past work


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Presented at Melbourne Now National Gallery of Victoria, apart of February Solo SeriesVOLUME

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VOLUME is an immersive installation and performance synthesizing geometric abstraction with the antithesis of the object.It is a celebration of transparency and transformation by means of choreographing the sensory aspects of built space with aim to ask the question: How can a space make you feel?

VOLUME explores the Body as Machine paralleled with a return to the emotional origins of dance posing the question: Can the body be abstract?

Co-Authors Atlanta Eke and Tim Birnie : TIM BIRNIE is an Australian artist, architect, engineer and surfer. His work endeavors to be a positive and meaningful contribution to architecture in an expanded field.



A performance concerned with complexity of the cowgirl.

A western romance grappling with the devastation of production, celebrating community and questioning the social forces that define symbolic identities.

How different cultures shape different bodies and vice versa? This performance is focusing specifically on agriculture and the sub cultures that stem from it, with interest in cowboys and cowgirls and the difference between the representations of both. Utilising the movement of a dancing body question how bodies construct and are constructed by a culture that has been a key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization.




Experimenting with the idea of the ‘present’ in relation to live performance and its documentation

Initially developments for a new Video Work for Channels Festival 2013 @ Speakeasy Cinema

2013 Nuseum

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Nuseum is a series of pop-up performances that can happen at various sites for varying durations.

Nuseum is concerned with the abstraction of the body utilising silver thermal blankets and sacks, as well as a transformation of the body through movement, with aim to shift the perception of the audience.

Defining temporary territories with large silver blankets and large silver sacks the dancers get inside the sacks and/or lay at the edge of the silver blankets and begin a slow repeating roll. The silver gradually enveloping the bodies of the dancers, abstracting them into shiny silver sculptures.  Sculptures that through stillness and movement morph and transform continually shifting the perception of the audience.

The dancers can see the audience from within the silver material yet the audience cannot see the dancers inside. The dancers play with proximity and duration to challenge conventional object/subject relationships inherent  to the context its presentation. Their bodies transform from private entities into temporary public sculptures, belonging to everyone.

These shiny transformative sculptures seemingly artificial contain one or many living human bodies. Through movement and stillness the sculptures appear to oscillate from the organic to the artificial, from human to machine, from animal to monster.

2013 Nuseum (working title)

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First development a new solo performance of a dance performance concerned with the abstraction of the body.

abstractions of the body, utilising silver thermal blanket, objects, as well as a transformation of the body through movement, aim to shift the perception of the viewer of the body.


I CON is a performance interrelating the two themes of Death and Illusion to ask the question; What Is Contemporary? I am asking this question in relation to performance, with aim to go beyond the definition of something that has been recently made or displayed.

“Contemporary Art deserves its names insofar as it manifests its own contmeporaneity” – Boris Groys, Comrades of Time



Walking Performance in collaboration with Henry Jock Walker

Nothing in your education or your experience can have prepared you for this performance


Performance by

Atlanta Eke and Henry Jock Walker

EKE WALKER is a Performance Completely Outside the Tradition of Dance and Choreography

Completely Outside the Tradition of Painting

EKE WALKER is a performance completely Outside the Tradition of Critique and Review

It is a performance completely Outside

Together we dance a collective utterance of individual resistance and paint traceless markings of transformative consequence.

This escape forward into the rewriting of the past is a performance suspended in time that starts at 5:30pm tomorrow at the Next Wave office and ends at the Pub

2013 Equal Prize Money For Women: Jan Juc Annual Surf Community Based Feminist research project, Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Victoria

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2013


2012-2013 MONSTER BODY


A Performance piece summoning the darker energies of dance to body forth those monsters of the imagination lurking between the audience and the performer. Exploring a political imagination, life and death, dreams, consumerism and more Monster Body is a saturation of the senses. This dance performance overloads the sensual experience, wrestling shapes and rhythms from imaginative experience.

Through her work Atlanta subverts the conventional images of the female body, seeking to rescue the representation of the female body from the grip of capitalism.

Monster Body was originally presented at the Next Wave Festival in May 2012 in partnership with Dancehouse and has been developed and supported through Next Wave Kickstart Program, Dancehouse, Arts Victoria and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. It has been presented at the2012 SEXES Festival, Performance Space Sydney, 2013 Dance Masssive Festival, 2013 MONA FOMA Festival Hobart 


southerncross copy

is a new work by Atlanta Eke and Emma Kim Hagdahl.

Deep Terra is fierce and united dance of generosity. A dance as an imaginative force of production, where imagination can happen collectively, where we can work together to create different kinds of futures.

