Contemporary & Experimental Performance

Sarah Austin - Panel Co-Chair

Sarah is a freelance theatre maker and dramaturg with a specific interest in creating work work with and for children and young people. She is currently completing her PhD at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Dan Koop - Panel Co-Chair

DAN KOOP is a Producer, Facilitator and Artist working with local communities and public spaces to create work that engages audiences to become participants. Dan is the Creative Program Producer at Melbourne Fringe. As an Artist, Dan has created collaborative works in Hotel Obscura (2016 FOLA), Going Nowhere (2014 Arts House) and the Greenroom Award winning The Stream / The Boat / The Shore / The Bridge (2012 Next Wave).

Madeleine Flynn

MADELEINE FLYNN and Tim Humphrey are acclaimed Australian artists who create unexpected situations for listening. They have a long term collaborative practice. Their work is driven by a curiosity and questioning about listening in human culture and seeks to evolve and engage with new processes and audiences, through public and participative interventions. Their practice intertwines local, national and international relationships. Awards include Green Room Awards for Excellence in Hybrid Arts, the Australian National AMC-APRA Award for Excellence in Experimental Music, and the Melbourne International Festival Award. In March 2017, Madeleine was awarded the prestigious Australia Council Award for Emerging and Experimental Artforms. Their work is documented at

Melinda Hetzel

MELINDA HETZEL directs and devises original, image-based performance and live art. Her extensive body of work features visually stunning, site-specific works and dynamic, ensemble-based theatre. Since graduating in Creative Arts (Victorian College of the Arts, 2000), Melinda has presented a wide range of work in Australia, as well as Singapore and Germany. Melinda was founding member and Artistic Director of Peepshow Inc 2003-13. During this time she directed and co-devised the company’s entire repertoire, including: The Lost Story of the Magdalen Asylum, (Abbotsford Convent, 2010) nominated for a Green Room Award for Best Site-specific Performance, Divine: Part One (Abbotsford Convent, 2011) and, A Bird, a Tree, the Moon (City Square, 2012). Melinda's site-responsive work, Fly By Night, (Hamer Hall, 2015) was nominated for a Green Room Award for Design in Contemporary Performance (Visual and Digital App Design). Most recently, Madame Tulalah's Magnificent Box, premiered as part of Melbourne Fringe (Arts House, 2016), touring to Adelaide Fringe, Mt Isa Fringe, Brisbane Festival and Sydney Festival. Melinda was also the interim Artistic Director/ CEO of St Martins Youth Arts Centre in 2012, Conference Organiser for PSi 22 - Performance Climates 2016 and Creative Director of Open Spaces, a large scale, multi-arts event at the Abbotsford Convent, in 2015 and 2016.

Kim Kaos

KIM KAOS has dedicated herself to the creation and advancement of contemporary circus for 40 years. She combines her professional work (as a Director, performer, trainer and critic) in the circus arts with sector advocacy. Kim was founder and editor of 'OzJuggle Magazine' (Australia’s first journal for contemporary circus) from 1988-98. A founding member of ACAPTA (Australian Circus & Physical Theatre Association) Kim also served ACAPTA as Chair, Communications Officer and General Manager during her ten year term. Currently Kim works to strengthen critical writing on circus. As a freelance cultural journalist she was selected for ‘Unpack the Arts’ in Stockholm and works at the University of Melbourne (School of Culture & Communication). Her work with Indigenous and refugee communities aims to bring a greater breadth of voices & stories into the arts. As a founding member of ‘The Fair Ground Project’ - she promotes professional outcomes for circus performers with disabilities and creates integrated performance and training projects. Kim is Kanaka Maoli (indigenous Hawaiian).

SJ Norman

SJ NORMAN is an inter-disciplinary artist, writer, editor and researcher. Their work traverses performance, installation, sculpture, text, video and sound. A 2005 alumna of Sydney’s PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, Norman has worked as a commissioned artist with Venice International Performance Week (IT), Spill Festival of Live Art (UK), Fierce Festival (UK), In Between Time (UK), Arnolfini (UK), Performance Space, Sydney (AU, the Australian Experimental Art Foundation (AU), Forest Fringe at Edinburgh Festival, (UK), Brisbane Festival (AU), Melbourne Festival (AU), Dancehouse (AU), Tarnanthi Festival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art (AU), Tate Modern (UK), Arts House (AU), Vitalstatistix (AU), The Science Gallery London (UK), Kaldor Public Art Projects, and Arts House (AU), The Wheeler Centre (AU) to name a few. They are a Wiradjuri descendent living and working on Boonwurrung land. 

