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Back to Back Theatre

60 Little Malop St
Geelong
Victoria
Australia 3220

Postal Address

PO Box 1257
Geelong
Victoria
Australia 3220

Tel 61 3 5221 2029

Email →

info@backtobacktheatre.com

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Image: Jeff Busby

THE DEMOCRATIC SET

“Occasionally it’s like a dream sequence in a David Lynch film, disturbing, unstoppable. Sometimes it reeks of loneliness, people going about their business in some seriously fucked-up economy hotel. But mostly it’s full of laughter and hope, a feeling very much helped by the wide demographic of its contributors.” RealTime Arts

Disturbingly obvious and tantalisingly strange, THE DEMOCRATIC SET is an experimental residency model for working with communities.

Created using an assembly of short performances for film, THE DEMOCRATIC SET is an unrestricted and uncensored exploration of ideals of equality and freedom.

Using a custom-made film set, a neutral room with two opposing doors, THE DEMOCRATIC SET is a free space to be pushed, extended or manipulated, with each participant having full control over how their time is spent in the set.

Authoring a unique living trace of a community at a particular moment in time, THE DEMOCRATIC SET invites each participant to untangle what an uncensored space means to them, and each viewer to be surprised and seduced by the mysterious, funny, poignant and provocative sets as they pan the screen.

Concept, Design & Direction Bruce Gladwin
Design & Original Set Construction Mark Cuthbertson
Original Videography Rhian Hinkley

Developed with support from
The Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria.

Performance films

Back to Back develops experimental residency models. The models create space for the intuition of collaborating artists and community participants. Once developed, a residency model often travels iteratively, in different communities over several years, allowing for approaches from one incarnation to seep into the next, and for collaborators’ working practices to deepen and flourish. The structure proposes artistic directions with a focus on collaboration, not facilitation.

The film below includes footage from 15 Democratic Set residencies and was screened at the 2015 PQAU Exhibition, as part of the Prague Quadrennial, 18 – 28 June 2015.

Film: Rhian Hinkley

Past Performances

2017

THE DEMOCRATIC SET

  • Arp Museum , Remagen, Germany
  • Tweetakt , Utrecht, Netherlands

2016

THE DEMOCRATIC SET

  • Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance , New York, USA
  • Geelong After Dark , Geelong, Australia
  • Festival Belluard Bollwerk International , Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Arp Museum , Remagen, Germany
  • University of Melbourne Student Union Disabilities Department , Melbourne, Australia

2015

THE DEMOCRATIC SET

  • NO LIMITS Festival , Berlin, Germany
  • Prague Quadrennial , Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace, Prague

2014

GANESH VERSUS THE THIRD REICH

  • Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin
  • Zagreb World Theatre Festival, Zagreb
  • Theaterfestival Basel, Basel
  • Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zurich
  • Kunstfest Weimar, Weimar
  • Helsinki Festival, Helsinki
  • Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh
  • Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens
  • Carriageworks, Sydney

THE DEMOCRATIC SET

  • Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne
  • Fairfax Festival, Swan Hill
  • Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh
  • Ballarat Community Health Centre, Ballarat

V&A RESIDENCY

  • Victoria & Albert Museum – London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), London

2013

SUPER DISCOUNT

  • Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney
  • Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne

GANESH VERSUS THE THIRD REICH

  • Festival Tokyo & Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Tokyo
  • Carrefour International de Théâtre, Québec
  • Festival TransAmériques, Montreal
  • Theatre Junction GRAND, Calgary
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago
  • Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin
  • Parc de la Villette, Paris
  • Le-Maillon – Théâtre de Strasbourg, Strasbourg
  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong
  • Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
  • Centre for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Los Angeles
  • Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hanover
  • Under the Radar Festival, New York

2012

GANESH VERSUS THE THIRD REICH

  • Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Rotterdam
  • London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) – Stratford Circus, London
  • Wiener Festwochen, Austria
  • Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM), Adelaide

small metal objects

  • Cardiff Unity Festival, Cardiff

THE DEMOCRATIC SET

  • Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Casula
  • Kumuwuki / Big Wave: the 2012 RAA Conference, Goolwa
  • Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah
  • Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth
  • Junction Arts Festival, Launceston
  • Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart
  • Arts House, Melbourne
  • Performance Space, Sydney
  • Newcastle Community Arts Centre, Newcastle
  • Centenary Hall, Goolwa
  • Barkly Regional Arts, Tenant Creek
  • Darwin Community Arts, Darwin

FOOD COURT

  • Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Philadelphia

HELL HOUSE

  • Arts House, Melbourne

2011

GANESH VERSUS THE THIRD REICH

  • Melbourne International Arts Festival – Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne

FOOD COURT

  • No Limits – Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin

small metal objects

  • Seoul Performing Arts Festival, Seoul

THE DEMOCRATIC SET

  • Duesseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Dusseldorf
  • STUK START, STUK Kunstencentrum, Leuven
  • Wildwuchs Arts Festival for Such and Others, Basel
  • Okkupation International Theatre Festival, Zurich

2010

small metal objects

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong

FOOD COURT

  • London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) – The Barbican, London
  • Adelaide Festival, Adelaide

THE DEMOCRATIC SET

  • Awakenings Festival, Horsham
  • CreatAbility Bendigo – The Capitol, Bendigo
  • InBetween Time Festival of Live Art, Bristol
  • Aarhus Festival, Aarhus
  • Unity Festival, Cardiff

