May 15, 2015

One Two Ten

We are half way through the season of One Two Ten, a brilliant rollacoster ride through the beautiful walls of Leckhampton house where the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts resides. 

We are so very proud of this work and enjoying each and every interaction, moment and connection with the audience that comes our way. If you haven't yet heard about it or seen the show, you can read about it in our latest review here.

We have curated an evening of solos by some amazingly talented artists from Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and the Gold Coast. They each have a story tell and are going to keep on telling it until there is no one left to here them. So grab a ticket and we will see you there. 

Aug 4, 2014

A small update from the smallest MakeShifters.

Abby and Caitlin are half way through their travels. They ‘choreo-labed’ in Angers and have just completed their second week of workshops at ImPulsTanz, Vienna.

This year, the World Dance Alliance (WDA) held their Global Summit at CNDC, a university in Angers, France. The Summit occurs every three years and Abby and Caitlin were both selected to participate and perform in the Choreolab, working with choreographer Andrea Beckham (Texas) and eight other dances from across the globe. They worked with Andrea over four days playing with some new movement material and choreographic ideas. She was mentored by Robert Swinston (France/USA) and Germaine Acogny (Senegal/France) whom also taught class for all the dancers in the mornings. Abby and Caitlin are both excited by the notion of perhaps one day taking up invitations to dance in either Texas or Senegal.

Andrea's work experimented with the idea of internal and external quests, inner strength and notions of guilt, humanity and heroics, loosely inspired by The Epic of Gilgamesh. To culminate the week, the work was presented in Le Théâtre 900, within Le Quai, a "space dedicated to creation, shows and encounters for each and everyone, a place where all arts ... are invented and shared".

Having the chance to work closely and share techniques with dancers from France, Africa, Singapore, America and of course Australia was eye opening and also presented an opportunity for dialogue around the different artistic climates in each country and general attitude toward dance. Overall the most interesting connections often occurred in and around the lab, connecting with representatives from Singapore, Malaysia and France. Even having the opportunity to talk with artists from home was a welcome surprise.

Since then the girls have shifted countries, currently finding themselves in Austria. ImPulsTanz is a yearly festival that really seems to take over Vienna. There are shows on every evening in different theaters throughout the city, 50+ workshops running everyday along with research projects and elite dance programmes. Abby and Caitlin have been fortunate enough to spend the last two weeks moving around the studio with Kristina and Sadé Alleyne, Kenji Takagi, Iñaki Azpillaga, Shelley Senter, David Zambrano, Corinne Lanselle, Jose Agudo and Marta Coronado. The weeks ahead will be filled with many more workshops and participation in a research project with Jozef Frucek and Linda Kapetanea of 'Fighting Monkey Practice'. The girls have also managed to squeeze in watching a comical portrayal of Swan Lake by DaDa Masilo/The Dance Factory (ZA) and Meg Stuart’s new work

Running on dancer adrenaline and chocolate the girls are loving the experience and learning lots so far.

Proudly supported by:

Jun 4, 2014

MakeShift goes interstate, international and inter-genre

MakeShift goes interstate, international and inter-genre

Well we are almost at the half-way point of 2014 and what a year it has been so far! We thought it was about time we let you know what we have all been up to…


With the support of Arts Queensland, Ausdance QLD and The Toowoomba Regional Council, MakeShift attended the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) in February. We dove into a week of networking, relationship building and getting a feel for the wide range of work being made around Australia.


From the 28th of April till the 9th of May, MakeShift led a DirtyFeet residency in Sydney, mentored by the amazing Paea Leach. This gave us a fantastic opportunity to get us back in the studio together, exploring new ideas and with a group of new dancers to play with. It also marked our first collective venture in Sydney.


We are very excited to announce that over the last few months, Makeshift has taken over the running of Pro Dance Classes Brisbane. For those of you who don’t know, these are professional level classes aimed at the independent dancers of Brisbane, and also any visiting dance artists. Our key goal is to emphasize the importance of class and committing to continued training while also building a unified sense of community. See our previous blog for more info – and come and join us for a dance!


Outside of MakeShift, we are all still working hard on our individual practices. Gabe is currently working with The Danger Ensemble on a brand new work, Caligula, which is premiering on the 4th July at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. The work presents a new set of challenges for him as a performer as he is taken out of the safety zone of dance and faced with elements of Butoh, Suzuki method, theatre and voice. He is also involved in two ongoing creative developments, The Inquistion Of The Big Bad Wolf with Prying Eye Productions and The Paratrooper Project with Phluxus2 Dance Collective. Earlier this year Gabriel received funding from Arts Queensland through The Toowoomba Regional Council. This funding allowed to him to go to Strut Dance in Perth for a week of Ohad Naharin’s Gaga technique workshops. He also performed in Claire Marshall’s Slowdive at APAM.