Ian Pidd

IAN PIDD is a theatre and festival director with a practice that aims to combine the highly theatrical with the everyday. He has directed and devised major works for companies as diverse as Snuff Puppets, Polyglot, Men Of Steel, MRPG, and a plethora of self-initiated works. Much of this work has toured nationally and internationally. Ian has held the artistic directorships of Moomba, Junction Arts Festival, The Falls, The Village and is the founding AD of new family oriented music and arts festival The Lostlands, and has a multi decade relationship with Melbourne Fringe. His current projects include a suite of participatory social dance works in many parts of Australia (with Everybody Now), a three-year multi-arts project with Rumbalarra Football Netball Club in Shepparton and The Boomerangs Rugby League Club in Moree (for Polyglot), and the large-scale ceremonial Ogoh Ogoh ritual which closes Dark Mofo each year. Ian directed Sam Halmarek and Jof’s music theatre work We Are Lightening (which will tour UK in 2018) and his coproduction with Jessica Wilson and Nicola Gunn, Passenger, will perform in London in 2019. Ian’s projects tend to be playful, participatory and large in scale.

David Ralph

DAVID RALPH is an arts manager working across community and the performing arts contexts. He is passionate about the artistic, social and economic factors that influence and shape the cultural melting pot we all live and work in. David has programmed large civic cultural programs (26.01.08, Federation Square), worked as program manager for the Anti-Racism Action Band and is a founding member Outer Urban Projects working across Urban Chamber – Beyond (2013, Melbourne Festival), Poetic License (2014, 2015 & 2017 Melbourne Writers Festival), Grand DiVisions – A Moved Urban Cantata (2015, Melbourne Festival), Vessel (2017 Melbourne Fringe).

Mish Grigor

The work of Mish Grigor is situated in the performing arts as a maker, writer and performer. Based in Melbourne since 2017, she has recently been announced co-director of APHIDS with Lara Thoms and Eugenia Lim. Passionate about the possibilities of collaboration, her focus is on new works of performance across a variety of contexts. Using autobiographical tools, humour, and fiction; she is intent on problematising the frames of power from which art and identity emerge. She has presented her work or been commissioned by Sydney Opera House, Malthouse Theatre, Sydney Festival, Belvoir St Theatre, Artshouse, Sydney Theatre Company, Performance Space, Darwin Festival, PICA, Hong Kong Rep Theatre/West Kowloon Cultural District, Noorderzon Festival, Battersea Arts Centre, and Forest Fringe, amongst others.

Jamie Lewis

Jamie is an artist, facilitator and dramaturg. She creates and curates participatory experiences, facilitating meditations on culture, place, and time, through autobiographical stories, conversation and food. Her solo projects include Yesterday Tomorrow Here Today [Plenty, ACE Open 2018], 汤圆;团圆 [Ritual, Next Wave 2018], The Long Lunch [Museum of Brisbane; Arts House 2017], Tropical Kitchen with ACCOMPLICE Arts Space [Darwin Fringe Festival 2018, Darwin Festival 2017], Saltwater [Theatre Works & Brisbane Festival 2015; Bleach* Festival 2016], and 来,吃饭(Come, eat) [Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival 2017; SafARI 2016; exist-ence 5 2013]. She has collaborated with Latai Taumoepeau in Mass Movement for Refuge: Displacement [in development, Arts House], and with Dan Koop in SALT WATER BAY [in development, Creative State Commissions shortlist), FLUX-KIT-MEL [MEL&NYC, NGV; Open Spaces, Abbotsford Convent 2018], and The Stream/The Boat/The Shore/The Bridge [Next Wave Festival 2012; Junction Arts Festival 2013].

Anna Nalpantidis

Anna Nalpantidis (she/her) is a creative producer, director and arts manager with a deep commitment to the independent arts. She is currently the Program Manager (Independent Arts) at Melbourne Fringe where she has a key role in delivering the yearly arts festival (in particular, managing the Open Access program) as well as a year-round program of artistic development, sector leadership and support for Melbourne's independent arts sector. Over the past 10 years, Anna has developed and delivered various creative projects as a freelance director and creator of experimental and contemporary performance. Anna's last two shows as a creative producer/director won the awards for: BEST LIVE ART (The Ministry - 2015); and BEST WORDS & IDEAS (Between Two Lines - 2016) at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Anna has a Bachelor of Performing Arts / Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from Monash University, having completed her Performing Arts degree at the University of Exeter (with a focus on Interdisciplinary Spatial Practices and Site-Specific Art). Anna is an Ian Potter Cultural Trust Fund recipient and recently undertook research and development in the field of immersive interdisciplinary arts practice in the USA from 2017 - 2018.