Samantha Chester (Co-Director and Founder)
Sam is a dance theatre maker, movement director and educator. She has a BA in Dance from UWS Nepean and a Post Graduate in Movement Studies from NIDA. In 2011/12 Samantha was part of Cultivate/Culminate, the inaugural dance theatre development program through Force Majeure. In 2014 she premiered Safety in Numbers at Riverside Theatre. She is the co-founder and director of Queen Street Studio and Fraser Studios (Brand X ) and was awarded the Mike Walsh fellowship to travel to NY to train with the SITI Company in Viewpoints and Suzuki disciplines. She was Head of Movement and Associate Director of Actors Centre Australia and has worked as a movement consultant for all mainstream theatre companies in Sydney. She is a Churchill Fellow and recently travelled to the UK, Spain and Belgium. Recently she premiered her first full length solo work The Astronaut and was the Associate Artist for Critical Path 2015–2016.
She is currently a Lecturer in Movement and Performance Making at WAAPA and is very passionate about affordable space for artists.
Dr Julie-Anne Long (Co-Director)
Julie-Anne is an award winning dance artist and academic. She holds a PhD from the UNSW titled Walking in Sydney Looking for Dancing: an auto-ethnographic mapping of the place of independent dance (2010) and an MA (Hons) in Performance UWS Nepean The Leisure Mistress Dances: an investigation of a practice where fact and fiction collide (1999). Since graduating from the Victorian College of Arts in the early 1980s she has performed and choreographed on a wide range of projects with companies such as Human Veins, One Extra, Theatre of Image, Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Bell Shakespeare Company, Open City and Dance Works. From 1991–1996 Julie-Anne was Associate Artistic Director of One Extra Company with Artistic Director Graeme Watson. She has worked in a variety of dance contexts as mentor, dramaturg, curator and producer including Acting Director of dance research organisation Critical Path (2006–07) and Dance Curator at Campbelltown Arts Centre (2009–10). She is currently a lecturer in Dance and Performance at Macquarie University.
Dr Justine Shih Pearson (Chair)
Trained originally in theatre design at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Justine has worked in the field for nearly twenty years, developing a particular interest in intercultural and interdisciplinary practices. She has collaborated on over thirty productions across film, new media, and live performance; and her design work has been presented in Australia, the UK, US, Canada, Europe and SE Asia. Justine works closely with independent artists in particular, supporting critical discourse around practice. She has worked in leadership positons in the arts industry as producer of ReelDance (2007-2009) and actig director of choreographic research centre Critical Path (2012-2013; 2015). Justine holds an MA (New York University) and PhD (University of Sydney) in performance studies. She has taught in the areas of interactive and mediated performance, dance and movement theory, and performance and cultural practice at the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, and Macquarie University.
Chanel Cheung (Studio Manager)
Chanel is currently finishing up her Bachelor of Arts and Business degree, Majoring in dance at UNSW. She is also a cheerleader for the Manly Sea Eagles and prior to this, she worked on the Norwegian Jewel cruise ship as a dancer/aerialist which traveled around the coast of Alaska, Canada and Mexico.
Chanel trained at Redlands Ballet and Dance Academy where she was awarded a full dance/academic scholarship to SCECGS Redlands and was selected to perform her Core Performance piece in the 2011 HSC callback showcase. Over the past few years she has taught at St Vincents College, Atkinsons dance academy and has been asked to choreograph plays and musicals at her Universities theatrical and musical theatre society. She has also been part of the UNSW dance company working with Raghav Handa and Carlee Mellow.
Linda Luke (Board Member - Happy Hour Facilitator)
Linda has been a dancer and performance maker for over 15 years. Her work aims to deepen sensitivity and excavate the subtle undercurrents we experience in relationship to self, each other and the environment. Linda has made a number of solo dance pieces and her most recent work, Still Point Turning premiered at Melbourne Festival, 2014. Since 2004, Linda has been a dancer for Sydney based dance company, De Quincey Co. Linda teaches movement at University of Wollongong for the BA Performance degree. lindaluke.blogspot.com
Rhiannon Newton (Board Member and First - Run Co-Facilitator)
Rhiannon is a Sydney-based dancer and choreographer. Her practice concentrates on the relationship between the live-ness of dance and processes of repetition, problematizing how a dancing spirit meets economies of production and authorship. Rhiannon’s works have been presented at the Judson Church (New York), Dancehouse (Melbourne), Nagib Festival (Slovenia), Under The Radar and Metro Arts (Brisbane), Eyes Wide Festival (Perth) and Dancenedents, PACT (Sydney). Her practice has been developed in artist residencies throughout Australia and abroad and has received support from organisations such as the Australia Council, Critical Path, The Ian Potter Foundation and Marrickville Council. She has created new works for the students of the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and produced the set solo choreographies for the 2014–17 WA school curriculum.
Rhiannon has been a part of international forums such as the Avignon Festival Seminar (2015) and Eastern European Choreographic Exchange (2013). She has lived abroad in Israel and the Netherlands where she worked as freelance dancer. As a performer she continues to engage in experimental and community-engaged projects. In 2016 she has performed Mette Edvardsen’s Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine in the Sydney Biennale, Paea Leach’s One and one and one in the Keir Choreographic Award, developed Champions with Martin Del Amo and continued dancing with Ros Crisp.
Su Goldfish (Board Member)
Su Goldfish is the manager of the UNSW Creative Practice Lab and the producer of performance and media works for the School of the Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales.
Recent and current projects are: THE LAST GOLDFISH, a documentary about her father and his lost family. Co-producer for UNSW of three William Yang documentaries, MY GENERATION, BLOOD LINKS and FRIENDS OF DOROTHY all of which screened on the ABC and in film festivals. Writer and director of the short creative documentary: TRACE, a journey to remember the ghostly connections between the past and now. Shortlisted for the Fisher's Ghost Award, screened in a number of film festivals locally and internationally and in the Museum of the History of National Socialism — Cologne. Writer and director of Ciao Meow, the story of a lost cat which won the Queer Pet project award at the Mardi Gras Film Festival and screened at the Torino Film Festival. Su has been working for over 25 years in varying capacities as a performer, writer, set maker, carpenter, builder, filmmaker and producer.
Rhys Morris (Design Manager)
Rhys Morris is a freelance designer and Digital Manager of Shark Island Productions. He is an award-winning designer with a long career in digital production, art and graphic design. Previous to Shark Island Productions, Rhys was Director of a Digital Design Company, working predominantly with small to medium enterprises and independent youth arts organisations. Rhys has volunteered for Children’s Rights International, working to develop youth justice in South East Asia as well as volunteering hours of time to ReadyMade Works.
He has a BA in Visual Communication and Design from Victoria University, Wellington.