Phil Egan is a Mutti Mutti, Yorta Yorta man from Robinvale. He started his training in 2007 at Melbourne at Dance Factory and was later awarded a full-time 2-year scholarship. Although he was originally a street dancer, he is now proficient in all styles. He completed Leadership Training at Reach and is an in-demand dance teacher and choreographer. Phil yarns with Gman on Big Brekkie about Stories Beneath the Vale, Featuring Kutcha Edwards, Denise Scott, Stephen Curry, Nazeem Hussain and Steph Tisdell.
A community-led film project presented by Phunktional Arts working with the diverse communities of the rural Victorian township, Robinvale. Phil has performed with South Sea Cartel & Baybee Kahrayzed performing opening acts for artists such as Fiji, Savage, Bone Thugs 'n' Harmony, Nesian Mystik & Roc a Fella created by Jay-Z. From 2011 to 2013 Phil performed on Princess Cruise Line as a performer/dancer. Currently Phil is the choreographer and manager for his dance crew ‘Brothers in Arms’ who have headlined as a multicultural dance group for several events around the City of Melbourne and have recently returned from touring England.
Robinvale, for an exciting and extraordinary film project called Stories Beneath the Vale.
The project is the realisation of the participation of Elders and youth in the Phunktional Arts programs over a four-year period. Led by Phunktional Arts Artistic Director Gerard Veltre; local area coordinators and a mix of local and nationally recognised artists facilitated workshops with the young people of the Murray River township. It is their vision that has driven the development of the storyline, script, scenes and choreography of the work.
Stories Beneath the Vale is an innovative and snappy dance comedy that explores contemporary Aboriginal and First Nations Pacific Islander culture and themes in the remote Victorian town of Robinvale. With locally-written and produced music supporting fresh dance sequences every two minutes, cameos from community-nominated celebrities and the creative oversight of local young people, Elders and community, Stories Beneath the Vale is a bold concept sure to resonate with Aboriginal and other First Nations people around Australia looking for new representations of culture.
In these challenging times, the need for young people in rural Victoria to connect to culture and to experience creative health and wellbeing activities is higher than ever. Through our remote filming approach, we have come together digitally, to carry on with the project and bring these stories to life. “Community organisations, leaders and Elders in Robinvale had identified their young people as being at increased risk of social isolation, education and work disengagement and bullying both online and offline”, said Veltre.
ABOUT: Melbourne based Phunktional Arts is a leading Australian not-for-profit arts company, delivering long-term Community Arts and Cultural Development projects, tours educational theatre and produces award-winning dance, theatre and film productions, with the purpose to support the creation of art that is a catalyst for greater connectedness, community engagement and intercultural understanding.
Inspired by the heartbreaking stories of young people in Youth Justice Centres, Gerard Veltre wrote his first educational theatre production, Love Drunk, to educate and support other young people from making similarly avoidable and painful mistakes.
The incredible success of this work led to the creation of shows such as The Sound of Silence Australia's first full-length deaf dance performance and ultimately the creation of Phunktional Arts in 2007. Thirteen years on and over 350,000 people around Australia have seen Phunktional’s award-winning, ground-breaking productions including their extraordinary dance work, Beyond the Walls, which premiered at the Sydney Opera House last year.