Meet the M_N Artistic Team before the show in February at the Bowery Theatre.
Carmen Yih - Director
Carmen Yih (she/her) is an emerging Chinese-Australian dance-artist graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts' (VCA) Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance). Carmen’s practice centres on platforming the unique perspectives and stories of young people of colour through vernacular and contemporary dance forms. In 2023, Carmen was awarded the Creative Brimbank Be Bold Residency for the development and presentation of a new street-dance theatre work 'M_N', tackling the impact of socio-cultural notions of masculinity on youth mental health.
Carmen is a member of Burncity Waack, representing nationally in the 1970s freestyle dance ‘Waacking’. Delving into her interests in street and contemporary dance, she seconded with L2R Dance and Sydney Dance Company, and was a co-designer for Next Wave’s World+ program. Her performance credits include: Alleyne Dance’s ‘HOME’ (2023), James Batchelor's ‘Gesturing, Weaving, Unfolding’ (2023), The Dance Cartel’s ‘Butterfly Soupe’ (2022) and repertory by Garry Stewart and Siobhan McKenna. Carmen was awarded the Lionel Gell Foundation Scholarship, VCA Choreography Development Award and Paul and Donna Dainty Award by the VCA for her excellence in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance).
Giuliano Hammal - Lead Artist
Giuliano 'Gino' Hammal also known as 24 and Kid Trip, is a multidisciplinary artist of Egyptian and Sudanese cultural backgrounds. Born in Melbourne (Naarm) and raised in St Albans, Gino has developed himself and his artistry over multiple practices and years. He has a Bachelors of Physical Education and Sports Science as a base motivator for movement as well as a background in multiple forms of Visual Arts, Digital Design, Written Word and photography as forms of artistic expression. He combined his passion of Art and Movement and has been working on his craft as a street dancer since early 2021 and since then has found himself representing himself through the dance form of Krump.
Gino has solidified himself as a krumper within multiple facets of the Naarm dance scene. Currently representing Burn City Krump, he has worked with the crew 4 of a Kind (4OK) and organisations such as L2R Dance. Within his short time in the community Gino has co-curated events including Amplify: Bridge, run community dance sessions, battled in events, and performed in contemporary dance spaces including Chunky Move 2023 Choreolab. He now looks to how he can help the future of the youth and street dance community by sharing Krump in a true and positive light.
Kihmo Quintela - Lead Artist
Kihmo Quintela is a Filipino dance artist based in Naarm and raised in Brimbank with a passion for movement improvisation, choreography, battling and performance. Since delving into his practice in 2019, Kihmo has explored various movement forms including hip hop freestyle, popping, house, krump, choreography, martial arts, and contemporary dance in order to discover an authentic “freestyle '' form of expression. He currently represents street dance crews 4 of a Kind (4OK), Yugen and Frqncy, and continues to advocate for accessibility of street dance to beginners. Kihmo is a current L2R Igniting Legend, working closely with David Prakash to develop his identity as an emerging artist through exposure to contemporary dance, art administration and curation practices.
For both Gino and Kihmo, Brimbank holds a special significance to their friendship, their journey with dance, and experiences of masculinity. Gino and Kihmo went to primary school together in Deer Park and formed a close childhood friendship before losing contact after graduation. They reunited by chance in Watergardens Taylors Lakes - a meeting which catalysed the rekindling of their friendship and incited their joint journey deeper into dance.
In Brimbank, particularly during lockdown - Kihmo and Gino danced together as a way to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, developing a deep connection to movement as a form of self-expression. As young men in Brimbank, Gino and Kihmo recognised how little dance is represented in Brimbank, particularly in schooling programs and sought to facilitate the exposure of youth to street dance as a healthy means of expression.
MQ Iser-Smith - Composer
Mq Iser-Smith (he/they) is an artist, composer, storyteller and illustrious bisexual. He has a passion for creating stories that discuss themes such as queerness, agency, identity and social revolutions. From his time composing with the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), he has worked on projects including 'Stories in the Wall' (dir. Arts Centre Melbourne), 'Art of Science' (dir. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research), 'January 26' (dir. Flemington Theatre Company) and 'Khôra' (dir. A.L. Emmet). He has also created additional music and sound for several student films. In Mq's free time, he enjoys playing video games, raging against the machine, hanging out with his cat and writing pretentious poetry.
April Guest - Composer
April Guest is a Naarm based vocalist, beatboxer and composer. Her work focused on pushing the sonic capabilities of the human voice both biologically and technologically, as well as exploring how these two aspects intertwine to create meaning. Her live looping, ambient performances feature extended vocal and beatbox techniques to create deep, expansive drones and intricate percussive layers. She uses her raw voice as a foundation, combining it with technology to further explore our bodies’ timbral possibilities.