The loving relationship with our Governments has soured. They are partners that no longer meet our needs; no longer listening, being responsive, caring for us when we’re sick.
Devised by lyrical poet, musician, and artist Lay the Mystic, and dance-maker Efren Pamilacan, Counterbalance is a choose-your-own-adventure night of music, hip hop, dance, spoken word, voguing, and roller skating. Working simultaneously, performers use Testing Grounds to interpret different social and political conditions that reflect their need to be nourished.
Asking us to come together, to listen deeply, and raise our voices to form a coalition that speaks for us all, Counterbalance forms a living, roving Government that at times may lose its balance. Emotion over regulation, bodies over body corporates, a collectivism that restructures the way we govern.
Counterbalance is supported by Brimbank City Council through Bowery Theatre, Testing Grounds and the Victorian State Government through the Victorian Multicultural Commission.
Lay the Mystic (Ileini Kabalan) – Co-Director / Co-Producer / Songwriter / Sound Design
Efren Pamilacan – Co-Director/ Co-Producer / Choreographer / Movement Artist
Lukiah Bodley – Visual and Performance artist
Crystal Webb – Movement Artist
Kiki Targe – Movement Artist
Frank Keys: Collaborating music producer
Diego Villalta: Collaborating instrumentalist
Lay the Mystic and Efren Pamilacan are Narrm (Melbourne) based artists who compliment each other in sound and movement.
As a lyrical poet, musician and performance installation artist, Lay blends music, poetry and varying other artistic mediums to create a performance space that is both magnetic and utterly unique. Reaffirming the opinion that we are defining the cultures we are born into by simply existing, Lay interrogates his position within that through performance. His current works explore what it means to be a queer, trans, femme-boy of Tongan and Lebanese descent, who is learning his ancestors through his own body. Prolific in the Australian poetry scene, Lay has been moving in the worlds of Emerging Writers Festival, Contemporary Pacific Arts Festivals, produced, wrote and directed a sold out show for the Melbourne Fringe Festival and recent Aria nominated collaboration with Mojo Juju.
Efren’s a dance maker and independent producer of Filipino decent whose work crosses cultural and social spheres. Intersecting between hip-hop culture, underground styles and the contemporary arts sector, he aims to create space for new dance communities to thrive. Efrens practice explores collaboration, social discourse and the ephemeral nature of otherness. His recent co-created works have been presented in Dance Massive, bOing! Festival (UK), Playhouse Theatre and Footscray Community Arts Centre.