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Three NIDA MFA Cultural Leadership students collaborate in upcoming Melbourne production

Three of NIDA’s Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) cohort have joined forces for a production that will next week show at Melbourne’s Hawthorn Arts Centre.

Three MFA Cultural Leadership students collaborate for Melbourne show

Three of NIDA’s Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) cohort have joined forces for a production that will next week show at Melbourne’s Hawthorn Arts Centre.

Running 26�27 July, Desirelines is an original concept from MFA Cultural Leadership student, Ben Greaves, and the company that he co-directs, Collusion Music and Dance Ensemble. It features seven musicians and dancers who perform harmoniously with visuals projected onto the performance floor, in what is a fusion of contemporary ballet and new chamber music.

‘An incredibly interesting feature of the show is the experimental nature of the way we’re projecting music scores onto the floor, which the performers follow and which shape the show,’ commented Greaves.

‘We’re also using a moving set, which is basically a film dolly track and the musicians are moved around by the dancers.’

Fellow MFA Cultural Leadership students Jordan Gibbs and Ben Hughes have been working alongside Greaves as Stage Manager and Lighting Designer respectively. Choreography is from Gareth Belling, while Leigh Buchanan, who was runner-up on the first season of Project Runway Australia, is costume designer.

NIDA’s part-time MFA Cultural Leadership course brings together mid-career producers, directors and managers working full-time in the cultural sector, who are taught by senior cultural leaders from the arts industry.

Aside from the in-depth learning, the course provided a way for Greaves to find the support he needed for his latest production.

‘As I’m a musician and my partner who I work with is a dancer, in the past we have struggled to connect with the wider arts community. It can be difficult to step outside of your own genre in the arts and find those networks, especially being based in Queensland, where we don’t have access to those Sydney and Melbourne networks, which are really important for us.

‘But this course has been amazing at allowing me to access the people in production roles and technical roles as well. It has been so helpful in the sense that I’m able to chat to Sydney and Melbourne people about different venues and how the scene operates in different states.’

In classes, Greaves would talk about Desirelines, and from that Gibbs developed an interest in the show, which resulted in him undertaking the Stage Manager role for the production.

‘He’s a fantastic Assistant Technical Manager based in Perth at the Crown Casino. I think the opportunity to work on something really dynamic and experimental was really exciting for him, especially coming from a commercial background at Crown,’ said Greaves.

Networking and collaboration are just as important to the two-and-half-year part-time course as the training at NIDA’s state-of-the-art facilities. Course delivery is spread out to enable participants to maintain their work and passions outside of the classroom, while also connecting with likeminded artists through a flexible learning arrangement. It has proved invaluable to Greaves in his own work.

‘The Cultural Leadership course is for anyone who needs to learn more about where the future of the arts is heading. It definitely sets you up with the ability to adapt and react to where the arts could be going. I’m really learning how to act resiliently and adapt to the changing arts scene and trying to see the positive in everything we do as arts leaders.’

Greave’s Collusion Music and Dance Ensemble has been running for 14 years. In the last 4�5 years It has begun focusing on live fine music and dance in the area of contemporary ballet.

‘We’re trying to commit to the idea of Chamber Ballet which is a small amount of musicians with dancers on stage all interacting together. We’ve built three main stage shows now,’ finished Greaves.

You can purchase tickets to Desirelines by heading over to the website.

For more information about our MFA Cultural Leadership course, or to apply for our 2018 intake, please visit the webpage or come along to our upcoming Info Night which takes place on 16 August. Register your attendance in advance as places are limited: