At PICA we recognise that we are situated within the unceded lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation. We pay our respects and offer our gratitude to Elders past and present, and to those emerging leaders in the community. We acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the importance of their care and continued connection to culture, community and Country.

Always was, always will be.

We are closed today. Our exhibitions are always free.

Rabbit Punch

Rabbit Punch
Rabbit Punch, made in collaboration with The Boxing Project, is an experimental sonic and physical performance that connects the depiction of boxing to the collective experience of learning to box. Lead by Rebecca Riggs-Bennett and choreographed by Jessica Russell, an artistic collective will engage in a rigorous and generative process of physically devising the work from personal experience, collated research, community interviews and archival material. Rabbit Punch asks questions such as: when and why do we learn how to fight? And: How can we support women, trans and gender diverse communities in WA to no longer be confronted by fear? Our answer is a call to dismantle patriarchal and colonial systems that dictate public space.
The artists will engage with ice, plyometric boxes, skipping ropes, stillness, dance music, wigs, sweat, wraps, archetypes and stereotypes, social design facilitation by Shenali Perera, as well as original compositions by sound artist Michelle Nguyen. Play, generation and creative exchange exists at the heart of this first development, with the intention to develop the work into a large-scale, participatory performance experience.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

Rebecca Riggs-Bennett | Co-Director/Sound Designer/Facilitator
Rebecca Riggs-Bennett (she/they) is a theatrical sound artist, electronic music producer, sound designer, writer, facilitator and director based in Boorloo/Perth. Her practice is interdisciplinary, often socially engaged or created with community, and branches across and between performance, installation, and live music. She works with sound as a dramaturgical device that facilitates narratives and spotlights the audience experience by generating immersive, interactive, and participatory art works. Having studied electronic music and sound production at SAE Institute, Rebecca is now undertaking a Bachelor of Performing Arts, majoring in Practice Transition, at WAAPA. Recent credits include composer/sound designer for Whale Fall (Perth Festival 2021), and assistant director/composer for Boxed In as part of WA Youth Theatre Company’s Body Rights 2020. Rebecca is also a leader for The Young Boxing Woman Project where she runs sessions and workshops on a weekly basis.

Jessica Russell | Co-Director/Choreographer/Performer
Jessica Russell (she/her) is an emerging deviser, director, and cinematographer with a focus on the integration of movement into contemporary works and a passion for adaption and the collaborative creative process. Jessica has delivered nine productions for The Blue Room Theatre across several roles and holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Performance Making) from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. In 2018, Jessica was invited to observe Ivo van Hove and the Internationaal Theater Amsterdam for their adaption of the critically acclaimed novel, A Little Life. She holds a Masters in Screen Studies, specialising in Directing & Cinematography, and is the current in-house videographer for Co3 Contemporary Dance.

Shenali Perera | Social-Design Facilitator/Collaborator
Shenali Perera is a writer, storyteller, visual scribe, and social-design facilitator. Born in Sri Lanka, she moved to Wadjuk Country with her family at the age of thirteen. She remains connected to her home-country and briefly returned to Sri Lanka to work as a teacher and journalist. She is also a contributing author to Write to Reconcile III: an anthology by young writers of Sri Lankan heritage exploring post-war Sri Lanka and has performed as a storyteller at various events hosted by local organisations in Perth, including the Centre for Stories, Perth Festival and Youth Affairs Council of WA. Currently, she works for the Young Boxing Woman Project and supports Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together, an Aboriginal Elder-led long term social impact project, through the Centre for Social Impact UWA. She is passionate about imbuing creativity and connection at the heart of her work and loves food, art, language, and dancing.
Sarah Chaffey | Performer/Collaborator
Sarah Chaffey is a performer, teacher, emerging choreographer, and researcher. She has recently completed her Masters by Research at Edith Cowan University (ECU) and WAAPA. The research project titled Voice in Motion examined the integration of voice and acting fundamentals into contemporary dance practice. Sarah is passionate about multi-disciplinary collaboration and the development of interdisciplinarity in dance practice; working closely with international and local artists to produce, create and perform theatre and site-specific works. In 2019 she played Antigone in the theatre production Rubber Girl on the Loose presented by CAKE and Esplanade in Singapore. In 2016, her collaborative work Awkward Con-nections received the Overall Dance and Physical Theatre Award at Perth Fringe Festival. Between 2015 and 2018 Sarah choreographed and performed for Perth’s annual site-specific dance program In-Situ, formerly curated by Unkempt Dance and Fishwick & Hughes. Sarah is currently an artist representative on the STRUT Dance Board.

Maya Soni | Performer/Collaborator
Graduate of the Bachelor of Performing Arts at WAAPA, Maya Soni moved from the Central Coast, NSW to follow her passion for performing. With a background in musical theatre, she has since trained in acting (stage & screen), devising, physical theatre, writing and performance design. Her co-created Fringe show Caught in a Carton was voted an audience favourite in the Blue Room Theatre’s 600 Seconds 2019 program. During her time at WAAPA Maya has been involved in seven bespoke productions; 2019 saw her solo physical theatre piece Stripped Bear as part of the show Here Now at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, and 2020 saw her co-created physical theatre performance It Turtles All The Way Down at The Blue Room Theatre as part of BPA’s TILT program. In her spare time Maya enjoys parkour, boxing, visual arts, and movie marathons.

Michelle Nguyen | Composer/Collaborator
Michelle Nguyen is a Naarm/Melbourne-based sound artist creating works that range from experimental sound design through to dance music and installations. They are currently exploring the intersections of identity, society, culture, and dance within sonic expression. With lots of experimentation, glitch, psychedelia, and noise, Michelle’s music-making is their way of processing the world
Elinor King | Producer
Elinor King completed a Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies) at Murdoch University in 2006, and a Masters in Art Administration (Arts Management) at the University of NSW in 2012. In the past ten years, Elinor has taken on various roles in many arts projects, including co-producing independent feature film Uneven Ground (2009), writing for national arts blog Arts Interview, working as publicist for Happy Dagger Theatre’s critically acclaimed The Cockatoos at The Blue Room Theatre, for which she was nominated for a Blue Room Award (2015), and producing the award-winning Hobo, also at The Blue Room Theatre (2016). Elinor was Ticketing Manager and Bookings Administrator at University Theatres, UWA, for four years until taking on the role of full-time Producer at Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company in August 2017, where she produces all mainstage works for the company.
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