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“It’s vital and empowering work that reflects our complexity as a people and our cultural heritage…”

- Andrew Bovell


Arts Centre Melbourne presents Outer Urban Projects’  presents


Dusk. Night is falling. A woman carries a heavy pot up a steep hill. She stops to catch her breath. It seems she is too old and frail for such chores. The moon gradually appears and illuminates her face. She turns. It is the face of a young girl. A fifteen-year-old girl carries water down a steep hill in a barren mountain landscape and makes a pledge to her unborn child.

VESSEL is a high calibre contemporary dance work spanning street, cultural, contemporary and hip hop styles with a strong narrative, original music and a cast of young talented performers. The show explores themes of young parenting, the global migration crisis and what it means to give birth and where and what you are born into. It is a journey from one side of the world to another, through generations, time and parallel realities.

Dance, vignettes, stories and song transform into a string of intersecting encounters and a powerful aesthetic. VESSEL features an inter-generational ensemble of dancer/performers and musicians brought together by OUP Artistic Director Irine Vela with choreography by some of Australia's leading dance exponents, Thomas E. S. Kelly, Nebahat Erpolat and Demi Sorono.

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Themes / Ideas explored

  • Decision-making and choices
  • Coming of Age
  • Family
  • Multiculturalism and Cultural Diversity
  • Self Expression
  • Youth

Curriculum Links:

 Learning Areas  Capabilities

The Arts

  • Drama
  • Dance

Critical and Creative Thinking

 English  Ethical
 The Humanities
  • Civics and Citizenship

Health and Physical Education

  • Personal, Social and Community Health

Personal and Social

Links to VCE

  • Drama
  • Dance
  • English
  • Health
  • Health and Human Development
  • Psychology

Outer Urban Projects
Artistic Director Irine Vela
Choreographer Thomas E. S. Kelly, Nebahat Erpolat, Demi Sorono
Lighting Designer Gina Gascogine
Dancer Victoria Canning

Photography: Miguel Rios


This project has been supported through Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation and Reservoir High School.


20 – 22 September
(Term 3)

20 September, 10:30am & 1pm
21 September, 10:30am & 1pm
22 September, 12:30pm

Duration: 60 minutes plus 15 minute post-show Q&A

Price range



Years 9-12


Playhouse Rehearsal Room


Warning – this production may contain coarse language, haze and/or strobe lighting

WheelchairAssistive Hearing