Breathe, Woman! was a VCA Dance based residency project occurring in Ballarat and was delivered in partnership between the VCA School of Dance and the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council.
Through workshops and discussion of participants’ individual stories, Breathe, Woman! explored the ‘push and pull between external forces and the individual and the sense of suffocation women in particular can experience as a result of cultural and societal expectations.’
The VCA engaged graduate choreographer, Shermaine Heng Li-Ling to work with women from diverse cultural backgrounds, culminating in a performance as part of Ballarat’s Cultural Diversity Week.
Shermaine is a recent post-graduate student of VCA Dance. She was also a recipient of the 2014 Victorian Government Creative Scholarship for Dance and is currently the Associate Artistic Director of Flare Dance Company Inc., a non-profit organization based in the City of Boroondara.
Shermaine has extensive dance and choreographic experience both here and in Singapore where she was born. She has choreographed 10 short contemporary works since her undergraduate years at the University of Melbourne. Much of Shermaine’s recent choreographic work focuses on exploring the notion of what it means to be a woman, multiculturalism, and the sense of displacement and isolation that comes from the challenges of interacting with a new culture.
Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council Inc. is the local peak multicultural organisation promoting cultural diversity and harmony in Ballarat and Region. BRMC works closely with partners, including City of Ballarat and Centre for Multicultural youth to engage members, community, business and government in developing a diverse and dynamic local culture and economy.
Local Host Organisation: Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council
Communities Engaged: Ballarat, Buninyong, Creswick, Learmonth
Alumni Artist/s: Shermaine Heng (choreographer) & Amy McNicklen (sound design)
Dates: January – March 2015
A version of this article originally appeared on Channel, the Faculty’s previous publishing platform.