RAWCUS Ensemble | Artist Profile

Rawcus is an award-winning ensemble of artists with and without disability. Rawcus were due to present their new work ‘Glass’ as part of the Darebin Arts Speakeasy Program 2020 (now postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19). Speakeasy offers diverse artists opportunities to present their work in an inclusive and accessible environment and also provides the community with exceptional arts experiences.

We spoke with Rawcus about their work during COVID-19.

How do you describe your practice?
Rawcus is a long-term ensemble of 15 radically diverse performers. Together with a core team of designers we have been creating contemporary performance for 20 years.

What were you doing when we went into lock-down?
We were in the middle of rehearsing Glass, a collaboration with choreographer Marc Brew who is based in Oakland, USA. Glass was scheduled to premiere at Speakeasy, Northcote Town Hall, in July this year.

What have you been working on during lock-down?
We have moved rehearsals onto Zoom and are working on the creation of some short films together. We are also all baking cakes so that we can simultaneously eat them together on Zoom next week for our 20th birthday celebration.

Has the pandemic shifted your approach to practice?
At the core of our practice is collaboration, connection and relationship. This hasn’t changed but we have been forced to adapt and creatively seek out new ways to find connection, meaning and creativity when we can’t be in a room together.  We have been delighted and surprised to discover that our ability to pick up subtlety and nuance, exchange energy with each other and bounce off each other’s ideas still feels possible even when we are separated.
What’s the first thing you want to do when ALL restrictions are lifted?
Hug each other! We can’t wait to dance together, laugh and return to the normal rhythm and flow of conversation between a large group of people that is not determined by the internet platform you are on.