Salamanca Moves announced


image by Sam Rosewarne, The Mercury

Celebrating the Diversity of Dance

MEDIA RELEASE by Salamance Arts Centre

Salamanca Arts Centre is pleased to announce Salamanca Moves, a new contemporary dance festival running from 20 September to 1 October 2016 in Hobart, Tasmania.

The inaugural biennial Festival will take place across the Salamanca Precinct, Moonah Arts Centre and surprise pop ups. Aimed at all ages and all abilities, this community Festival offers opportunities to view, create, perform, experiment, and experience new ways of moving.

“We’re delighted to be bringing the power of dance to the Salamanca Precinct. Not only will the Festival celebrate dance as an art form, but also as one of the best exercises you can possibly do.” said Salamanca Arts Centre’s CEO/Artistic Director Rosemary Miller.

Curated by Kelly Drummond Cawthon, the Festival delivers an ambitious and extensive program of free and ticketed dance performances, including the creation of new works and critically acclaimed productions. Dancers of all levels are invited to experiment, and get physical through a series of development dance workshops and performance opportunities led by national and international contemporary dance makers.

“Contemporary dance really is suitable for any BODY and every BODY. It’s an expression of who we are and what moves us” said Drummond Cawthon, “and it’s that philosophy that underpins the whole Festival” Read More

Creating chamber opera Death By Defenestration

This week marks the world premiere of a new opera, Death By Defenestration, presented as part of Festival of Voices and supported by Salamanca Arts Centre’s HyPe program.

The work explores a family’s dark secrets as two brothers struggle with their demons, and their principles. The story takes place in their childhood home where – with their mother caught in the middle – one of the brothers wrestles with what he has witnessed as an Australian war vet from the Iraq war, the other is a proclaimed pacifist and atheist.

The libretto and music of Death By Defenestration is by Joe Bugden, whose first opera was The Call of Aurora and premiered at the Peacock Theatre in 2013. Salamanca Arts Centre spoke to him about the development of the work and his creative process.

Death x Def Poster Image (1)

An excerpt from Death By Defenestration was presented through an IHOS project some years ago but 2016 marks its first iteration as a full-length production. What would you say was the core inspiration for the project?

The first spark was the invasion of Iraq in 2003. I remember that happening for a whole range of reasons, one of which was that it happened and was headline news on the day that the Writers Festival was being launched [Joe ran the Tasmanian Readers and Writers Festival from 1999 until 2008]… Something like that happens and it stops everything…. just pushes everything off the agenda. I had always, like many others, known that the reasons that were given for the invasion were unfounded and untrue. So it was that global context.

Also, as you go through life and you meet people [you realise] that families growing up in a similar context, with the same “brainwashing” – you’d think that they’d grow up with a shared worldview [but] that that’s not the case sometimes. You hear from time to time of families where siblings or children and parents are estranged and really beyond reconciliation.

So it was those two particular contexts. The global, tribal, cultural and religious differences that tear the world apart and how families can be torn apart by as intense and deep philosophical views that take place around a kitchen table.

Why an opera? Why did you feel this material would work in that form?

In the context of arts funding, opera is seen as the bad guy that gets most of the dough, and that’s certainly the case. You can throw as much money into a production as you’ve got and it could still use more. But opera, as a form, goes back five hundred years. The idea of telling stories through song or with song goes back eight hundred years. In church music it goes back a thousand years. So any emotion that words might be able to convey I think are more successfully, more profoundly conveyed when added to music. In simple terms, it’s theatre that uses music to add to the emotion. Not just as a backdrop or a soundtrack but really the music determines the drama.

And so in the creative process what comes first, the musical idea or the story idea?

The story idea. I come up with an idea, do some research… and I write the libretto. I sit down at a piano and then I develop the broad architectural structure to that, so set the words to music, and then orchestrate it for the various instruments.

How does the subject matter inform the style of music that you’re using?

The more you write, the more you paint, the more you act – the more you do whatever it is in a creative way – you do develop your own voice and you say, “This is truly me, for better or for worse. These are the parameters in which I am comfortable, in which I think I know what I’m doing.”

DBD image 3

The cast of Death By Defenestration 2016 working on blocking of a scene with director Lucien Simon.

