BLAK BOX

A LISTENING ROOM FOR NEW WRITING BY ABORIGINAL ARTISTS

In 2016, UTP is expanding our B-SIDE program by commissioning two writers to develop a full-length work, specifically written for a custom-made listening room – Blak Box – which is literally a state-of-the-art surround sound performance space for audiences of 30 at a time. This is stripped back storytelling — up-close and personal.

From among the 8 artists we have worked with to date on B-Side, we’re commissioning Vicki Van Hout and Travis Cardona to develop their ideas into a full-length ‘radio play’. These works will then premiere live before being distributed digitally.

Vicki Van Hout is a Wiradjuri woman born on the south coast of NSW. An independent choreographer, performance‐maker and teacher, she has worked across a range of performance mediums nationally and internationally. A graduate of the National Aboriginal Islander Dance College (NAISDA), Vicki has learnt and performed dances from Yirrkala, Turkey and Christmas Creeks, Mornington and Bathurst Islands, as well as Murray, Moa and Saibai Islands in the Torres Strait. Vicki also studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York and has danced with companies including Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre and Bangarra Dance Theatre. Vicki’s first solo show, Briwyant, premiered at Performance Space in 2011, and toured to Malthouse Theatre (Melbourne), Brisbane Powerhouse and Darwin Festival in 2012, the first ever national tour of a work by an independent indigenous choreographer. Vicki was awarded the 2014 NSW Dance Fellowship for established and mid-career artists – the first Indigenous winner of the Fellowship. Her second major work, Long Grass, recently premiered at Sydney festival 2015 and toured to Melbourne for Dance Massive presented at Arts House. She was a 2014 B-Side artist.

Travis Cardona is from Darwin, NT. His family stretches from Malak Malak, Tiwi, Iwaidja, to the Torres Strait Islands. Travis worked for the NT Fisheries Department as an Aboriginal Liaison after finishing high school. He then went on and completed a Bachelor of Dramatic Art at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney 2009. Travis has worked in film, TV and theatre over the past 10 years. In between acting roles, Travis has worked as a builder’s labourer, tree lopper and acting teacher for NIDA and Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP). He now works for SBS/NITV Corporate Affairs Indigenous Policy and Stakeholder Relations. Travis believes that film, television, radio and the arts are vital for First Nation’s people to express ourselves and have our voices heard by the world. Travis was a 2013 B-Side artist.