Banjos, Boots & Beyoncé by St Martins Youth Arts Centre

Banjos, Boots & Beyoncé

In The Arts and Expression by LivingNowLeave a Comment

St Martins Youth Arts Centre presents the world premiere of Banjos, Boots & Beyoncé (a different kind of bush dance)

Kids call the shots in this riotous night of dance, banter and iced vovos

Take your partner by the hand as St Martins – one of Australia’s leading theatre companies working with children, throws the rule book away with Banjos, Boots, & Beyoncé (a different kind of Bush Dance).

6 – 8 July @ The Substation, Newport
Directed by Luke Kerridge 

This is not your average bush dance but a reimagining through the lens of St Martins’ young artists. An interactive work for adults, Banjos, Boots & Beyoncé investigates the relevance of social dance—its’ constructs, customs and currency.

Banjos, Boots & Beyoncé began its life after St Martins’ artists noticed just how many bush dances pop up in school social calendars – kids are still learning the dances as part of PE. During their investigations, they took a secret daggy delight in doing the do-si-do and hooking arms with strangers, but were left questioning what currency a bush dance actually holds for contemporary Australia. And will we still be Krumping in a hundred years’ time?

By putting the children in charge, BBB further challenges our assumptions of what children are capable of, reminding us adults how to have fun.

Award-winning director Luke Kerridge has teamed with the St Martins Ensemble – kids who participated in St Martins’ workshops in South Yarra, Northcote and St Albans, choreographer Ghenoa Gela, assistant director Dale Thorburn, designer Romanie Harper and DJ MzRizk, to create a work that reinforces the relevancy of social contact while questioning the clichés & nuances of Australian culture.

BBB sits within a suite of works that St Martins has developed over the last few years that includes Soundtracks and Fitter. Faster. Better. These works align to live art principles – they are participatory, site-specific, interventionist and pop up. They might take place in a park, in a supermarket, in a hall or online. What they have in common is that they give adults audiences direct contact with child artists without artifice or overlay. And they place children in a position of power, inverting society’s hierarchies, questioning our assumptions and recognising children as artists in their own right.

Banjos Boots & Beyonce Event details:

Season:   7pm, Thursday 6 – Saturday 8 July
Tickets:   Dancefloor:  A$30/C$25 + B/fee  | Wallflower:  $5 + B/fee  BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL
Venue:    The Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport
Tickets & info

Creative Team

Director: Luke Kerridge
Choreographer: Ghenoa Gela
Sound/DJ: Mz Rizk
Designer: Romanie Harper
Lighting Designer: Lucy Birkinshaw
Assistant Director: Dale Thorburn
Production Management: Filament Design Group


St Martins is one of Australia’s leading and iconic companies working with children. Producing bold and disruptive theatre made with children and teenagers for adult audiences, their performances and workshops ensure that children are equal owners of the creative process and are recognised as artists in their own right. Over the past two years, St Martins has implemented an ambitious artistic production strategy featuring seven new works which have achieved public and critical acclaim. These works have been presented in collaboration with Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Festival, Dark MoFo, Darwin Festival, Dance Massive, Junction Arts Festival, BIFEM, TheatreWorks, and Castlemaine State Festival. They’ve been nominated for six Green Room Awards.

Luke Kerridge is an award-winning Director whose primary interest is making work for, and with, young people. 2016’s Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories, won the Helpmann Award for Best Presentation for Children and was nominated for Best New Australian Work (2016). In 2017 it is touring nationally and internationally including to Edinburgh International Children’s Festival. Dream Home, directed by Luke in 2015, was nominated for seven Green Room Awards including Best Production and won Best Direction (Independent Theatre).

Ghenoa Gela, Choreographer and independent artist, is a Sydney based Koedal (Crocodile) and Waumer (Frigate Bird) and proud Torres Strait Islander woman from Rockhampton. She works across several mediums including dance, circus, television and stage and won 2017’s Deadly Funny. Choreography credits include Fragments of Malungoka – Women of the Sea, winner of the Keir Choreographic Award 2016, Winds of Woerr (Melbourne Next Wave Festival 2014, Spirit Festival 2015), and choreographing the final piece in Force Majeure’s Nothing to Lose (Sydney Festival 2015, Malthouse Theatre 2015).

Romanie Harper, Designer is a Melbourne based theatre Designer and maker who graduated from VCA in 2010.  In 2011 she moved to New York where she worked with The Wooster Group and Radiohole, including Radiohole’s Inflatable Frankenstein at the Kitchen as part of PS122’s COIL Festival.  On her return to Australia; she has worked with numerous high profile companies.

MzRizk is a Melbourne-based DJ, event curator and radio presenter renowned for her ongoing contributions to Melbourne’s rich cultural and music landscape. MzRizk has supported many Australian and international artists including Mos Def, Public Enemy, Snarky Puppy, The Daptones, John Morales, Bilal, Cody Chestnut and Maseo (De La Soul). MzRizk has performed at Glastonbury Festival in the UK, Womadelaide, International Soul Summit (Atlanta, US), AWME, Soundwave (Croatia), Big Day Out, and numerous other festival and events across Australia and internationally.

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