Shimmy into the Immigration Museum this summer as we celebrate dance

A special season of dance-inspired events from 2 December 2019 to 29 February 2020.

Moving images of Amrita Hepi and her collaborators projected onto the walls of the Immigration Museum's Long Room. Photo: Max Turner

This summer the Immigration Museum’s galleries, courtyard, and Long Room become dance-floors for spontaneous movement, choreographed action and works-in-progress.

Showcasing diverse talents, communities, and genres, the Summer of Dance season will feature a series of participatory dance experiences, residencies and performances, in spaces both intimate and expansive.

Summer of Dance sees the Immigration Museum working in collaborative partnership with a range of inspiring local and international artists, producers, festivals and organisations. Together we'll be choreographing a whole season of fun and memorable moments for people to connect and unite through dance, said Rohini Kappadath, general manager of the Immigration Museum.

Welcoming dancers of all-persuasions, the season will kick-off with Let’s Dance! (December 8) an all-inclusive dance party full of workshops, demonstrations, and performances with amazing local dance schools, culturally diverse community groups and inspiring dancers.

Amrita Hepi
Amrita Hepi will take residency in the Immigration Museum's Long Room in early 2020. Photo: Nikki To

Award-winning First Nations choreographer and dancer, Amrita Hepi will take over the Long Room with Amrita Hepi: In Residence: a program of film, performance and installation that sees placemaking in action. The residency will commence with Dance Reel (December 2 – February 29), as gorgeous large-scale moving images of Amrita and collaborators are projected onto its 19th-century walls and columns. In collaboration with Sibling Architecture and in consultation with other dance communities, Amrita will create a dance floor that will act as a choreographic score for a salon of performances. The dance floor will be activated through a series of performances, launching with the Opening Afternoon (January 18) and closing with Leaps + Beats (February 29).

Pacific Essence: Tales of a Migrant Plantation (January 23) will see Melbourne-based Samoan fa'afafine / trans advocate of colour activist, speaker, performer and storyteller Amao Leota Lu and LGBTIQA+ collaborators from the local Pacific diaspora weaving Rainbow narratives through performance, dance and a talanoa panel discussions. This event is part of the Queer Unsettled program in partnership with Midsumma Festival.

Pacific Essence
Pacific Essence will be an evening of Rainbow narratives, performance, dance and discussion. Photo: Bo Pousima Afeaki Inukihaangana.

As the sunshine casts its glorious glow over the Immigration Museum’s courtyard, it will play host to four vibrant Summer Courtyard Series events. Rainbow Effect (January 31) will see singer, producer and multi-disciplinary artist Rainbow Chan presenting her glitchy pop-infused electronica and dance floor beats (also as part of Midsumma Festival).

Looking for something a bit different to do on Valentine’s Day? Invite your special someone or come solo to Latin Valentine (February 14) for an evening of smooth moves, music and mucho more inspired by Mexico’s El Día del Amor y la Amistad (The Day of Love and Friendship) in collaboration with MexVic.

The series will continue with Play On presents: Park Jiha (Korea) + Moopie (February 21) as part of AsiaTOPA. Ground-breaking Korean multi-instrumentalist and composer Park Jiha will share her captivating sounds in Australia for the first time, with local cult favourite DJ Moopie animating the dance floor.

The final event in the Summer Courtyard Series is Leaps + Beats (February 29), a party making the most of the extra night of the year featuring local dance luminaries Deep Soulful Sweats and Amrita Hepi and collaborators closing the dancefloor.

Shimmying alongside the dance programming, Our Bodies, Our Voices, Our Marks presents exhibitions Documenting the Body: Curated by Stanislava Pinchuk and Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World. The curtains will fall on these exhibitions on 2 February, but not before a showcase of haikus at Haiku Hangout (February 1) with enthusiasts from the Australian Haiku Society.

Melbournians are encouraged to quickstep in the Immigration Museum’s direction, as it becomes an expressive, polyphonic and energising space for all.

Summer of Dance

A curated series of dance-inspired events
1 December 2019 – 29 February 2020
Immigration Museum
400 Flinders St, Melbourne

For the full program visit the Immigration Museum website.

Interviews available with:

  • Rohini Kappadath, General Manager, Immigration Museum
  • Elise Murphy, Manager, Education and Public Programs
  • Amrita Hepi, Choreographer and Dancer

Media enquiries:

A grey icon of a person
Media and Communications Team
Museums Victoria
[email protected]
0466 622 621

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