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APHRODITE'S BORDELLO, an entirely new Dance Cabaret to be showcased at the Melbourne Fringe Festival...


'In a temple in the town of Eresos, on the island of Lesbos, worshippers of Aphrodite,
Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation, stand ready to perform their 
sacred service. But in a town without men, what happens when the tradies of the oldest 
profession in the world find themselves without clientele? A tale of sex and 
commerce which promises to be an innovative and provocative evening of entertainment.' - Katie Dircks, Creative Devisor.

This bawdy cabaret will explore music, dance and theatrical debauchery through the quirky tale of the sacred service feisty priestesses take to the drawing board with renewed vigour in an attempt to hit new markets, access more pricks and promote themselves to even lower heights! What follows is an incredibly quirky display of Greek theatre, vaudeville, timeless social commentaries and fishnets!

The lucky audience that finds themselves lost in the world of Aphordite's Bordello can expect a bohemian musical score co-devised by none other than Rapskallion Violinist, Carmen O'Brien, winner of the Adelaide Fringe best music award. The wacky physical theatre concepts, that Miss Friby is best known for, offer suburban regalia in tightly constructed choreography and when you team that up with an innovative script, you’re guaranteed a shocking brawl of dirty feminism at its best.

This show, and it is a show, is being especially devised for the charming remnants of Melbourne’s Fringe community with the hope of presenting something completely new and innovative, but at the same time addressing modern themes in an awkwardly grotesque manner. Please Enjoy!




GOAL1: Raise the funds $2000 or more!
GOAL2: Successfully produce an original production!
GOAL3: Complete the Melbourne Fringe Festival season!

These creative go-getters have taken their show hopes even further by pursuing potential touring opportunites. That being said, a massive congratulations to Dominic Taranto for being accepted in the Tour Ready Program which builds the production skills of selected Fringe producers to devlope their show into a touring product.



When asked to devise a final major assessment, which entails researching, producing and hosting a legitimate creative industry event, this courageous creative team decided to tackle their very first Fringe Festival production. While such an exploration is no easy feat, the cast and production team are thrilled with the abundance of experience, knowledge and learning gained through this exploration.


DominicTaranto - Producer

 Dominic is a 25 year old Creative Arts Industries student studying at Victoria University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is currently in his final year but has done previous study in Fine Art Painting at Monash University and RMIT. In his creative life so far, he has curated and featured in group exhibitions/events including Dead House Walking' and more recently, 'Into the Red' as part of the BigWest Festival in 2011. He considers his work as abstract expressionism encompassing many mediums including painting, performance, installation and has now started to refine his skills as a producer. His current is a series of 30 acrylic works under the title of 'RelationWeaveLine' which is a symbolic look at the bond that forms between two people over time while on separate life paths. As a producer his latest works include 'Aphrodite's Bordello' and short film 'DART'. 


Other works:




Dartworks :http://www.facebook.com/groups/dartworks/

Twitter :https://twitter.com/#!/DominicTaranto

DART short film:http://www.pozible.com.au/index.php/user/projectmanage/edit/5772 

Elizabeth Dawson-Smith - Writer, Director and Choreographer 

 Originally a trained dancer, Elizabeth has spent the a large part of her creative career traveling the world as a stage and street performer both creating wacky shows and studying theatre techniques in Europe, South America, Australia, Africa and Asia.

Elizabeth is currently completing a bachelor of Creative Arts Industries in Melbourne. Her current works meander amongst script writing, inter-media creations, dance and choreography, music and theatre to explore suburban themes in a quirky and never before seen fashion.

Miss Friby is the local, Melbourne based branch of Friby Producoes, a theatre company founded by Elizabeth Dawson-Smith in Sao Luis, Brazil. Currently Miss Friby creates a bizarre assortment of high end Vaudeville acts which heavily rely upon dance, physical theatre, song and suburban themes. This work has seen her collaborate with a variety of Australian artists including Rapskallion, Porcelain Punch and Komissar Kabaret and build support from venues such as The National Gallery (Art after Dark 2012), The Spiegeltent (2005/2011), Red Bennies and festivals like Rainbow Serpent (2010/11), Splendour in the Grass (2011) and The National Folk Festival (2012). 





