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Flashmob in Melbourne tomorrow

Steven Tannason

Fri Apr 13 2012

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IF you love flashmobs, you’ll want to be loitering around the city this weekend. Steven Tannason drops a few hints.

Young people from refugee, migrant and Melbourne born backgrounds will show you the city like it’s never been seen before, flashmob style.

Taking place around midday tomorrow (April 14), the series of three flashmobs will unfold in unexpected corners of the Melbourne CBD, and involve 50 young people from diverse backgrounds, including African, Samoan, Maori, Greek, Lebanese, Anglo-Australian, and Chinese.

Called Side Guide 2012, the cultural exchange dance project is a partnership between not-for-profit youth theatre company St Martins Youth Arts Centre, together with artist group One Step At A Time Like This, Noble Park English Language School, and the city of Melbourne.

St Martins access officer Katrine Gabb says the project aims to showcase new perspectives of the city.

“The concept behind this new work is two pronged,” Ms Gabb says.

“Firstly, to create an inclusive process and environment where disparate young people from immensely different backgrounds collaborate to achieve a common artistic goal with professional artists.

“And secondly, to approach and mark the city with their own experience of home, whether that be Braybrook, South Yarra, Noble Park, Fitzroy, Dandenong, or Khartoum.”

A lot of effort has also been put into developing the dance routines, led by choreographer Adam Wheeler, artists from One Step At A Time Like This, and supported by not-for-profit organisation The Song Room.

Ms Gabb says St Martins, which has been providing performing arts experiences to young people for almost 30 years, was committed to developing a culture of inclusivity.

“We find we are uniquely placed to bring together young people with very different backgrounds and ideas about what art means to them,” she says.

“Inclusive practice means we create a supportive space for diverse groups of young people to create quality art together.”