I try to write beautiful music all the time. Everything I sit down to write I say, “I want this to be the most beautiful music I’ve ever written.” It is quite melodic. The harmony is based on a progressive tonality, so it modulates all the time. But there are moments of sarcasm in the music, there are moments of humour in the music, so there are music devices [that can be] seen as sarcastic because [they’re] out of context with what the serious point of view might be.

I notice from the rehearsals that there are dramatic things happening physically, and Death By Defenestration has been described as an ‘opera noir’. So was it important to you to do something that had something had action in it, rather than people talking and singing about ideas?

Yes, it deals with some dark themes and some heavy issues. The director,Lucien Simon , has come up with a whole range of theatrical initiatives and devices that I could not have imagined. Even now when he tells me what’s going to happen on stage I’m surprised, because when you write something you have assumptions of what might happen, how it will end, and how it will go from beginning to end. What the actors and singers do, so long as its true to the words and to the story, that’s fine…. The body language, the positioning, the physicality, the physical relationship, the facial expressions, all those sorts of things, add to the success of conveying the story and the issues that they’re trying to convey.

Was it difficult to find the right cast? Obviously the roles require quite specific skill sets.

Philip Joughin, who sings the role of Darren, the younger brother, sang in my previous opera, in the role of [Antarctic explorer] Douglas Mawson. Nick Monk, who sings the role of Trevor, the older brother, also sang in my previous opera [and] I was really happy with what they did with the characters in that.

Josephine Giles, who sings the role of the Mother, she was referred to me by some other singers in town. Josephine has sung with the Australian Opera and when I heard her voice and when I met with her for a coffee she taught me a lot about how to write for voice even in twenty minutes over a coffee, it was a wonderful music lesson.

DBD image 2

The cast of Death By Defenestration 2016 working on blocking of a scene.

You do have to write for the voice and it’s not just the range and that’s the wrong question that I’d been asking. When a singer says, “Okay, I’ll sing the role,” I say, “What’s your range?” But there’s a lot more to it than that. You can’t have them right down here low if there’s instrumental music going on because it’s lost. If they’re singing too high all the time, apart from it being a physical strain, it’s difficult for them to articulate the words.

I was told that English is a terrible language to sing opera in and I thought, “Well, that’s silly”. But it’s actually true, because we have lots of “oos” and ees” rather than “ahs” like Italian or Spanish, it is a struggle. So therefore I did have to change the words sometimes to make sure that there singers mouths are open when they’re singing either words very quickly or syllables very quickly and at a pitch that might be reaching the upper or lower limit of their comfortable range.

defen wordWhat kind of experience do you hope that the audience will have when they come and see this production?

First of all, I hope that they are totally enthralled with the music. As the composer, that is my first aim. If that happens, I will be happy with what I’ve been able to do.

I think they will be caught up in the story and the drama that unfolds. We’ve got some animation done by Milly Jencken, who’s a student at the art school. Milly and Georgia Vanderwyk have done the set design… And Lucien Simon deciding to use the Founders Room not in the conventional theatre way but almost as an installation space. What Lucien has done is use the window as a demarcation point of the present interior world and the exterior world, where our nightmares, fears, shame, guilt, and all those things that we try to push away from our day to day existence reside. But we can’t always keep them out.

Death by Defenestration 

50 minutes’ duration with no intermission.

Suitable for audiences 18 and over.

Wednesday 13 July 2016 @ 7:30pm
Thursday 14 July 2016 @ 7:30pm
Friday 15 July 2016 @ 7:30pm
Saturday 16 July 2016 @ 7:30pm

Concession $27.00 / Full $36.00
Tickets available ONLINE

Join the facebook event

The production is supported by the Tasmanian Composers Collective, Salamanca Arts Centre, HyPe 2015, and SPACE. HyPe 2015 was supported by Arts Tasmania and the Australia Council for the Arts.

DEATH by DEFEN logos 2016

Radio Gothic in the Peacock Theatre

Radio Gothic (HyPe artists 2015-2016) transform the Peacock Theatre into a nightmarish prison this week as they present their first play, Episode 1: The Pit. 

Katie Robertson rehearsing for the June 2016 production of Episode 1: The Pit.a

Telling the tale story of a young woman sent to solitary confinement whose fears threaten to overwhelm her, The Pit is part of a planned series of works by Tasmanian playwrights (episodes 2 and 3 are in development), all of which will eventually be presented as podcasts.