Drawing on influences from sculptor Louise Bourgeois this performance is experimenting with the destruction and constructions of shifting landscapes, imaginary and real.

The performance is both delicate and open yet specific; Together we sculpt; building and demolishing landscapes, a live transformation of objects and bodies in space. This paradoxical environment of progression and destruction is the dance of scrutiny on a mass level unfurling like a hallucinogenic daydream.

Deep Terra is dance to music only we can hear, we carefully combine our urine in precious glass vases. There is a darkness and we invite the audience to imagine. This is a performance of two dancing bodies together yet independent of one another.

There is monstrosity.

The performance is a machine created to disrupt and confuse the production of meaning that to a large degree is constructed by contemporary society.

Deep Terra offers an imaginative world where categorical understandings, coding, stereotyping, limiting definitions and homogenizing conformity is blurred, dissolved, and exhausted for a transgression into an unknown, future.

Picture 2

2012 Name Given By The Spectator

A recreation of Emma Kim Hagdahl‘s solo performance insisting on repetitively exhausting the references of dance choreography semiotics from the dancing body. Making visible the habitual actions of categorization, decoding and reading of movement in order to transgress them; in relation to the old something new can be perceived.

It begins as a proposal that THE DANCING BODY DOES NOT MOVE FREELY. It is an energetic and revealing dance performance investigating the movement of two dancing bodies as the product of a codified socialization. Every movement made is noted as a reference, a quotation, an illustration of a learnt behavior, a product of training, technique, attitudes, images,characters, even narratives that fill the body enabling it to move. Name Given By The Spectator is recognition of all movement as referenceas an archaeological investigation of two bodies made up of contemporary dance practices, dancing uniqueness and sharedness at the same time.

These references are repetitively exhausted with an obvious transparency acknowledging that movement exists as something non-abstract, therefore contesting the position of the ‘authors’ of the dance. The repetition of these references is a simple strategy with the aim to produce something complex. Allowing the space to notice how one views movement, a view which to a large degree are constructed by contemporary society. Name Given By The Spectator operates beyond the limitations inherent to references and categorization of movement, exhausting the ‘knowns’ of the dancing body, transforming them into ‘unknowns’, new possibilities for the representation of the dancing body.

Presented at Return to Sender, Performance Space Sydney

2011 Abstracting Body in Nature (working title) 

2011 Oedipus My Foot

The myth of Oedipus, who kills his father and marries his mother, is one of the most influential stories in Western culture. Oedipus, my foot is based on insights and principles completely different. Oedipus suffers from his wish to blame and restrain himself. This repressive habit of self-condemnation, says Jan Ritsema, fuels the general feeling of depression that dominates society today. This Oedipus takes his fate into his own hands and his potential destinies are countless.Together with fifteen performers Ritsema will present a theatrical show with stylistic references to the work of Ariane Mnouchkine, The Wooster Group, Bob Wilson, William Forsythe and The Nature Theater of Oklahoma.

Jan Ritsma directed legendary Kaaitheater productions such as Wittgenstein Incorporated (1990) and Kopnaad (1995) and is the founder and inspirer of the Performing Arts Forum which is located in France. Together with fifteen performers he will present a theatrical show with stylistic references to the work of Ariane Mnouchkine, The Wooster Group, Bob Wilson, William Forsythe and The Nature Theater of Oklahoma. They change the theatrical space into an open area where theatre takes its fate into its own hands or, rather, loses all sense of having a fate. Oedipus, my foot is an exercise in ‘seeing life as a pleasant swim in this paradise of options’.

With Perrine Bailleux, Christine De Smedt, Marcus Doverud, Atlanta Eke, Luís Miguel Félix, Maria Hassabi, Krõõt Juurak, Emma Kim Hagdahl, Xavier Le Roy, Neto Machado, Berno Odo Polzer, Jan Ritsema, Mårten Spångberg, Tea Tupajic.

co-production Kaaitheater, Pact-Zollverein (Essen), Steirischer Herbst (Graz) | support ALLIANZ Kulturstiftung (München), Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EU)

January 20-21, 2011 (Premiere) @ Kaaiteater, Brussels, Belgium
April 15-16, 2011 @ PACT Zollverein, Essen, Germany
October 13-15, 2011 @ Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria (SHAKESPEARE’S AS YOU LIKE IT)

2011 The Agora Project

The aim of this agora is not to put something in order, but rather to invent social opportunities. With workshops, lectures, performances, interventions and publications, fourteen very diverse artists from twelve different countries invite you to share in their working process and discuss worries, knowledge and actions around the concept of public space – a process, which finally leads to the première of “Shakespeare’s As You Like it, A Body Part”.