Gemma has been busy establishing herself in the Sydney independent community. She recently appeared in Art In Threads, an improvisational collaboration between Sydney fashion designers, dancers and choreographer Anna Healey. To see images and read more about this event, check out the Art In Threads website. She was also one of three dancers to appear in a dance film as part of Pearse Projects’ new film project La Premiere, a documentary filmed at Sydney’s iconic venue Carriageworks (see the preview here). Currently Gemma is working on a development of last year’s WAY OUT: Dance which has been accepted into the CRACK Theatre Festival and will be touring there in October.



Caitlin has just finished a project in Toowoomba, working with Bernadette Walong-Sene on Bone Woman (When All Is Gone), a full-length final stage development showing at the Empire Theatre. We are very excited to announce that she has been awarded a Lord Mayor's Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship 2014. This fellowship will allow her to travel to and spend 8 weeks in Europe for professional development.


Abby has been very busy supervising the young performers of The King and I in her role at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Abby, having received funding from Arts Queensland, has been excitedly planning her fast approaching European adventure.


Making shifts abroad, both Abby and Caitlin will be leaving our shores on the 2nd of July and heading for Angers, France. Here they will spend a week at the World Dance Alliance Global Summit where they have both been accepted into a ‘choreolab’ series with four international choreographers. They will also get to experience a range of dance workshops, performances and presentations of papers and research. From there they will travel to Vienna to spend four weeks at ImPulsTanz Dance festival, one of the biggest and most renowned contemporary dance festivals in the world. With about 400 different workshops over the four weeks, countless performances and research projects to participate in, we look forward to sharing their experiences when they return. Abby, who plans to stay a bit longer, will head to Berlin for Tanz Im August (Berlin’s International dance festival) and then have a week in London to think about what’s next.



There is lots brewing for MakeShift – but having the opportunity to return to the studio as a collective and work together last month has been so enriching and we are all looking forward to our next MakeShift project. For images of our DirtyFeet choreographic lab, have a look at this album.


Until next time!


Feb 24, 2014

Pro Dance Classes Brisbane

If you are looking for professional level classes in Brisbane check out the Pro Dance Classes Brisbane Website

Get in touch if you:

- are a local dancer in need of a great class

-are a tertiary student

-are a visiting dancer

-are interested in teaching some classes

-need info on the independent dance scene in Brisbane

Feb 9, 2014

Good news Sydney and France!

Good news Sydney and France!

It's only Monday morning and already MakeShift are having a pretty exciting week.

First, we learnt that we have been selected to run the first DirtyFeet Choreographic Lab of 2014. If you're not aware of them, DirtyFeet are a wonderful not for profit Sydney organisation that support the development of independent contemporary dance. For two weeks in April-May, MakeShift will be putting down new roots in Sydney and collaborating with a number of Sydney dancers to play in the studio - we have lots of ideas and can't wait to get our feet dirty (see what we did there? We know. Stop).

Check DirtyFeet out here:

And straight off the back of that very exciting news, we have been invited to travel to Angers, France, to present a choreographic workshop at the 2014 World Dance Alliance. The WDA is an annual event that attracts a diverse range of delegates from all over the world - MakeShift are very lucky and honoured to be sharing our own choreographic ideas and practices in such a vibrant context. This will be the first time MakeShift heads overseas as a collective. We're so looking forward to the inspiration and intensity of people talking, debating, watching, participating and sharing in dance. We're so grateful for the opportunities ahead.

Itchy feet, DirtyFeet, dancing feet. MakeShift can't wait to share our 2014 with you.

Jan 20, 2014

Up to speed and speeding up ...


Sorry we have left you without a word for so long! It is terrible. But we have been missing in action for  good reasons. 

Katie decided to embark on an adventure to the other side of the world towards the end of last year and is now settled into her new environment, ready to explore all of the dance, theatre and culture that is on offer in the wonderful city of London. Having already seen some amazing performances and participated in class at Greenwich Dance, Katie feels it's time to spread her wings and explore what really keeps the London dance scene going. MakeShift are looking forward to testing out the performance boundaries that long distance relationships cultivate. 

Gemma finished off 2013 with 'WAY OUT Dance @ Alaska', a collaboration between herself and four other independent Sydney women. Bringing the first dance work ever to Alaska Projects, a visual arts and music presenter in Sydney, Alaska saw a group of contemporary dancers inhabiting an underground carpark in Kings Cross. They created five short works which led the audience through the belly of the carpark, including appearances from live music acts Djuna Lee and Cement Hill.

Following Alaska, Gemma danced in a short film choreographed by Anna Healey, as part of a documentary about Australian fashion label Ellery. Filmed at Carriageworks with an exciting team of creatives, the film will be released in February (we'll keep you posted when you can check it out for yourselves!). 

Gemma is now in rehearsals to present a development of her Alaska work, Up Close and Impersonal, in Sydney's Short Sweet + Dance season in January.

Staying true to our nature, MakeShift is making little shifts across Australia and overseas but are commited to sharing all of our discoveries with the Brisbane community. 

September saw Abby as the sole MakeShifter in Brisbane so she kept herself busy with the buzz of the Brisbane Festival. There were many interesting performances to view and the annual Ausdance Masterclasses were both stimulating and inspiring. Michael Keegan-Dolan, Artistic Director of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, Dan Canham from the UK, Elise May from Expressions Dance Company and Aakash Odedra all directed their own unique and distinctive masterclasses.