Featuring young actor Katie Roberston (Rosehaven, The Kettering Incident) the show challenges the audience to 40 minutes durational suspense.

The Radio Gothic collective is sound designer/composer Heath Brown and playwrights Briony Kidd, Carrie McLean and Alison Mann, who combine varied skills across theatre and filmmaking to create unique theatrical experiences.

Heath Brown spoke to Melanie Tait on Statewide Evenings about the project last week, you can listen below.

(audio used with thanks to ABC Local Radio – Tasmania):

Episode 1: The Pit opens 9 pm 15 June in the Peacock Theatre, Salamanca Arts Centre, runs until 18 June.


Episode 1: The Pit

Presented by Radio Gothic, HyPe and Salamanca Arts Centre in association with Dark Mofo

Produced by Heath Brown and Briony Kidd

Sound design by Heath Brown

Written by Briony Kidd (with input from Heath Brown and the creative development cast of Katie Robertson, Sara Cooper, Carrie McLean and Craig Irons)

Lighting design by Jason James

Directed by Briony Kidd

Performed by Katie Roberston, Carrie McLean, Karissa Lane and Craig Irons

Co-produced by Alison Man and Carrie Mclean

The show is approximately 40 minutes in duration.

Peacock Theatre, Salamanca Arts Centre

9 pm, 15 – 18 June 2016

Tickets $18/$25, book online or at the door (from an hour before the show) unless sold out.

This work was developed through HyPe and the RAWspace program which was supported by the Theatre Royal, Tasmania Performs and Ten Days on the Island. A showing of it was presented at the Theatre Royal Backspace in 2015.


Artists to look out for during Dark MOFO

26f6d7a91ce3598f78fb0717901bb30aA winter festival celebrating the darker side of life, this year’s Dark MOFO program offers a huge diversity of artistic expression. So where to begin?

A focus on the local artists in this year’s line-up is one approach.

Creative Director Leigh Carmichael, launching the festival program in April, noted: “We are very proud to say that ongoing collaborations with other Tasmanian organisations like Detached, Tasmanian College of the Arts, Salamanca Arts Centre, Macquarie Point, Moonah Arts Centre, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Contemporary Art Tasmania and a number of local arts collectives has allowed us to showcase the largest group of Tasmanian artists of any previous Dark Mofo festival.”

So here are a few highlights to consider.

Radio Gothic (HyPe artists 2015-2016) and Salamanca Arts Centre bring you Episode 1: The Pit telling the creepy story of a young woman sent to solitary confinement whose fears threaten to overwhelm her. Featuring young actor Katie Roberston (Rosehaven, The Kettering Incident) the show challenges the audience to 40 minutes durational suspense. The Radio Gothic collective is sound designer/composer Heath Brown and playwrights Briony Kidd, Carrie McLean and Alison Mann, who combine varied skills across theatre and filmmaking to create unique theatrical experiences. Opens 9 pm 15 June in the Peacock Theatre, Salamanca Arts Centre, runs until 18 June.

Constance ARI’s Neither Here Nor There opens 15 June at the Railway Roundabout. Features Lucy Parakhina (TAS) and Natasha Manners (VIC), Karin Chan (TAS) and Todd Fuller (NSW), James Wilson (TAS) and Connie Anthes (NSW), curated by Rebecca Holmes.

Michaela Gleave (SITUATE Art in Festivals Arts Lab artist 2013) presents A Galaxy of Suns on 10 and 11 June at Dark Park, in which microtonal sonic cues are delivered to members of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus, allowing each to sing the stars live, in real-time for the location. Here’s a video of the incredible work, in case you missed it.

Contemporary Art Tasmania and Dark MOFO present Divination by Nancy Mauro-Flude (HyPE, 2011). Weave ye way through a maelstrom of data highlighting piracy – both the eye patch and the information kind. Drift upon a sea of network traffic; non-human pirate girls will haunt you along the way. Experience the installation in Dark Park from 11 to 19 June.

Tasdance presents Hal’cyon, a 14-hour dance performance installation of sustained beauty and intensity, a single performer nests on an ocean of sound, light, and imagery. Dancers of all ages, backgrounds and ability levels are invited to become performers in this piece.

