VIA ALICEMarking the opening of the 2018 festival, Sugar Mountain presents VIA ALICE – an immersive virtual reality film and performance, which invites audiences to experience the strength and diversity of contemporary Indigenous Australian knowledges, cultures, and identities.

Join American artist, producer and dancer Khalif Diouf (Le1f) alongside Indigenous Australian dancer and choreographer Waangenga Blanco (Bangarra Dance Theatre), as they take us on a surreal journey across countries and cultures from Mparntwe (Alice Springs) Arrernte country, Gadigal land (Redfern) through The Central Desert, Marlinja, and onward to the northern reaches of the Cape York Peninsula.

Born in Manhattan, Khalif Diouf studied ballet and modern dance, attended the Concord Academy, and earned his degree in Choreography from Wesleyan University before returning to the city to begin his rap career. Arriving on Australian soil, Khalif teams with the charismatic Waangenga Blanco.

A descendant of the Meriam people and of the pajinka Wik, Cape York, Blanco studied at the NAISDA Dance College and is a lead male dancer of the widely acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation and one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies.

VIA ALICE is accompanied by an original score, composed by Daniel Stricker (Midnight Juggernauts) and John Carroll Kirby (Solange, Sebastian Tellier), featuring new work by Diouf and Kardajala Kirridarra.

Directed by multi-disciplinary artist Pete Keen, the story of VIA ALICE stands strong with the support of its cast, their knowledge and guidance shared: actor, dramaturge and song-man Richard Green (Snowtown, Boxing Day), as well as members of NT Song of the Year Award winners Kardajala Kirridarra (Eleanor Nalyirrima Dixon and Janey Namija Dixon).

Having made its worldwide premiere at Red Bull Music Academy Weekender at Sydney’s Carriageworks. VIA ALICE heads to the Sugar Mountain Festival in Melbourne – sessions are strictly limited to 30 seats only! Get in quick to book your seat. Running across two days and nights, VIA ALICE takes place at Southbank’s Grant Street Theatre on Thursday 18 & Friday 19 January 2018.

Existing ticket holders to Sugar Mountain Festival (Saturday 20 January 2018) will also get to witness the VR film on the day, as part of the overall festival line-up. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: VIA ALICE (supplied)