Wire #7: Performance Practice, Post Pandemic

Thu 18 June 2020

In APAM’s last Wire conversation, we asked presenters how they are making decisions about what to program in their venues and festivals, once restrictions lift.

Now, we ask performing artists how their practice has evolved during the pandemic. What work do they want to make now, and how do they want to make it? What does artistic collaboration look like now? How have live performance makers responded to the pressure to adapt their practice for online platforms?

Hosted by Angharad Wynne-Jones, with panellists Bruce Gladwin, Daniel Kok, Selina Thompson and Sarah Ward.

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


Bruce Gladwin is an Australian artist and performance maker. He has been the Artistic Director of Back to Back Theatre since 1999, creating Mental (1999), Dog Farm (2000), Soft (2002), Small Metal Objects (2005), Food Court (2008), The Democratic Set (2009), Ganesh Versus the Third Reich (2011), Super Discount (2013), Lady Eats Apple (2016), Oddlands (2017) and The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes, which premiered in September 2019. Bruce’s works with Back to Back Theatre have toured extensively, including presentations at the world’s preeminent contemporary arts festivals and cultural venues. In 2015, Bruce was awarded the Australia Council for the Arts’ Inaugural Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre.

Selina Thompson is an artist and writer whose work has been shown and praised internationally. Her practice is intimate, political and participatory with a strong emphasis on public engagement, which leads to provocative and highly visual work that seeks to connect with those historically excluded by the arts. Selina’s work is currently focused on the politics of marginalisation, and how this comes to define our bodies, relationships and environments. She has made work for pubs, hairdressers, toilets, and sometimes even galleries and theatres, including BBC Radio, the National Theatre Studio and The National Theatre of Scotland as well as theatres across the UK, Europe, Brazil, North America and Australia. Selina has been described as ‘a force of nature’ (The Stage) and ‘an inspiration’ (The Independent). She was featured in The Stage 100 Most Influential Leaders 2018, awarded the Forced Entertainment Award in 2019, and her work Salt was named one of the riskiest of the century by BBC Front Row in 2020.

Daniel Kok studied BA Fine Art & Critical Theory at Goldsmiths College (London, 2001), MA Solo/Dance/Authorship (SODA, HZT, Berlin, 2012) and Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies (APASS, Brussels, 2014). In 2008, he received the Young Artist Award (National Arts Council, Singapore). Exploring the relational politics in spectatorship/audienceship, Daniel has worked with pole dance, cheerleading, bondage and other ‘figures of performance’. His performances have been presented across Asia, Europe, Australia and North America, notably in Venice Biennale, Maxim Gorki Theater (Berlin) and Festival/Tokyo. Recent works include Bunny (2016), MARK (2017) and xhe (2018). Hundreds+Thousands, a new performance in collaboration with Luke George (Melbourne) premieres in 2021. Daniel is the artistic director of Dance Nucleus (Singapore), a space for artistic research and creative development. He curates the annual da:ns Lab at the Esplanade and is a core group member of the Asia Network for Dance (AND+).

Sarah Ward
is a cabaret artist, actor, writer, teacher and producer. Creator of cabaret character Yana Alana and Queen Kong, Sarah was awarded a Helpmann and, along with her creative team, has eleven Green Room Awards, an Adelaide Fringe Award, and the Melbourne Fringe Award for Cabaret. Sarah’s passion is in the creation of subversive, political work that challenges gender stereotypes and the status quo through her larger-than-life stage creations. Outside her own work, Sarah was MC for Circus Oz and played the role of Bobby in the Dee and Cornelius production of Shit which last year toured to the Venice Biennale and recently became a feature film. She has worked with La Soiree, Finucane and Smith, Retro-Futuristmas, Yummy, Arena Theatre Company, Melbourne Workers Theatre and The Women’s Circus. Sarah was co-creator of cult hip-hop cabaret act, Sista She, which was popular in the early 2000s for creating feminist, queer, hip-hop shows. Sarah was a columnist for the Australia Education Union magazine, and currently teaches young people singing from home and creating music for deaf artist Asphyxia.

Angharad Wynne-Jones is Head of Creative Engagement at Arts Centre Melbourne. From 2011-2017 she was Artistic Director at Arts House, City of Melbourne, initiating projects engaged with environmental sustainability including Refuge, investigating the role of cultural institutions in climate change disasters. Angharad is founder and director of art, culture and environment network TippingPoint Australia.