Abby also received some exciting news just before Christmas that she had been awarded a grant from Arts Queensland to travel to the 2014 ImPulsTanz Dance Festival in Vienna. She will head there in July this year and can't wait to participate in the multitude of workshops available and view the many performances by artists from around the globe. 

Abby, Caitlin and Gabriel have just returned from a week long dance lab in Federal NSW with Phillip Channells and Gavin Webber (Animal Farm Collective). Hitting the dance floor in an integrated and inclusive dance environment has reinvigorated their love for community dance and working with people with diverse abilities from all walks of life. 

Prior to that Caitlin and Gabriel have been working on their practice over a three month period in Malaysia at Rimbun Dahan. With the support of Asialink, the University of Melbourne, Australia-Malaysia Institute and Arts Queensland they represented MakeShift and the Brisbane dance sector collaborating with a local Malaysian Artists, Alubakhan Chen to create a new 40minute work, Uncommon Ground. To find out more about their overseas adventure, check out their blog here. They are both looking forward to attending APAM, hosted by the Brisbane Powerhouse in February. 

More recently Gabriel has been involved in a creative development with Prying Eye and has performed with Phoenix Entertainment. He is also looking forward to his upcoming trip to Perth to study Gaga Technique.

MakeShift have some exciting news to share about their 2014 program, so please stay in touch. We will be announcing info about classes, workshops and performances soon.

Jul 21, 2013

We've got some BEAF with you

We've got some BEAF with you

If it seems like all's been quiet on the MakeShift front lately, that's because we've been too busy working to blog! MakeShift are currently in rehearsals for a new work, The Only Step Left is Right, to premiere at the Brisbane Emerging Art Festival (BEAF) this week. The festival takes over the Judith Wright Centre for one night only on Saturday July 27, 6pm-11pm, and is FREE. There's a plethora of great art, installation, music, film, and street food on offer so for more information check out their facebook page.

We've been very lucky to have been granted a JWCOCA Fresh Ground space residency to create this work, so once again MakeShift owe the Judith Wright Centre a big thank you for hosting us in their wonderful space.

Caitlin and Gabe will also be appearing in another work at BEAF, by independent choreographer Christy Williams. There will be plenty to see and do throughout the night so we'd love to see you all there.

May 20, 2013

Anywhere and Everywhere

Anywhere and Everywhere

A big thank you to everyone who came and saw MakeShift's latest work Three Easy Steps in this year's Anywhere Theatre Festival. We had a great week performing in the various nooks and crannies of the Judith Wright Centre - anywhere but on the stage.

Due to an electrical fire at our original venue, we were extremely lucky to have the help of Ausdance QLD and the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, who took us in at late notice and found a new home for our show. 

We also had a small village of helpers to whom we are very grateful, so thank you to our dapper photographer Torrey James, designer and photographer Ben O'Neal, our favourite American Christy Williams (our first collaboration but not the last), the lovely team at Anywhere Theatre Festival, surprise videographer Pia, Alana Neumann and her administrative superpowers, Lewis Jones of the Judy and Ann McLean at Ausdance.

An enormous thank you to all our delightful volunteers: Torrey Atkin, Cath Mullins, Alex Barr, Kate Gurren, Amy Beahan and Mary Willis.

And of course, thank you to every one of our audience members - including the family in the apartment across from the Judy, who stood out on the balcony every night and kept us entertained across the air shaft! We loved dancing for you.

Phew - this is why we are a collective. Thank you all for being a part of MakeShift's next step.

Apr 30, 2013

Rain, Hail or Fire

Venue change for Three Easy Steps!

Due to a fire at the Ice Cream Factory we are sad to say MakeShift's home for the Anywhere Theatre Festival has had to be shifted.

Thanks to some last minute superhero work from our friends at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, we will now be performing Three Easy Steps as a promenade tour through three locations at the Judy. Please meet at the IMA Forecourt (Berwick St, Fortitude Valley), where ushers will lead you on a magical MakeShift tour through the nooks and crannies of the building.

The dates and times remain the same: 7pm Wednesday 15th May - Saturday 18th May. If you are yet to book, please visit for tickets.

Apr 13, 2013

Just Three Easy Steps... MakeShift, The Ice Cream Factory and Anywhere Theatre Festival

MakeShift are performing in Anywhere Theatre Festival!


MakeShift and guest artist Christy Williams (New York) are bringing dance out of the theatre and into the Ice Cream Factory. We have created a guide to communication in 'Three Easy Steps'.

One dancer performs a brief induction into Speaking Clearly. Two women attempt to show us how to Speak For Oneself. And three strangers endeavor to Stop. Motion. amongst the news headlines, status updates and to-do lists.

Dates: Wed 15 to Sat 18 May @ 7:00pm
Place: Ice Cream Factory, U 14, Lvl 2, 51 Mollison St, West End, 4101 
Tickets: $20/$15/$15 (Group 6+)

Grab your tickets here