Agora is a project by PAF, the influential self-organised Performing Arts Forum in France, that examines the link between theatre and public space. If the village square, the agora, marks the birth of theatre, can theatre today once again contribute to demanding the public in public space?

With Perrine Bailleux, Christine De Smedt, Marcus Doverud, Atlanta Eke, Luís Miguel Félix, Maria Hassabi, Krõõt Juurak, Emma Kim Hagdahl, Xavier Le Roy, Neto Machado, Berno Odo Polzer, Jan Ritsema, Mårten Spångberg, Tea Tupajic.

co-production Kaaitheater, Pact-Zollverein (Essen), Steirischer Herbst (Graz) | support ALLIANZ Kulturstiftung (München), Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EU)

January 20-21, 2011 (Premiere) @ Kaaiteater, Brussels, Belgium
April 15-16, 2011 @ PACT Zollverein, Essen, Germany
October 13-15, 2011 @ Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria

See more about The Agora Project

2011 I Want To Be An Artist

Presented at Pieces For Small Spaces, commissioned by Lucy Guerin Inc Melbourne

2011 Australian Dance The Future – Cultural Terrorism  

Presented as a Guerilla Performance at Dance Massive Festival

This is an exciting time to be in Melbourne! There has been evidence of a shift in how and by what means art is being shared: artists are no longer waiting for permission in order to act.  Artists are making and sharing art without authorisation, without fixation on economic recompense, without the immobilisation of institutional dependency, without invitation, without specific advertisement, without following months and years of planning.

These artists are not waiting to be programmed. They are programming themselves into the remarkable festivals and performance platforms cultivating the city of Melbourne. They are performing actions that create new spaces and opportunities for others to do the same. The power is being placed back into the hands of the artists.

On 22nd March 2011 Atlanta Eke, Tim Darbyshire and Amelia McQueen, uninvited, stepped up onto the stage at the conclusion of the legendary company Balletlab’s preview performance of ‘Amplification’ during the Dance Massive Festival. They shared with the surprised audience a performance built around specific concepts of Australian dance: it’s history, it’s current jargon, and the unknown potential that is The Future. The artists offered the performance wanting to redefine the theatre from a sacred space into a public platform for art to be shared.

The three and a half minute performance was a contemporary adaptation of Ballet Russes ‘Beach Drama’ on Bondi Beach (1939). The original footage of Ballet Russes ‘Beach Drama’ can be found on YouTube and shows some footage of early Russian ballerinas dancing on Bondi Beach, including a controversial depiction of Australian Indigenous culture. Interested in this bizarre moment in Australian dance history, the artists recreated the original choreography with a contemporary spin, using common industry terms to describe the path of the performing artist in the current times including: emerging, diverging, mid-career, established, dance company, first-stage creative development and cultural-awareness.

The adaptation Australian Dance – The Future, was a performance which considered the current terrain of Australian dance, and how it is programmed, organised and presented – using the Dance Massive Festival as a clear marketable example. It serves to provoke people to think about the possibilities of where and how dance can exist in the future

The artists who performed their unauthorised choreography support the existence of Dance Massive and congratulate all the hard-working people who were involved. It is a great platform where artists can think and rethink about the current situation of dance and take action to cultivate, challenge and redefine existing territories.

These unprogrammed artists are not against organizational structures such as curated festivals, they are interested in working within these centers of power in order to produce change. Guerrilla artists, but in a loose-sense, they performed unannounced, unapproved and spontaneously in non-violent protests to provoke artists, programmers, venues and the general public to think about the potential of being pro-active rather than dependent on the cultural system to perform and make art-work.

These unprogrammed artists took a risk and offered a performance as a provocation to audiences and artists alike to consider alternative possibilities for cultural production and the development of dance in Australia

The perpetrators of this act of cultural terrorism imagine a world in which:

Artists are developing and framing performance within their own rules and regulations, rather than following the cultural protocols that dominate the contemporary dance industry in Australia.

Artists act with a sense of urgency, liberation and even pleasure.