Evie Jay Fortescue - Assistant Director

 Evie hails from Mackay, QLD. Trained in classical ballet, jazz, tap, irish and contemporary dance and holding a Student Teacher’s Diploma, she has worked extensively with a variety of choreographers and teachers, focusing on contemporary dance. Evie teaches seasonal contemporary classes at Theatre Arts Mackay and Pioneer Valley, and has taught many solo works for student competitions and performances.

Now based in Melbourne, Evie has performed with many theatre groups in the capacity of a dancer, singer and actor, had a month’s residency at the National Gallery of Victoria, and has performed the lead role in the short film ‘True’, directed by Jessie White. She has been working with Elizabeth Dawson-Smith for three years now in a variety of shows, and is very excited for her role as assistant director and choreographer for Aphrodite’s Bordello. She delights in the weird, the silly, and awkward and the somehow beautiful.


Carmen O'Brien - Music Director

 Essentially a violinist, Carmen has been living and breathing music for most of her life. Touring both nationally and internationally, she is currently a member of award winning Melbourne based Cabaret/Vaudeville group Rapskallion, and is consistently immersed in the Melbourne music scene with many other groups. She has studied jazz/contemporary music, and her background draws upon a variety of influences such as jazz, gypsy, world, rock, folk and blues to name a few. As the Music Director for Aphrodite’s Bordello, Carmen draws upon her mixed background of sound to creatively deliver the soundtrack to the twisted tales of the Goddess Aphrodite, and her temple of love!

Katie Dircks - Creative Devisor

  Katie Dircks completed the Small Companies and Community Theatre course at Swinburne, where her passion for writing plays was founded under the tutelage of Australian playwrights Ben Ellis and Patricia Cornelius. 

Katie spent many years scrambling to write, produce and sometimes star in various productions for the Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festivals. In 2008 her short play, 'Real Estate', was short-listed for best script in Defector Art Theatre's Short But Not So Sweet Festival. 

In 2011 her play 'Two' was made into a film by the People's Republic of Cinema, which went on to win the Chateau Tanunda Best in Genre award at the Barossa Film Festival. 

Katie's work had been published by Platform literary journal and in the 2010 Text Camp Reader, as part of the Next Wave Festival.




 Termina - Maria-Esther Gasser (Maz) spent most of her childhood exploring expressive dance through regional competitions and performance opportunities. Recently she has graced the stage as a dancer for Vaudevillian company 'Miss Friby' and Melbourne band Rapskallion. Known for her quirky performance style and 'no strings' dance, Maz is one captivating entertainer whose larrikin approach to the stage makes her one memorable performer. Maz is currently studying her Master in Social Work.

'Some people see a therapist, some people like to talk, I love to dance to feed the soul'.


 Margaret - Madeleine Harding graduated from the Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts in 2006 with a BA in Acting. Her many stage credits include, Masha Three Sisters, Maggie Falling From Grace, Trixie Daisy Pulls it Off!, Nora Riders to the Sea, Bobbi Some Girls, Louise The Underpants, Olivia Twelfth Night, and most recently the double Hero/Verges in Much Ado About Nothing.

Madeleine has appeared on screen as Cleo in Mark Loves Sharon, Rachel in Underbelly Files – Infiltration, and Janine in I Love You Too.

Madeleine is thrilled to be a part of Aphrodite's Bordello and would like to thank her family and friends for their unwavering love and support.

 Ruslan - Zelia Rose Kitoko was a natural, creative & versatile performer from a young age, trained and studied in jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, musical theatre & choreography. Whose talent has seen her through a range of entertainment from floor Shows & Regular solo Gigs, Television (Angry Boys ABC, Australia’s got talent), the catwalk & most recently burlesque. 

Zelia is also an accomplished singer she has a captivating presence & passion on stage which shows in her performances! Zelia is a genuine fun loving personality on & off stage. She brings an edge to a show or performance, & combined with her skill & technique is a creator of art.

 Twan - Hayley Murphy plucked from the air, born to a Remote-control Aeroplane Racing World Champion and 80’s Aerobics Instructor, Hayley a. k. a Hoopdogg, has been getting down since she was three at her mum’s funk dance school.

