18 - 20 Aug

Supersense Returns to Arts Centre Melbourne

Performing arts centres designed and built 40 years ago can sometimes struggle to utilise their purpose-built performing spaces – proscenium theatres large and small – to showcase contemporary performance that responds to the needs of contemporary audiences.

Two years ago, Arts Centre Melbourne decided to explore opportunities to break down these physical barriers and to utilise “new” spaces within their facilities.

These “new” labyrinthine spaces at Arts Centre Melbourne (behind-the-scenes, underground corridors, backstage rooms) afforded the chance to present small-scale, contemporary performances and invited audiences to experience a new environment, often in intimate groups.

Called Supersense, the contemporary performing arts festival explored plains of ecstatic experience and attracted more than 7,500 people across its weekend duration.

It featured:

  • 30 performances across Arts Centre Melbourne venues in a multi-venue durational Festival context, traversing music, film, dance and inter-disciplinary performance
  • Six world premieres and seven Australian premieres
  • Seven commissioned works, including six from Australian artists
  • Nine curated artist collaborations, including seven featuring Australian artists brought together with international artists
  • Seven co-funded and/or co-presentation collaborations with arts companiesIt was acclaimed in the media:

“Wondrous, hilarious and magnificent”
–The Age
“A life-changing experience” – The AU Review
“Supersense’s success had less to do with the pleasures of individual performance than the festival’s overall curation and concept. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.” – Resident Advisor

returns 18 to 20 Aug, presented by Arts Centre Melbourne and Bank of Melbourne, in association with curator Sophia Brous.

Supersense seeks to question: how do we achieve ecstatic states of being in the contemporary world? And how have cultures and generations accessed these windows to another world in the past? The ways we seek out transcendence speak to a collective essence, a need for encounters that take us beyond the ordinary, but the means through which we do so – joyful revelation, poetic expression, shamanism, physical extremity, violence, sex duration, and sacred and profane contexts of transformation, are as varied as humanity itself.

Supersense is a space for these contexts to be explored and above all enjoyed, perhaps giving rise to new plains of the ecstatic.

Click here for full details of the Supersense 2017 programme.