If these ideas stimulate anything in you, we would like to hear about it! Please write to:

2011 In The Dark

Deborah Hay Solo Commission Project Presented at Dancehouse Melbourne and Co-produced by Critical Path Sydney, Strut Dance Perth



Presented at Deakin University Melbourne


2010  YOU AND ME

Presented at Private Dances during the Next Wave Festival

 interview with lala:

tell me a little about your performance background,

Growing up I played a lot of tennis and my point of difference as a player was that I would, more often than not, win a match if I was being watched – by my dad, other parents, passers by. In a match situation when there was no one watching me play I would have to imagine there was in order to win. I began to perform, always, audience or not, performance has become something I tend to practice a lot, perhaps always. As for performance in dance, when I was 6 years old I performed my first solo in the rap section of a piece called ‘Things That Make You Go Mmmmm’, at the chadstone shopping centre. The ‘running man’ was a dance that naturally resonated in my body at the time, I could do it well and this was something I wanted to show – since then my interests in ‘showing’ what I can ‘do’ have faded and my attentions are directed more toward the relationship of myself to the audience through questioning what it is to perform and why.

and you performed a piece recently as part of the next wave festival in melbourne that appeared in private dances curated by nat cursio as part of the dance program?

This piece was titled You and Me. I was interested in making an experiential piece to fit the context of private dances. I thought the set up for private dances was very clever. The audience was entering an unfamiliar space in which to experience dance performance but were completely nurtured and made comfortable by the lovely guides and the quality and generosity of the food and drink provided.
I also think that the concept of the night was very strong in setting up a framework for me to really think about what dance could be in this environment. It was a situation I felt completely supported within but with freedom to make my own clear choices.

It made sense to stage some sort of situation.
I was not interested in producing entertainment or performing a three minute dance routine – to have an audience member sit in a tent and watch me execute ‘dance moves’ seemed simplistic.

You and Me was such that as the audience member entered the tent they were confronted with me standing there in a gorilla suit. I would watch them as they would watch me. Within moments a gentle love song would begin to play and I would move slowly toward the audience member offering my gorilla hands, which they would take and we would look, or not, into each others eyes. As time went on I would begin to slowly dance with the audience member, drawing them closer to me, the gorilla, for a romantic intimate dance.

After some time I would unzip a screen separating two areas of the tent and it would be revealed that there was a third person in the space viewing the entire experience from behind the screen. I would then let the viewer out the back of the tent and the audience member would be sat down to watch the next person come in and have the same intimate dance with the gorilla, and so the cycle continued every three minutes for two hours.

when you put it together you talked about how you have been influenced by feminist theory and the idea of the male gaze, for me this was a fantastic merging of ideas and practice, how did this come together in your head?

I am often considering what it is to be watched when performing – how people look at my body on stage. It is inevitable to be subject to the ‘male gaze’ and objectification as performer, so I try to work at dissolving opportunities for this asymmetric power relationship between the viewer and viewed.

I recently read an article written by Elizabeth Dempster – Visioning the Body, Feminism, Ideokinesis and the New Dance, in the 1993 Autumn edition of Writings on Dance. She presents arguments about how ocularcentrism, a vision centered world, produces a “phallocentric perspective”.

The theory, as I understood it, was that when sight is the dominant sense of how we consume the world (which I think it is – especially in western societies where the saturation of images within mass media nourishes capitalistic consumer society) it inevitably positions females as lesser than males – the image of the female body exists as a castrated version of the male body. I don’t necessarily agree with this theory but it became a good starting point to think about how to pervert the sensory experience of the audience member within the tent, where the seeing of the performer would be in close proximity.

Initially I was keen to remove the sense of vision from the performance all together and stage the piece in complete darkness – to produce a sensory experience that emphasized perhaps more maternal senses such as smell and touch. – I think this is where the idea of gorilla suit began, generating a new textural surface for the audience to experience through touch. I wanted to create a close physical connection with the audience whilst manipulating levels of comfort and intimacy through what they were hearing, being a love song.

But instead of taking away vision altogether I wanted vision to become the perversion of the experience. So instead of eliminating the opportunity for the position of the ‘male gaze’ I wanted to transform it and decided to create a space where the audience member could notice it for themselves – and even perhaps elicit a ‘female gaze’ – where the audience member coud feel burdened by the position of looking in on a private, intimate experience, and becomes uncomfortable even reluctant to gaze at all.

As well as this, by placing the audience member in the situation before they viewed it was to also stimulate an empathetic relation to the performance and to manipulate their memory of what they had just experienced which then affects how they see. ‘Seeing’ with memory/empathy – subjectivity instead of objectivity.

the first part of the work created really different feelings in audiences, some people seemed to enjoy the closeness of the experience whilst some were very very confronted, i wonder how much of this was the suit and how much of it was the act of close dancing?

