Vicki Van HoutVicki Van Hout considers herself a relative unknown who has somehow managed to keep beneath the radar.  But the success of Briwyant may be about to change that.

A highly textured work by a self-confessed 'dance junkie' Van Hout is inspired by the richness and diversity of Indigenous culture and is proud to create work that is an offering to her audience – to be interpreted as abstract performance art with layers of meaning.

"I've had the opportunity to author an Indigenous story and share an Indigenous circumstance," explains Van Hout, "And this is a great hour to be able to use my own voice to challenge the boundaries and create work that isn't necessarily aimed at hitting the conventional markers of success."

Dance, multi-media and text entwine in Van Hout's latest work but she confesses that particularly with technology it is important to remember that it is a tool and not the defining motif.

"In this project we wanted technology to be more of a 'pop-up' concept – we used it as a form of pre-text through which we could harness the specifics of cultural practice to bring forth ancestral power and magic."

Engaged with developing new vocabularies of dance within education as well as the performing arts Van Hout reiterates the importance of oral narratives and telling stories; in her work as a choreographer but also as an educator.

"Briwyant has references to my Grandmother and images of her country; a lot of this work is about paying homage to the land and there are references to the kinships formed," describes Van Hout, "It is something simple yet embedded with sophisticated meaning."
{xtypo_quote_right}I owe it to myself to take risks and pave a way that is different – and hopefully in doing so to challenge the current parameters and perceptions{/xtypo_quote_right}
With Indigenous performance rapidly diversifying Van Hout is excited to be creating work that goes beyond the expectations of what 'should' be done.

"Anything we do as Indigenous artists is political – I'd like to think of myself as a provocateur. I owe it to myself to take risks and pave a way that is different – and hopefully in doing so to challenge the current parameters and perceptions."

Briwyant is ultimately not a victim story. It melds humour, history and truth to create a work that according to Van Hout is to "send a positive message – and show the world that Indigenous people are self-determined and we are the authors of our destiny".


Briwyant by Vicki Van Hout is currently playing at the Malthouse Theatre until July 14, 2012. Read our review»



Most read features

The Umbilical Brothers

You don’t need to flex your visual imagination muscle in the latest show from The Umbilical Brothers. Because two green screens, a lot of cameras, special effects, computer power and an onstage tech wizard named “Doug” do it for you.

Most read reviews

Because the Night | Malthouse Theatre

If you’re looking for a show that’s completely different and unlike anything you’ve seen in Australia, head to Because the Night.

Chess The Musical | StoreyBoard Entertainment

For fans of the musical, the problems and changes to the book and plot of Chess are as familiar to them as the score itself and arguably, all this messing about has resulted in an inability to now claim anything as a definitive version. 

Berlin | Melbourne Theatre Company

Through the eyes of her own children during a family holiday to the German capital in 2015, Murray-Smith pondered the feelings and implications for the young drawn to a city so rich in history and creativity but also one so profoundly soaked in shame.

The Removalists | New Theatre

The behaviour of the men is misogynous. The behaviour of men in authority menacing. The Removalists is as relevant today as it was then.

Most read news

MTC to premiere Digital Theatre

Audiences around Australia will have the opportunity to see Melbourne Theatre Company productions direct from stage to screen with the premiere of MTC Digital Theatre – Friday 16 April 2021.

Audience wanted!

Come Dance with Me is a brand new TV dance competition show filming at Docklands Studio Melbourne for American Television.