Image: D Valdemaras, Unsplash

Wire #8: Frank and Fearless Relationships in the Performing Arts

Thu 16 July 2020

Building enduring and genuine relationships are essential to realising a sustainable creative practice. How are these relationships navigated practically and with integrity in the performing arts?

How is power held, negotiated and transferred in relationships between artists, makers, producers and presenters? How real is the perceived power imbalance between those who make the work and those who present it? How does this differ across cultures?

Our panellists are Candy Bowers (AU), Farooq Chaudhry (UK), Kee Hong Low (HK) and Rachael Maza (AU), hosted by Simon Hinton (AU).

This session will be live captioned. AUSLAN interpreting can be available upon request. Please email us for details.


Candy Bowers
Candy is a radical mischief-maker born of South African political refugees. A true multi-hyphenate, Candy is a writer/ actor/ director/ comic/ lyricist and visual artist. A NIDA-trained actor, she smashed onto the scene with cult hip hop comedy duo Sista She, Candy frequenting Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, St Kilda Music Festival, Sydney Festival and Edinburgh Fringe (UK). She is the original creator/ collaborator of the internationally award-winning Hot Brown Honey Burlesque and her latest afro-futuristic hip hop musical One the Bear played to over three thousand teenagers at Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Opera House in 2019. Candy’s screen credits include: field contributor/ correspondent on Tonightly with Tom Ballard (ABC), acting and throwing down in the writers rooms of Get Krack!n (ABC) and Legally Brown (SBS) and she’s currently on development for The Back Room and Dirty Thirties. Candy is the recipient of Screen Australia/Australians in Film 2019 Mentorship LA Initiative, which attached her to Executive Producer and Comedy Showrunner Peter Saji (Disney.) She has been picked up by WRIT-large and spends her time writing for the screen between Melbourne Australia and Hollywood USA.

Farooq Chaudhry
Farooq, co-founder and Producer of Akram Khan Company, plays a key role in forming innovative business models to support Akram Khan’s artistic ambitions and offering creative support during the development of Khan’s projects. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged Chaudhry in a list of the world’s top hundred cultural actors and entrepreneurs in 2008. Chaudhry also produced for China’s national dance icon Yang Liping and English National Ballet and was awarded an honorary doctorate from De Montfort University for his services to dance. In 2018 Chaudhry became the Course Consultant for the new MA Dance Producing and Management at London Studio Centre and Goldsmiths University. In Sept 2018 Chaudhry became the Co-Artistic Director of PECDA (Prakriti Excellence in Contemporary Dance Awards) in India. In 2019, Chaudhry was awarded an OBE for his services to Dance and Dance Production and was appointed a Tate Artist Trustee.

Simon Hinton
Since 2005, Simon has been Artistic Director / CEO of Australia’s largest regionally-based theatre company, Merrigong Theatre Company in Wollongong. He has worked in a range of arts industry positions, including as Marketing Manager of Queensland Theatre Company and Executive Officer of Ausdance (NSW). Simon has served on numerous industry boards and committees, and is currently Vice President of Performing Arts Connections (PAC) Australia, a member of the Theatre Board of Create NSW, and serves on several Helpmann Awards panels.

Kee Hong Low
Kee Hong is Director of Programs (Theatre) at West Kowloon Cultural District. He is responsible for formulating the district’s artistic direction for Contemporary Performance and Theatre. In this role, he created Hong Kong’s first International Workshop Festival of Theatre, an ongoing series on Scenography, a program on dramaturgy, international residencies with Scotland, New Zealand and Australia, new commissions with the Manchester International Festival and GREC Festival Barcelona. Since 2018, he is the co-curator of the Hong Kong International Black Box Festival with Hong Kong Rep. He was Artistic Director of the Singapore Arts Festival (2010-2012) and General Manager for the Singapore Biennale (2005-2010). From summer of 2022 at Freespace West Kowloon, Silvia Bottiroli (Artistic Director of DAS Theatre) and Kee Hong Low will co-curate a new platform built around Queering – a practice that re-examines and dismantles accepted frameworks of identity, power and privilege – as a political field and as a methodology.

Rachael Maza
Rachael is Yidinji from North Queensland, Meriam from the Torres Strait Island of Mer, and Dutch on her mother’s side. Rachael is Artistic Director of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company (2008 – present) and widely known for her range of acting, directing, and dramaturgical experience across the Australian film, television and theatre industry.