a reminder for me that no matter what era you are in, if you have the smarts and the will you can facilitate change on a mass scale.

Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Davis, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie are also some other black women I highly regard and look up to for putting us on the international stage in a real and empowering ways and inspiring the next generation of young black girls that they can do anything they want that they if they put their minds to.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I think the biggest most revolutionary thing I can do is learn to love myself I think it starts there. I guess one of the largest battles we are facing is climate change so for me as the base line I need to be mindful of reducing my carbon imprint on the daily i.e. recycle, reuse plastic bags, drink bottles, food container, go on public transport, buy local.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
My favorite holiday destination is New Zealand both North and South islands. I like immersing myself in Maori culture and attending music festivals seeing bands like Trinity Roots, House of Shem, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Katchafire, and going to the hot springs in the North, whale/dolphin watching, mountain climbing in the South. I dig that people are super chill and laid back.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Usually take them to Degraves Street for the graffiti art I feel that our graffiti culture is uniquely Melbourne. I also like to take friends who are visiting Melbourne to Wilsons Prom’ and along the Great Ocean Road because both places are utterly breathtaking.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov because I’m playing Irina in a production that opens at the Mechanics Institute in two weeks. I think I’ve read it at least five times and I’m intending to keep reading it to make sure I understand my characters function and role in the play. I’m loving it , although it’s a classic it remains relevant today because Chekhov knew human behavior really well and could foresee the future and the state of things.

What are you currently listening to?
Solange Knowles’ new album, A Seat at the Table is my jam right now – it’s fire! I’m enjoying her velvety and honey tones, and the very powerful message it has overall.

Happiness is?
Happiness for me is when a person is doing what they love and are living a balanced work and social life incorporating exercise and eating healthy into their schedule and laughing lots and lots. Happiness for me is a verb something you work towards like undressing all the crap so we get  beneath the skin to the core of who we are it is  also wanting others to be happy I think.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m co-directing Caliban with Dave Kelman – a reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, with very strong climate change undertones written by Georgia Symons performed by the Western Edge Ensemble at Malthouse in November. We are in rehearsals now and I’m super excited about the work it’s full of energy highly physical using elements of poor theatre so the focus really is on the characters. After that I have a few thrilling things in the pipeline for 2017 – that I can’t give away just yet. But I can tell you that a Shakespeare web series I’m in will be launched in late November so watch this space.

Western Edge Youth Arts presents the premiere of Caliban at The Coopers Malthouse: 24 – 26 November 2016. For more information, visit: www.westernedge.org.au or www.malthousetheatre.com.au for details.

Image: Tariro Mavondo