DANCEHOUSE YOUR WAY! - an open season

Our Your Way! program is a way of offering support to productions outside our curatorial program. In offering the Your Way! program, we aim to contribute to advancing dance practice and performance by giving artists access to professional presenting opportunities. Twice per year (April and September/October during the Fringe festival) we host a limited number of non-curated productions.



Helen Smith and The Space Between Performance Collective

This work explores a Buddhist concept called the Ten Worlds through the medium of Butoh – a dance of transformation. This combination of philosophies allows the exploration and embodiment of different aspects of human nature to examine the question: are we creating for ourselves heaven or hell on earth?

Each of the Ten Worlds describes a common way of experiencing life from moment to moment. The 6 lower states – namely hell (extreme suffering), hunger (greed), animality (instinctive behavior), anger (ego), tranquility (humanity) and rapture (heaven) – are worlds in which humans relinquish will and are swayed by changing circumstances. The "Four Noble Paths" of learning, absorption, Boddhisattva and Buddhahood are states in which a conscious effort is made to motivate and direct one's life in order to create value and hope for the future.

The current global situation might be described as being stuck in the 4 lower worlds of hell, hunger, animality and anger, where greed and 'the law of the jungle' dominate, accompanied by a diminishing respect for human life. The rise of problems such as depression, low self-esteem, stress-related illness, violence, conflict and abuse bring the negative effects of the dominance of these worlds closer to home.

If a door existed from the state of hell directly to what one's heart most desired, what is the key that would open up that possibility?

Helen Smith spent 3 years in Tokyo, Japan from 2007-2010, where she studied and performed with several Tokyo-based Butoh masters. In her workshops, Helen aims to lay down some foundations of Butoh, such as experiencing being moved rather than moving from one's own volition; exploring presence, emptying the mind and exercising the imagination in a dance of metamorphosis. Helen is a recipient of an APA scholarship and is researching Transformation in Butoh at Monash University, Melbourne.

When: Thursday 4th April - Sunday 7th April
Where: Sylvia Staehli Theatre, Dancehouse
Time: 4 April - 6 April 8.00pm
          7 April - matinee only 5.00pm

To book tickets click here.

Butoh Workshop

Suitable for any level – beginner to advanced, and for anyone with a desire to explore their own personal expression through movement.

When: Tuesdays 7-9.30pm
Where: Rosina Auditorium, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St. Helier's Street, Collingwood
Cost: $60 for 4 sessions; casual rate $18
Contact: Helen Smith, 0402 740 957,

To know more about our YOUR WAY! program, call our office 3 9347 2860.