Santha Press has been facilitating musical, cultural and community experiences across the eastern states of Australia for over twenty years.
Trained and working as a singer and actor, Santha discovered street theatre and community cultural development in the mid nineties. So began a journey of creating sound and theatre in urban, rural and regional communities with companies such as Burning Sensations (Melb), Y-Space (Natimuk), Outback Arts (NSW), while also continuing her work as a singer, performer and creator of original, award winning cabaret.
Drawing on ongoing training in voice, percussion, meditation, dance, improvisation and yoga, Santha has devised an approach to musical and movement facilitation that focuses on accessibility, inclusivity and joy. Specialising in working with people or groups that ‘think they can’t’, a one hour vocal workshop inevitably creates unexpected results in those who thought it impossible before they tried. Most recently Santha has qualified to teach Nia, a dance exercise form that brings the mind and body together combined with seriously funky music. She brings her unique approach to facilitation to the regular classes she runs in the Yarra Valley.
Santha uses current research, meditation, relaxation, breathing techniques and humour to disarm the unsuspecting participant and bring out voice and movement that is perhaps only heard and seen when they are alone, or not at all.
This work can be taken in to any space with any size group (preferably 15 or more) to:
- Generate a sense of wellbeing in participants
- Develop skills in relaxation
- Offer an alternative team building approach
- Improve blood flow and breath control
- Develop vocal skills applicable to presentations and leadership
- Increase personal and work productivity
As a placemaker working with the Community Development Team at Yarra Ranges Council, Santha adapts her skills to enable the community’s engagement with itself, its resources and with Council to build better functioning, more connected communities. She uses all of the facilitation skills she has developed over many years to illicit participation and engagement. Her ultimate aim is to help the community identify its shared story and becoming active in a future of their own making.
Santha has been a mover her whole life. Studying jazz ballet as a child, as an adult she performed flamenco, studied physical theatre via Le Coq, movement/performance improvisation with Theatre of the Ordinary and more recently West African dance in Ghana and Australia. She has been participating in Nia classes for the past 8 years. In July 2016 she successfully undertook her Nia White Belt training and immediately began teaching. She completed her Blue Belt Training in 2018 and has also taken intensives in Nia’s 52 Moves and Move to Heal training.
Santha has taught Integrated Performance (connecting the voice and the body to communicate text) at Deakin University, devised and delievered a Community Music Leadership unit in the music degree course at Melbourne Polytechnic and taught classroom and elective singing at The Little Yarra Steinber School.
Santha received a Graduate Diploma of Community Cultural Development in 2017 and a Graduate Diploma of Performing Arts (Sound Design) in 2001, from the Victorian College of the Arts / Melbourne University.