The 2012 Next Wave Festival is a nine day explosion of new art experiences and Melbourne's Arts House will host eight contemporary performance projects at the North Melbourne Town Hall.

The Exchange features two programs by two groups of exciting young artists: Australians Justin Shoulder, Toby Knyvett and Nick Wales and the next generation of Castellucci family, who together with Eugenio Resta form Italy’s Dewey Dell.

Australian Stage's Lauren Sherritt speaks to Jeff Stein – Creative Producer of The Exchange project.



GraveWhat was the impetus behind The Exchange, why did you undertake this project?
The Exchange is a context to co-present two groups of artists – one from Australia and one from Italy, who I think share something interesting in common, although that thing is not easily definable, I guess its about their ability to manifest an uncanniness on stage. I have worked with Dewey Dell's parents, who are part of Italian Company Raffaello Sanzio and I am continuing to work with their mother Chiara Guidi on a children's theatre work to be presented in Australia next year. I presented a work in Raffaello Sanzio's Theatre in Italy some years ago and Eugenio (member of Dewey Dell) assisted me on that work. Eugenio introduced Dewey Dell's work to me and the images resonated and stayed with me. I mentored Justin two year ago through Ozco's Jump program and continued to work with him. With the encouragement and support from Ashley Deyer, Next Wave Festival and Arts House we have made this happen. The plan is, that if this program goes well, a future collaboration will develop between all the artists.

How long have you been working on The Exchange?
2 years

Did it take much persuading to have the artists take part?
No.

How many people are involved in a project like this? What other roles exist?
Dewey Dell – 4; Justin Shoulder and collaborators – 4.

What are the logistics of running a project with artists based in different places around the world, and then bringing them together in one place?
Skype helps, and having lots of partners – Arts House, Next Wave Fest and Ozco.

How have the artists communicated and collaborated throughout the process leading up to the performances at Next Wave?
Not too much but this is the 1st real meeting of The Exchange; it starts from here.

What happens within The Exchange after Next Wave?
If this program goes well, a future collaboration will develop between the artists. I do not have any preconceived ideas of what this might be, I am sure whatever it will be will be surprising

3 WindsDescribe in a few words what kind of experience an audience might expect when going to see the two programs at the Arts House?
Magical and wonderfully weird. What I love about Justin's work is that it's not dealing with the banality of the everyday, although it is very human in a strange way. His work evokes things in me similar to my relation to my dog, I mean sometimes my dog reminds me of things like unconditional love, loyalty and unbridled joy that no human can embody, our relationship to animals reminds us of our own humanity or our lacking as human beings.

Dewey Dell's work is visual and physical theatre but not in any normal sense of those words. They create unique atmospheres- dense atmospheres, through the ability to fuse light sound and movement, that is their magic.

What does your life look like in the next couple of weeks leading up to the Festival?
Madness, coffee.


The Exchange opens May 19, 2012 at Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall. Further details»


Image credits:–
Top Right – Grave. Image by Cesuralab per Fies
Bottom Right – 3 Winds. Image by Demetrio Castelucci




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