The face of the gorilla was a little confronting, I would have preferred a softer expression but the costume shop didn’t have any friendly gorilla heads, -but this was a nice challenge for me to override the intimidation of the mask with gentle affection and reassuring love, though sometimes I just felt like a creep, especially with younger girls – girls my age. I felt like I was in some way assaulting them, I would imagine myself as some slimy guy hiding in a gorilla suit in order to feel up girls.

Within the three minutes, after initial reactions to the confrontation of the gorilla suit, I would notice people progress through different levels comfort, there was a lot of awkwardness and shyness, resistance and even disgust, though some times there was an instantaneous freedom and release. I found it difficult to dance with tall men, especially if they became really into the experience and would start controlling the situation. – this made me feel like a prostitute. I began to question whether this situation I had set up for You and Me was not so far removed from prostitution and more generally is performance just another form of prostitution?

I preferred short women that would continuously alternate from a hysterical giggle to a released softening into the experience. On the opening night a woman entered the tent and we danced to elvis preselys love me tender. As we danced she began to cry. I began to invent all different types of scenarios in my mind as to what must have been happening in her life a this time for her to respond in such a strong way. and felt terrible that I had to reveal to her that some one was watching us together and she was about to do the same.
It soon became apparent that this work would be quite emotionally draining for myself. Every three minutes for two hours, I would try to fall in love and give to that person what they needed and would respond well too. I found mimicking the body language an effective starting point. It seemed that my timing was very important to this piece, and some love songs were more affective in assisting gentle gradual allurements, with both lightness and depth, forward yet non-intrusive affection, being transparent and fun but deeply passionate. The few times where I felt the piece worked was when there was a sense of joy in the intimacy paired with an awkward, even horrific unease – I think in the context of Private Dances it made sense to try and evoke these things.

many ppl thought you were a man – which i think is quite a flip in terms of the male gaze stuff you were talking about…

my ‘male gaze’ investigations are applied to the thinking about audience and performer relations regardless of sex, but more as noticing positions of power. But I did try to become and man or women depending on whatever I imagined the audience member desired and would fall in love with.

On hearing some feedback I do not know if I was successful in obliterating the ‘male gaze’ in You and Me, and perhaps I even unintentionally put myself in this masculine position instead. One audience member said upon entering the tent he felt that he became the performance, even before he knew someone was watching him from behind the screen, he felt that he was being watched by me – hidden safely behind the mask of the gorilla, this made him uneasy and feel himself objectified – this was not my intention to reverse the situation for potential objectification, but to find a place in between, or to produce a to and fro of perception and responsibility within the staged experience.

It seemed obviously pleasurable for some audience members when they realized they were to view an intimate dance. Most people liked that they couldn’t be seen – I find this disturbing. But it is how audience is conditioned to behave. Others I think were left confused about what just happened to them and it was clear some felt upset, because the becoming audience and being given the space to notice ones ‘male gaze’ it completely perverted the reality of what they just experienced.

do you feel like dance has the opportunity to cross over into different audience/performer relationships such as this or is this a specific thing to private dances?

Dance performance always exists in a relationship to the audience. I am there, the audience is there, we are sharing space in real time. but this is a relationship where we know our roles very well and behave accordingly. I am interested in redefining these relations by diminishing the opportunity for an audience member to sit passively in the darkness of the theatre and expect to be entertained by spectacles. I think people want to be entertained. They want to be separate from – they want to admire skill and virtuosity from a safe distance. The interactivity of You and Me and Nat Cursios decision to position performance inside tents, where there was nowhere for the audience to hide, were affective strategies in dismantling conservative formats but I think it is also possible and fun to work within the existing conventions of presenting dance in theatre -in order to break them.

A current incentive to produce work is to find strategies that allow audiences to activate themselves and their own perceptions of what the experience is. I don’t want to do it for them, and I don’t want to bore them with a performance in which I ‘show’ what I can ‘do’ with my body, inferring perhaps they ‘cant do’ and so there – having a pacifying affect. The context of Private Dances gave me the space, whilst feeling totally supported, to exercise these curiosities

where can you see this kind of work going in your practice, is it something you will continue with?

I will continue to experiment with ways to allow for the production of meaning in my work that is outside conventional representation and I am interested in experiential work, but not necessarily interactivity on a physical level. What performance can produce conceptually is central to the way I work, but it is through the ‘doing’ that the concept evolves and I hope to continually undo the way in which I do every time i do do – as to keep things interesting for myself and audiences.


Presented at Sportsclub at the MCG, during the Next Wave Festival


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