Currently a hula-hoop master, professional stage spaz and circus arts instructor, she was raised on a cotton farm with visions of being a lion tamer. Years later, captured by a group of gypsies at a small bar in Northcote, Hayley travelled throughout Europe, across Australia, Oozing her cuteness all over ‘TheParlour’Woodford 2009, marvelling audiencesWoodford big-top Palace, 2012, NationalGalleryVictoriaSpeigletent, BOOM! Abolishing stages of, IslandVibeAdelaideFringe, sending joyous ripples to RainbowSerpentAliceDesertFestival, accompanying RapskallionSpoonbillOpiou.

 Aphrodite - Megan Salpietro has been singing since she can’t remember when! She has been cast in a number of roles including the PLOS musical production of Annie in 2006. She was a member of the Victorian State Schools ‘Joining the Chorus’ from 2005 -2009, performing in Oklahoma at Her Majesties Theatre Melbourne (2007) and the role of Joice Heth in Barnum at the Comedy Theatre Melbourne (2009) and two State School Spectaculars at Hisense Arena. She is currently studying a Bachelor Of Creative Arts Industries degree at Victoria University, majoring in music. Megan is really excited to perform the role of Aphrodite for you at this year’s Fringe Festival.


 Olive - Joana Simmons, originally from New Zealand, Joana Simmons is an all-round entertainer, known for her charisma, dedication and character. Training in dance and gymnastics growing up while performing in local productions and representing NZ twice in performance gymnastics at the World Gymnaestrada. She moved to England in 2008 where she took classes at Pineapple Dance Studios and performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre with SGCNZ’s Young Shakespeare Company. Joana then took up her scholarship at the Academy of Gymnastics and Physical Education in Ollerup, Denmark, before moving to Melbourne to train 2 years full-time at Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance in Dance and Musical theatre. She has done corporate, children’s and charity dance and acting gigs around Australia including ‘Relations’ at the Australian Dance Festival, AFL Grand Final Day breakfast, KPMG Ball and for Delta Goodrem at the Logie Awards. 

Joana is a presenter for C31’s Media Strikes Back, assistant choreographer for Collaboration the Project’s Project Y (a Youth contemporary dance company), member of Comedic Improv Troupe The Wrong People, fitness instructor and teaches dance and acrobatics workshops at schools across Melbourne. She is delighted to let her kink and quirk come out with the fantastic team in Aphrodite’s Bordello.


 Carmen - Sara Yael, after completing a Diploma of Theatre Arts in 2009, Sara Yael is no stranger to an assortment of major music festivals and stages worldwide as front women of Melbourne's hottest Bohemian band, Rapskallion. Two European tours, four Australian tours and the 'Best Music' award for Adelaide Fringe Festival 2012. Later, Sara has turned to cabaret and theatre to exhibit her hauntingly beautiful voice and daring ballads. Sara promises a delirious spectacle in every show.



Having financial support whilst creating a new project is incredibly invaluable to the growth and quality of the work being produced. It allows for creative fruition and artist development, not to mention a damn fine show!


The $2000 financial goal being collected via the Pozible platform will contribute towards the overall financial needs of the show which are being sourced through a variety of fundraising avenues including sausage sizzles, bake sales, raffles, chocolate drives and small events and workshops.


All money raised for the production will contribute towards:

- Set, prop and costume design

- Venue and rehearsal space hire

- Printing and publicity

- Technical Equipment



When you pledge to support Aphrodite's Bordello, you automatically become a member of our creative team receiving regular updates as to the show's development via our Pozible Profile. And, don't forget to follow our Facebook Page for further information about the show and it's stunning cast! 


Follow Aphrodite's Bordello here:



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Season Premiers

on 16th Aug 2012 at 2:00am. The payment portal is closed now.
A$1 +A massive SHOUT OUT and THANK YOU on all our online profiles and forums!
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A$25 +A massive SHOUT OUT and THANK YOU on all our online profiles and forums! + A signed Aphrodite's Bordello poster!
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A$50 +PREVIOUS REWARD + 2 discounted tickets to the show!
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A$100 +PREVIOUS REWARD + DVD of opening night!
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A$250 +PREVIOUS REWARD + A signed Aphrodite's Bordello T-shirt (Sm,Med,La) + two free tickets to the show!
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A$500 +PREVIOUS REWARD + A Producer's mention and credit for the entire production
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A$1000 +PREVIOUS REWARD + A private at home 'song and dance' for what ever occasion (Melb only)
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