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Program

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Venue
Arts House
521 Queensberry St
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051 Australia

(03) 9322 3720
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Mohini

Raina Peterson
Presented by Arts House

When demons stole the elixir of life, it is believed that Lord Vishnu transformed into the enchantress Mohini to win it back. From there begins one of the origin stories of Hindu mythology and a narrative claimed by many trans South Asians as their own.

With “Mohini”, acclaimed dancer and choreographer Raina Peterson leads audiences on a thrilling journey both brimming with tradition and deeply subversive. Rich cultural lineage and lifelong training of the classical Indian dance form of Mohiniattam informs this work, but Raina draws it into the contemporary present. Figures emerge from primordial seas, undergo transformation and eventually achieve transcendence. This surreal, hypnotic experience is at once visceral and contemplative, exhilarating and riotous.

Featuring a dazzling score of live and recorded music, and state of the art psychedelic stagecraft, “Mohini” is a technical marvel signalling Raina’s growth as a choreographer and a work that demands to be experienced live.

“Mohini” is the second of a new body of work by Raina: a triptych of queer Hindu narratives abstracted through experimental Indian dance.

Credits

Creator and Performer: Raina Peterson
Composer, performer and visual effects: Marco Cher-Gibard
Dramaturg: Sepideh Kian
Lighting Design: Alex Nguyen
Costume: Geoffrey Watson
Set Design: Jennifer Tran
Producer: Naomi Velaphi 

View Artist Biographies

Raina Peterson is a dancer-choreographer of Fiji-Indian and English heritage who was born and raised on the lands of the Gunaikurnai people of regional Victoria. Raina creates moving experimental dance works that respect and challenge both traditional and contemporary dance. With a substantial body of new work including four full-length company productions, Raina‘s works draw on their training in classical Indian dance (Mohiniyattam) and are critically acclaimed for their subversive and visceral approach to exploring the diasporic experience, cultural identity, colonialism, gender diversity, and sexuality. With dance partner Govind Pillai, their full-length works include “In Plain Sanskrit” (2015), “Bent Bollywood” (2018), “Third Nature” (2019), “Kāla” (2019), and dance film “Drishti” (Winner of two Melbourne Fringe Awards, 2020), and a solo work, “Narasimha: ManLion” (2022, winner of Melbourne Fringe Award for “Best dance and physical theatre”)

Marco Cher-Gibard is an artist working with sound to explore contemporary culture, expression and experience. He is a constant collaborator who works through sound in a variety of contexts including performance, installation, workshops and composition. Marco’s award winning theatrical compositions and sound designs have been presented internationally by organisations such as London International Festival of Theatre (UK), Vienna Festwochen (Austria), Holland Festival (Holland), Theatre der Welt (Germany) and Melbourne International Arts Festival (Australia), amongst others. Marco’s solo and collaborative performances have explored live sampling, electronics, home made software and more recently prepared guitar. He has performed in India, China, France, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan and extensively throughout Australia. Sister, an improvised duo with Ben Speth maintains an extensive online archive of their practice, premiered Work at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music in 2017 and released a mail art CDR in 2020 called “45:02” with artist M