Benjamin Hancock is a dancer, choreographer, and performance artist, who is currently based in Melbourne, unceded Wurundjeri country. He has featured in works by Australia’s leading choreographers including Lucy Guerin, Prue Lang, Melanie Lane, Antony Hamilton, Lee Serle, Sue Healey, Martin del Amo, Narelle Benjamin, and Gideon Obarzanek.
As a solo artist, Benjamin often inhabits fantastical dispositions that invite audiences to embrace parallel masculinities and femininities. He has presented solo performances at Chunky Move (Next Move), Lucy Guerin Inc (Pieces for Small Spaces), Performance Space (Day For Night), National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne Now), Mona Museum & New Orleans Biennial (Prospect 3 USA).
Benjamin has also collaborated with contemporary artists, such as Dylan Martorell, Belle Bassin, Lichen Kelp, and Fayen d’Evie, to develop and perform works presented at leading Australian galleries including the Art Gallery of NSW, the Ian Potter Museum of Art, and Heide Museum of Art.
He received an Australian Dance Award (2017), Helpmann Award Nomination (2017), and Green Room Award (2016) for his outstanding performance in Lucy Guerin Inc’s The Dark Chorus. His performance in Princess, his solo work choreographed for Chunky Move (Next Move) received a Green Room Award Nomination (2015). Princess also won two Green Room Awards (2015) for outstanding sound design and visual design.
Acclaimed as a performance artist in drag cabaret and club venues, including BARBA and Honcho Disko, Benjamin often plays with the spectacle of camouflage and masks, within egalitarian choreographies of drag. These performance entities have resonated beyond the club scene, leading to commissions at Aesop, Tourism Australia, NGV, Art Bank, Mona Foma and Dark Mofo, ACCA, ACMI. Collaborations continue with performance artists James Andrews, The Huxleys and Discordia.
Since 2015, Benjamin has been a core member of the drag cabaret ensemble YUMMY, which has performed at Underbelly Festival (London), Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Brisbane Festival, Auckland Live, and fringe festivals in Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. Yummy won two Green Room Awards (2018) for best production and cabaret ensemble.
Benjamin graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2008 with a Bachelor of Dance, and was the recipient of the inaugural VCA choreographic award in his final year.
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Image: Gregory Lorenzutti