Date: August 24 2012
TOMORROW, the Wiggles play the Arts Centre, which also hosts the musical Chess, an MTC production of the comedy classic His Girl Friday, and Sayonara, a Japanese play performed by a girl and a robot. It's an eclectic program and testament to the revitalised Arts Centre's desire to attract all kinds. But perhaps tomorrow's most surprising event is Sound Lounge, a dance party from 10pm.
''The idea probably arose out of some crazy conversation … 'What's the least-expected thing we could think of doing in the new Hamer Hall?','' says David Anderson, the Arts Centre's music program manager. ''This really long, elegant bar area in the level-two stalls … just looked like a great place for a club.''
Held in the foyer of the newly renovated building, the first of two Sound Lounges has Japanese DJ Kazu Kimura behind the decks tomorrow night alongside Japanese experimental artist Aoki Takamasa (in his Australian debut), and local electronic luminary Qua.
Anderson, who confesses to a moderate knowledge of dance music, credits event promoter Melanie Dimattina of Mad Heckler for her discerning curation of the program. ''She had quite a deep connection with this sort of music,'' says Anderson of Dimattina, who ran the massive Gatecrasher raves at Docklands in the late 1990s. ''Much more so than mine.''
Next Saturday, Sound Lounge showcases the electronic skills of Nitin Sawhney (who plays a Hamer Hall acoustic set the following night). Sawhney will be supported by his tabla player, Aref Durvesh, and fellow Briton Photek, a pioneer of downtempo drum'n'bass. That night features an MSO concert at Hamer Hall ending about 10pm, when ravers will be assembling in the shiny new foyer. Perhaps curious classical music fans will stick around? ''Now that'd be interesting,'' Anderson says.
Sound Lounge is at the Hamer Hall stalls foyer, tomorrow from 10pm and September 1 from 11pm. Tickets are available from artscentremelbourne.com.au, and at the door.
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