2009

TOUR GUIDE

  • Linz 09 – European Cultural Capital, Linz

FOOD COURT

  • Luminous Festival – Sydney Opera House, Sydney
  • Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels
  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong

small metal objects

  • The Kennedy Center, Washington DC
  • Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Philadelphia
  • TBA Festival – Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland
  • Arnolfini – Bristol Old Vic, Bristol
  • Kampnagel, Hamburg
  • Exodos Festival, Ljubljana
  • Linz 09 – European Cultural Capital, Linz

THE DEMOCRATIC SET

  • Castlemaine State Festival, Castlemaine

2008

FOOD COURT

  • Melbourne International Arts Festival – Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne

small metal objects

  • Singapore Arts Festival, Singapore
  • Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis
  • On the Boards, Seattle
  • Flynn Center for the Arts, Burlington
  • PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Vancouver
  • Harbourfront Center, Toronto
  • Under the Radar, New York

THE DEMOCRATIC SET

  • Part of THEATRE OF SPEED, Geelong

LIGHT LETTERS

  • Nelson Park School, Geelong

2007

small metal objects

  • The Barbican – Theatre Royal East Stratford, London
  • Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin
  • Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zurich
  • Noorderzon, Groningen
  • Kobenhavns Internationale Teater, Copenhagen
  • Paris quartier d’été, Paris
  • Theaterformen Festival, Hanover
  • Ten Days on the Island, Hobart
  • The Capitol, Bendigo
  • Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival, Mildura
  • Arts House, Melbourne
  • Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane
  • Perth International Arts Festival, Perth
  • Sydney Festival, Sydney

POD 8

  • Hobart Amalgamation Festival, Hobart

BOOMTOWNERS

  • Commonwealth Games Live Site, Geelong

DMI: DISABILITY MAINTENANCE INSTRUMENT

  • THEATRE OF SPEED, at Old Courthouse Building, Geelong

2006

small metal objects

  • Australian Performing Arts Market, Adelaide

POD 7

  • Geelong West Town Hall, Geelong

POD 6

  • Warrnambool Civic Centre, Warrnambool

2005

small metal objects

  • Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne

POD 4

  • Camp Street Theatre, Ballarat

POD 5

  • Trinity College, Colac

MINOTAUR

  • THEATRE OF SPEED at Old Courthouse Building, Geelong

2004

COW

  • Sydney Opera House, Sydney

POD 3

  • Awakenings Festival – Regional Arts Australia National Conference, Horsham

2003

COW

  • London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), London
  • Long Night of the Churches, Hannover

PORNSTAR

  • Midsumma Festival, Melbourne
  • Art of Difference, Melbourne

SOFT

  • Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zurich
  • Laokoon Festival – Kampnagel, Hamburg

INSIDE THE ANGEL HOUSE

  • THEATRE OF SPEED at Old Courthouse Building, Geelong

POD 2

  • THEATRE OF SPEED at Old Courthouse Building, Geelong

POD

  • Hanover

2002

SOFT

  • Melbourne International Arts Festival, Melbourne

RESIDENCY

  • Muse Company Summer School, Tokyo

COW

  • International Festival of Theatre for Disabled Artists, Almagro

DOG FARM

  • Shepparton Arts Festival, Shepparton

2001

MENTAL

  • HotHouse Theatre, Wodonga

FISHMAN

  • THEATRE OF SPEED at Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong

2000

DOG FARM

  • La Mama, Melbourne
  • Geelong Fringe Festival, Geelong

MENTAL

  • Summer Paralympic Arts Festival, Sydney

ARNOLD

  • Geelong Fringe Festival, Geelong

1999

MENTAL

  • Athenaeum Theatre II, Melbourne

DRAG RACERS IN LOVE

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong

PUSH PUSH

  • Old Courthouse Building, Geelong

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE WEDDING

  • Old Courthouse Building, Geelong

1998

BOOM TOWN

  • Kardinia Park Football Arena, Geelong

MINDS EYE

  • Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide

1997

PETER PAN

  • Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne
  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong

MR SEPTEMBER

  • Old Courthouse Building, Geelong

1996

MINDS EYE

  • Lonsdale Street Power Station, Melbourne

ROAD MOVIE

  • Londsdale Street Power Station, Melbourne

1995

BACK TO BACK IN SHORTS

  • St Martin’s Theatre, Melbourne
  • Ashby Hall, Geelong

1994

FREAK SHOW

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong
  • Napier Street Theatre, Melbourne

VOICES OF DESIRE

  • Very Special Arts Festival, Brussels

1993

VOICES OF DESIRE

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong
  • Polyglot Theatre, Melbourne
  • Belvoir Street Theatre, Sydney
  • Tours to Albury Wodonga, Canberra

1992

THE ADVENTURES OF BOBBI DAZZLER

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong
  • Polyglot Puppet Theatre, Melbourne

WOODENHEAD

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong
  • Arena Theatre, Melbourne
  • Belconnen Community Theatre, Canberra
  • Bay Street Theatre Glebe, Sydney

1991

I DON’T WANT TO LIVE IN LARA ANYMORE

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong

YELL BLUE MURDER

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong
  • Athenaeum II, Melbourne

1990

EVERYTHING AND THE MERMAID

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong
  • Arena Theatre, Melbourne

THE PEG MACHINE

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong

1989

CINDERELLA, THE FAT

COW DEPARTS

  • Ashby Hall, Geelong

STINKING HOUSES

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong

1988

BIG BAG

  • Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Geelong
  • Arena Theatre, Melbourne