In Brainstorm nine Tasmanian artists artists occupy and activate the Centre for the Arts in Hunter Street—inside and out. Featuring Michael Schiltz, Pat Brassington, Matt Warren, Andrew Harper, Scot Cotterell, Amanda Davies, Darren Cook, Grace Herbert, Jacob Leary. Curated by John Vella.

In Dark Ocean art meets science, as data collected during raging storms, video, sculpture, and performances, light up the windows of our Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies building. Featuring Jordan Baseman, Keith Deverell, Tace Kelly, Peter Morse, Anya Reading, Kit Wise Martin Gal.

In The Cloud by Patrick Hall hundreds of illuminated faces hang overhead in bottles, and weep into a thin skim of water on the ground below.

And finally, running alongside Dark MOFO, Andy Vagg (SITUATE Art in Festivals Arts Lab artist 2013) presents For Every Mile I Have Ever Flown…, a performance-based installation around a handcrafted shrine creating a metaphorical and literal platform to connect with the quandaries of contemporary living. Performances take place every evening between 6 and 7 pm until 21 June in Kelly’s Garden, Salamanca Arts Centre.

New SPACE tutor and Peacock Theatre Production Manager


Salamanca Arts Centre’s SPACE Program has a new lead production tutor.

Andy Ciddor takes up the role of tutor and Peacock Theatre Production Manager.

Andy has been involved in lighting, production and entertainment technology for over four decades; as a practitioner, teacher, consultant and writer.

After starting his career in theatre, he also worked in broadcast television and taught lighting for over 20 years, including running Australia’s only specialist lighting training course at WAAPA in its first 15 years.



SALAMANCA MOVES is a new festival, commencing in 2016. It will inspire and empower a community of dance agents for change: movers will challenge and re-imagine the dancing body; extraordinary art experiences will innovate local and national dance conversations. The Festival will feature dancers and dance-makers who have trained for decades and performed on world stages, dancers who identify with a disability, dancers on the streets, in hidden spaces and across the Salamanca Precinct. Diverse dance will be main-streamed with the deep belief that the more difference you share the more dance has to say as an art-form.

21 September – 1 October, 2016
Hobart, Tasmania Australia

Our ambitious program showcases two weeks of workshops, performances and events, including the High School Dance Program!

High School Dance Program
21 September, 2016
9:00 am – 12:45pm

Do you have a class or small group of students who would like a chance to perform in the inaugural SALAMANCA MOVES festival?

If you agree to create a dance (under 6 minutes) with the theme “VIRAL”

We will present the work at Moonah Arts Centre, provide a morning tea and Q+A with industry professionals and then DRILL and Stompin’ will perform a special concert for you and your students.

Submissions are welcomed from School’s delivering the Australian Dance Curriculum.

Cost $8/ head for participating students, no fee for teachers.

Fill out the form below by 22 July 2016 and we will get back to you soon.

Tip: read the form first and have all your content prepared before starting – the submission must be done in one sitting and cannot be saved.

Questions? Speak to the project coordinator 0467 661170 or email us your query.

Schools, register your interest in SALAMANCA MOVES 2016

  • Does your group have special needs, for example.
  • NOTE

    There will be a participating fee of $8 for each student.
    Tick to agree.
    If you are already on the mailing list you will not be added a second time. Your email address will be kept confidential and not forwarded to any third parties. You will be able to opt out of the mailing list at any time.


Salamanca Arts Centre proudly presents a new participatory dance festival for Hobart in September 2016. Salamanca MOVES will inspire and empower a community of dance agents for change.

Movers will challenge and re-imagine the dancing body, and extraordinary art experiences will innovate local and national dance conversations.

Events during the festival will be focused around Hobart’s vibrant Salamanca precinct.

“Tasmania’s dance community is rich and incredibly diverse,” says festival curator Kelly Drummond Cawthon, a Hobart girl who left town in the eighties aged 16 seeking qualifications and a career in dance. She returned from the US in 2011 as a dancer, choreographer and inspiring activist dance educator who now runs Salamanca Arts Centre’s SPACE and Live Arts program.

“Whether you’re talking about dance as a hobby, as a vocation or anything in between, it’s a universal form of expression that brings people together in so many powerful and interesting ways.”

The festival will feature dancers and dance-makers who have trained for decades and performed on world stages, dancers who identify with a disability, dancers on the streets, in hidden spaces and across the Salamanca precinct.

