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Poncho and Penelope, Disruptors in Residence

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Poncho and Penelope, Disruptors in Residence

Our Disruptors in Residence are artists invited to disrupt the every day at HOTA. We choose artists who playfully interact with audiences; they sometimes shock, often amuse and confuse, and gently disrupt your day (in a good way).

Each artist is invited to interact in their own style, to experiment and create. The arts are not predictable and neither are our Disruptors!

In July 2022, we invited Dani Cabs, aka Poncho Orange, to become our next Disruptor in Residence at HOTA. Dani, was one of our first ArtKeepers who devised a new one-man Poncho performance that went on to be presented at both GC Laughs, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Brisbane Comedy Festival.

His character Poncho, along with Poncho’s ‘better half’ Penelope, are a tumultuously passionate pair with a fruity flare for fiestas.

Poncho has been known to wander and get lost from time to time with his head in the clouds, thankfully Penelope could snap him back down to earth with just a click of the fingers.

Just like their Latin blood, their spicy relationship has been known to bubble and boil at times. This chaotic couple danced their way across HOTA from 13-16 July, including during our second annual UNDERGROUND Festival, in The Exhibitionist Bar, HOTA Gallery, and mingling in the foyers of HOTA Central with audiences the Come From Away audiences.

We asked Dani to tell us about the experience.

‘Overall I feel audiences were surprised and excited by the craziness that Poncho and Penelope brought to the HOTA spaces’ said Dani. ‘Our ridiculous “disagreements” would confuse the audiences but once our choreographed comedy/dance routines would start we instantly felt joy wash over the audience. 

To the delight of HOTA staff, Poncho and Penelope also made a stop at a few staff meetings.

‘More than the general public, the staff seemed a little more aware of what was going on, I guess working at an arts institution prepares one for these kind of surprises! They were excited to play along with our requests to behave like wild animals and have some colour break up their regular day’.

Part of the purpose of welcoming disruptors on site is to give artists an opportunity to develop their characters and routines.

‘A big premise in devising the work was that Poncho was going to be a bit rude to Penelope and in the end Penelope will “kick Poncho to the kerb” so to say, and ditch him.

‘After our first disruption we felt the tension created by Poncho being really obnoxious was too much and we needed to make it more playful. So our discussion/arguments became a lot more light hearted - still with Penelope getting the upper hand of course.

We had a really good time, and I think this kind of disruption program is something that could be adopted by other spaces.

We especially loved disrupting inside the HOTA Gallery - it felt incredible to be creating performance art in and amongst visual art.’

You can keep up to date with Dani’s work by following him online.


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HOTA proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.

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