This event was featured in our 2012 program.

Branch Nebula: The Royal Concrete and Bones Sessions

Branch Nebula (Sydney)

The Royal Concrete And Bone Sessions takes place in Launceston’s Skate Park just before dusk. In the spirit of wanting to tread lightly on this public space and to integrate into the flow of the skate park, Branch Nebula uses minimal infrastructure, no lighting or seating. Rather, the audience is placed around the performance like at a skate competition, exposing audiences to experiments in contemporary performance, dance and choreography. Experience its curves, its flow and the difficulty of the terrain and the action and energy of the skaters’ world.

Branch Nebula’s interest in street-styles is part of a broad interest in subcultures and diverse approaches to art. Committed to developing dialogue with new audiences outside the confines of the theatre stage, they are attracted to street-styles as a practice that is developed autonomously and is an inter-generational and inter-cultural experience. Branch Nebula investigates the vulnerability of the body in relation to concrete in the skate park, and through the course of the show, this progresses to how the body develops ways of moving and adapting in this space of concrete waves, into efficient and graceful ways of travelling. How does a body without wheels move in this space? In effect, Branch Nebula creates a new form and culture of existing in the skate park both with and without wheels.

For the Junction Arts Festival, Branch Nebula will collaborate with Launceston’s Skate Park users; local skaters, BMXers and dancers, as part of a two-week Artist Residency, along with world-renowned professional street-style skateboard artists April Caslick and Roland Chlouk, who share among them many world competition titles. If you are interested in working with this internationally acclaimed performance company, visit the Participants Needed page for more details about how to get involved.

About the artist

Mirabelle Wouters and Lee Wilson founded Branch Nebula in 1998. They create distinctive, hybrid movement-based performance combining dance, theatre, acrobatics, music and design to create powerful and visceral experiences for audiences. Branch Nebula works across disciplines in performance, dance and design to challenge mainstream cultural conventions. They often work with non-conventional performers, who are highly skilled and ethnically diverse; to collaboratively devise work that defies categorization. Branch Nebula interrogates the audience experience and explores contemporary culture as a means of creating access and speaking to a broad audience. New works in development by Branch Nebula include Whelping Box, a collaboration with Matt Prest and Clare Britton (Hole in the Wall, The Tent), and Concrete and Bone Sessions, a large-scale site-specific work set in a skate-park.

Branch Nebula’s recent work Sweat, premiered at Performance Space Sydney (2010), toured to Dance Massive in Melbourne (2011) and to the ‘In Transit’ festival at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin in June 2011. Sweat is Branch Nebula’s latest major ensemble work after the critical acclaim and success of the Helpmann nominated Paradise City, which toured nationally and internationally after its premiere at Sydney Opera House in 2006. Paradise City toured Australia as part of Mobile States (2008), and toured to four international festivals in Brazil (2007).

In 2004 Branch Nebula co-produced Plaza Real with Urban Theatre Projects, and conducted a creative development for Mrs. White, a solo performance by Mirabelle Wouters. In 2002 they remounted Sentimental Reason at Performance Space, Sydney and at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. In the same year, Branch Nebula created Cattle Prod, a new short work whilst in residency in Brussels (Belgium) at ‘Les Bain Connective’. In May 2002, Branch Nebula presented Sentimental Reason, Cattle Prod and Rose Turtle Ertler at KC Nona in Mechelen (Belgium). Mad Red, a full-length work, was their first production and was presented by the Victoria Festival in Ghent (Belgium) in 2000, before touring to Bern in Switzerland for the Auawirleben festival.

Roland Chlouk was born in Lebanon in 1989 and has been street skating since the age of 11, and competed in various skateboard competitions in the Middle East and Australia. Some of his past skating sponsorships include Red Bull and Mountain Dew. April Caslick is from Newcastle and has been skateboarding since 2007. She has been in many skate competitions around Australia including Volcom’s Wild In The Parks and SBA Summer Series always placing in the top 3. April teaches skateboarding during school holidays through the youth venue The Loft in Newcastle.