Diverse dance will be main-streamed with the deep belief that the more difference you share the more dance is enriched as an art-form.

Submissions are welcomed from dancers of all levels, including teachers, and anyone looking to engage in performances, workshops, panels and conversations about dance.

Movers of all ages are invited and welcomed to engage in creative opportunities, movement experiences and performances. New Movers without dance experience are welcome.

Salamanca MOVES
A community festival celebrating contemporary dance
21 September – 1 October, 2016
Hobart, Tasmania Australia


Go to this page and fill out the form

Or to discuss Salamanca MOVES with Coordinator Kelly Drummond-Cawthon email her.

Dead Set returns to the Peacock Theatre after 22 years


Sue Giles and Ian Pidd are back at Salamanca Arts Centre with Dead Set, after a gap of a mere two decades! Ahead of next week’s remounting of the very popular show, we had a chat to Ian about his memories of the original show.

So Ian, what was the impetus for the original production of this show back in 1994?

Well, back in the day we set ourselves the task of writing a new show every year. Sometimes for the Melbourne Comedy Festival and sometimes for Melbourne Fringe. This was a Fringe one. To open at La Mama. Which felt like a lot of pressure. But in a good way. The original idea was for us to make a show about a compulsive liar. And the starting point for the show was much darker than the show finished up being. After a while the whole process got swept up in the love story (we’d never done that before, even though we are a couple…) and, of course the Great Australian Musical which became the story within the story (which we had used before, but this was a much more sophisticated version of that).

We had been doing a bunch of Zootango shows in the Peacock. Weren’t those the days! Huge cast productions of all sorts of plays. So we’ve always loved the place.

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The Birdmann ‘LIVE’ comedy special to be filmed in the Peacock Theatre


The Peacock Theatre will host the filming of a new comedy special next month. As quoted from The Birdmann’s media release:

For one night only the internationally infamous Birdmann will perform his greatest comedy variety acts and make a film of it!

The man like no man has toured to over fifteen countries, and from the Australian National Circus Festival to the Glastonbury Music Festival, to being nominated Most Original Comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe and even being a special guest at the Sydney Opera House.

In a tight black suit with cool hair, cutting-edge humour and out of this world feats witness plastic bag-juggling, object head-balancing and jazz comedy-mixing in an environmentally thrilling journey of fun and freedom.

This very special event will be released as a downloadable film and DVD created by highly talented Tasmanian filmmakers, supported by Wide Angle Tasmania through the Audacity Fund and through a crowdfunding campaign.
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SAC seeks theatre specialist for leadership role


Are you a Production Manager, a Creative Producer with technical expertise, or a Theatre Technician interested in contributing to the Arts in Tasmania?

Salamanca Arts Centre is inviting expressions of interest from exceptional, committed arts-workers for current and future opportunities.

There is a leadership position working in the Peacock Theatre and SPACE program to be filled immediately.

Salamanca Arts Centre (SAC) is Tasmania’s multi-arts creative hub and an integral part of the State’s arts and creative industries infrastructure. SAC is an engine room for art-making and presentation; a centre for artists and designers in-studios; home to many of Tasmania’s leading arts organisations across live performance (theatre, music, dance), film and writing; cultural and commercial galleries and studios for visual arts, crafts and design.

SAC connects Tasmanian arts, artists, audiences, and arts-based businesses with national and international audiences, peers and opportunities.


To be the arts engine-room for Tasmania, developing and promoting the contemporary expression of the arts through leadership, creativity, innovation and excellence. We are seeking to grow our pool of Production Managers, Creative Producers and Technicians to work with us on productions and community projects.

To be good fit for Salamanca Arts Centre, you will:

  • Be an experienced all-rounder, with expertise across lighting, sound, staging, stage management and event management;
  • Have at least 3 years of professional experience in the arts industry;
  • Be an outstanding and mature communicator, with awareness of cultural differences in approaches to communication;
  • Have great problem-solving ability, a sense of humour, and ability to stay cool in a crisis;
  • Have a passion for the arts;
  • Enjoy working in both outdoor environments and traditional performance and arts venues.

Please send a CV and one page cover letter outlining your interest in Salamanca Arts Centre to by 5 pm on 21 March 2016.