Contemporary & Experimental Performance Panel

Anna Nalpantidis - Panel Chair

Anna Nalpantidis (she/her) is a creative producer and arts manager with a deep commitment to the independent arts. She is currently the Executive Producer at APHIDS - an experimental artist-led organisation based in Naarm, Melbourne. Prior to coming to APHIDS, Anna was the Program Manager (Independent Arts) at Melbourne Fringe. Anna had 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 12 years, Anna has developed and delivered various creative projects as a producer, curator and director of experimental and contemporary performance. 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).

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 art and cultural development (CACD) and performing arts contexts. Born and raised in Naarm, Reservoir, David is passionate about the artistic, social and economic factors that influence and shape the cultural melting pot we all live and work in. He has programmed large civic cultural programs (26.01.08, Federation Square), worked as program manager for the Anti-Racism Action Band and is a cofounding 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) and The Audition (2019, LaMama).

Aviva Endean

Aviva Endean is an artist dedicated to fostering a deep engagement with (and care for) sound and music, with the hope that attentive listening can connect people with each other and their environment. Trained as a clarinet player, she now works across a range of contexts including experimental and improvised music, creating theatre works which are designed to be listened to, and working on cross-disciplinary collaborations. Aviva's work has been presented at festivals nationally and internationally and in collaboration with organisations including Chunky Move, Chamber Made and Australian Art Orchestra. Her debut solo release cinder : ember : ashes featuring improvisations and original compositions was released on Norwegian label SOFA in 2018 to critical acclaim, with reviews speaking to Aviva’s innovation and virtuosity, and describing the work as ‘captivating, sophisticated, stunning, miraculous’ & ‘trance-inducing’. Her follow up electro-acoustic album ‘Moths & Stars’ was released on Room40 in 2022.

Lauren Sheree

Lauren Sheree is a 24-year-old producer and artist from Wakka Wakka Country, now living and working on Wurundjeri land. Working for many years in multiple creative roles, Lauren has an in-depth understanding of the needs in the industry and is able to approach producing through an empathetic lens. She started out producing by being a part of the Darebin Arts Speakeasy 'Let's Take Over' program (Northcote Town Hall, 2020). Shortly afterwards Lauren spent 2 years working at ILBIJERRI Theatre company, starting out as an associate producer and then being promoted to producer before leaving to pursue freelancing. During this time she delivered multiple projects around the lockdowns of 2020 and was able to produce ILBIJERRI’s first ever film, Viral.

Lana Nguyen

Lana Nguyen is an independent creative producer, curator and collaborator interested in experimental, community-driven work that centres the politics of place. Recently, she worked with West Space, Bus Projects and Liquid Architecture on an inter-organisational project called ‘disorganising’ focused on crisis, collective solidarity and institutional reform. Previously she has worked with APHIDS, Chamber Made, Hyphenated Projects, ArtPlay/SIGNAL, MoreArt Public Art Festival, RISING and Footscray Community Arts Centre on festivals, projects, public programs and events. She is currently working on a sector-wide fossil fuel divestment campaign A Climate For Art and is a Parallel Structures fellow, looking at curatorially-led structural change in a regional museum context.

Nisha Madhan

Nisha Madhan is an independent artistic director and producer. She is the Lead Creative Producer at Next Wave in Melbourne, an engine room for experimentation, exchange and connection. Until recently she was the Programming Director of Basement Theatre curating the independent live performance space since June 2019. Her eclectic career includes creating, directing, and producing experimental live art, performing on stage and screen, and critical writing. In 2021 was a guest curator of Live Dreams, a program within the experimental festival, Liveworks for Performance Space in Sydney. In 2022 she toured her co creation, Working On My Night Moves, a live art exploration of feminist futures to Rising Festival in Melbourne. In 2023 she co-directed Aoteroa’s inaugural Festival of Live Art, F.O.L.A. [AKL] in Auckland. Nisha is driven by relationships and artist care, and uses art as a portal through which she can end white supremacy and patriarchy.

Marcus McKenzie

Marcus is an experimental performance maker, artist and actor working in Melbourne/Naarm, originally from Tasmania/Lutruwita. His work uses the relationship between audience and performer as a site for bizarre new sensory encounters, often incorporating schisms in language, parafictional world-building, inter-textural soundscapes, hyperstitional mythologies and questionable dancing. Marcus has collaborated in Australia and internationally with many renowned artists and organisations. He has recently developed and presented works for Rising, The Substation, Arts Centre Melbourne, Kings ARI, Gertrude Contemporary, The Wheeler Centre, Malthouse Theatre and Science Gallery Melbourne.