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16 August 2018

Arena Theatre Company, ILBIJERRI Theatre, Rawcus Theatre, and Red Stitch Actors Theatre are among 13 Victorian performing arts companies that have been sent packing via our International Engagement program.

Photo from 'Blood on the Dancefloor

BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR, 2018, by Jacob Boehme. Photo by Dorine Blaisie.

The International Engagement program will provide these organisations with funding support to visit countries including Canada, China, and the USA, to perform their works, expand their networks, and forge lasting connections with their overseas counterparts.

Following its move to Bendigo, Arena Theatre Company is set to broaden its horizons with the company’s first ever tour to China to perform the cabaret rock and theatre show Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon, created in collaboration with Clare Bartholomew and Danial Tobias.

The show will be performed in Beijing this weekend for the China National Children’s Theatre Festival, making Arena Theatre the only Australian company invited to present a full show in the festival and one of only 10 international productions that will feature in this year’s program.

The festival is held alongside the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People Conference, which brings together 400 delegates from more than 50 countries to gather, network and learn from each other.

Arena will also participate in the conference, presenting a workshop for delegates to see Arena’s artistic process and the unique ways it uses digital technologies to engage with young people to develop new work.

ILBIJERRI Theatre will undertake its biggest ever international tour between January and March 2019 when it visits Canada, taking in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, to perform the hybrid theatre work BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR.

Written and performed by Victorian dancer and choreographer Jacob Boehme, BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR was created by a team of First Nations artists and explores the intersections between HIV Positive, gay and First Nations identities.

Rawcus Theatre will swap St Kilda for San Francisco for its first-ever international trip in 2019, when it visits the USA to work with renowned dancer and choreographer Marc Brew.

Marc is a Victorian artist based in San Francisco where he is the Artistic Director of renowned contemporary dance company AXIS which, like Rawcus, makes work with artists with and without disabilities.

This latest grant will support Rawcus to exchange skills with dancers from AXIS and continue the development of a project with Marc, which began earlier this year when he visited Melbourne.

Red Stitch will make its international debut in October performing its acclaimed production desert 6.29pm, by Melbourne-based playwright Morgan Rose, at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival in China.

The Red Stitch team will give five performances as part of the festival, which celebrates the best established and emerging companies on the global theatre scene.

desert 6.29pm follows the story of an Australian family living in a tiny community and focuses on the perspective of Xan, a young, closeted , gay woman.

As well as showcasing Red Stitch’s talents to the world, the visit will allow the team to build connections with theatre makers, programmers and producers from across the globe, opening up future touring or residency opportunities.

Building international engagement is a key focus area of the Victorian Government’s $115m Creative State strategy which aims to grow Victoria’s creative industries and their economic and social impact.

More than $300,000 of funding has been allocated in this latest round of the International Engagement program.

International Engagement Grant Recipients

Lucy Guerin Inc, $30,000
To tour the dance work 'Split' to ten prestigious dance festivals and events in Jakarta, Groningen, Dusseldorf, Aarhus, Tokyo, New York, Portland, Budapest, Paris and Bruges.

ILBIJERRI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Co-operative Ltd, $30,000
To tour the dance work BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR to Canada. The six-week, five venue tour will be ILBIJERRI's biggest ever international tour and will take in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Circus Oz, $30,000
To tour its latest production 'Model Citizens' to Spain (six performances) and Germany (33 performances) in November and December 2018.

Emerging Writers' Festival, $6,770
For an exchange project with Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali. This will see three artists, who are participating in the 2018 Emerging Writers Festival, travel to Bali in October to take part in the Ubud Festival. The exchange participants will also take part in the 2018 Digital Writers' Festival.

Arena Theatre Company, $9,900
To travel to China as one of only 10 international productions, and the only Australian company, to perform at the China National Children’s Theatre Festival in Beijing.

Wantok Musik, $20,000
To travel to Papua New Guinea to present the 'A Bit Na Ta' installation in Port Moresby. The installation celebrates Pacific song, dance and culture through recordings, soundscapes and films and will be presented as part of the activities surrounding the APEC Summit.

Melbourne Writers Festival, $30,000
To bring a delegation of international literary programmers to Melbourne during the festival in August. The delegates will meet and network with Australian publishers, build awareness and understanding of Victorian writers and writing talent, and develop international exchange partnerships with local literary organisations.

Melbourne Fringe, $10,000
To support an international residency by Germany's Forschungstheater and Hamburg-based artist Sybille Peters during the 2018 Fringe Festival. The residency will be part of the festival's XS program of experimental, contemporary and live art for children.

La Mama Inc, $30,000
For the La Mama team to travel to Bandung, Indonesia in August to work with Indonesian theatre company Mainteater to collaborate on the development of a new performance 'Hades Fading (Hades Memudar)'. The project will premiere in Indonesia and will tour around regional areas in 2019 before an Australian performance season in 2020.

Chunky Move, $25,000
To tour the performance 'Complexity of Belonging' to the Netherlands including a performance as the opening production for the 2018 December Dance Festival at Concertgebouw, Brugge.

Liquid Architecture Sound, $19,500
To undertake a new sound art project ‘Why Listen to Plants’ in Lofoten, Norway.

Red Stitch Actors Theatre, $30,000
To undertake the company's first international tour where it will give five performances of the play 'desert, 6.29pm' at the 2018 Wuzhen Theatre Festival in China.

Rawcus Theatre Company Inc, $30,000
For Rawcus' first international project which will see the ensemble travel to San Francisco to develop a work with acclaimed dancer and choreographer Marc Brew. During the residency, Rawcus will also exchange their skills and undertake professional development activities with AXIS Dance Company.