What's On


Raina Peterson

Presented in Season 1 2023

World Premiere
Presented by Arts House as part of FRAME: A biennial of dance

Wednesday 1 – Saturday 4 March 2023
Wed – Fri, 8.30pm
Sat, 3pm & 8.30pm

50 minutes

Tactile Tour and Audio Described performance
Fri 3 March, 8.30pm

Post Show Q&A
Thursday 2 March, 9.30pm
Join Amrit Gill in conversation with Raghav Handa and Raina Peterson

Standard $35
FRAME Pass $28
Reduced $20
A small transaction fee will be charged per order.

To see Raghav Handa’s TWO and Raina Peterson’s MOHINI for $50, use the code DOUBLE and add both shows to cart

Suitable for ages 16+
MOHINI contains disorientating light effects including high contrast, colour and intensity changes, laser, video, loud music, haze and partial nudity

Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

Assistance Animal
Assistive Listening
Audio description
Companion Card
Quiet Space Available
Tactile Tours
Visual Rating 50%
Wheelchair Accessible

MOHINI is an experimental Indian dance-theatre work that revisions the story of the eponymous Hindu deity, Mohini the Enchantress through the chaotic joy of the trans experience.

When demons stole the elixir of life, it is believed that Lord Vishnu transformed into the enchantress Mohini to win it back. From there begins one of the origin stories of Hindu mythology and a narrative claimed by many trans South Asians as their own.

With MOHINI, acclaimed dancer and choreographer Raina Peterson leads audiences on a thrilling journey both brimming with tradition and deeply subversive. Rich cultural lineage and lifelong training of the classical Indian dance form of Mohiniattam informs this work, but Raina draws it into the contemporary present. Figures emerge from primordial seas, undergo transformation and eventually achieve transcendence. This surreal, hypnotic experience is at once visceral and contemplative, exhilarating and riotous.

Featuring a dazzling score of live and recorded music, and state of the art psychedelic stagecraft, MOHINI is a technical marvel signalling Raina’s growth as a choreographer and a work that demands to be experienced live.

MOHINI is the second of a new body of work by Raina: a triptych of queer Hindu narratives abstracted through experimental Indian dance.


About the artists

Raina Peterson
Raina Peterson is a dancer-choreographer of Fiji-Indian and English heritage who was born and raised on the lands of the Gunaikurnai people of regional Victoria. Raina creates moving experimental dance works that respect and challenge both traditional and contemporary dance. With a substantial body of new work including four full-length company productions, Raina‘s works draw on their training in classical Indian dance (Mohiniyattam) and are critically acclaimed for their subversive and visceral approach to exploring the diasporic experience, cultural identity, colonialism, gender diversity and sexuality. With dance partner Govind Pillai, their full-length works include In Plain Sanskrit (2015), Bent Bollywood (2018), Third Nature (2019), Kāla (2019), and dance film Drishti (Winner of two Melbourne Fringe Awards, 2020), and a solo work, Narasimha: ManLion (2022, winner of Melbourne Fringe Award for ‘Best dance and physical theatre’)

Marco Cher-Gibard
Marco Cher-Gibard is an artist working with sound to explore contemporary culture, expression and experience. He is a constant collaborator who works through sound in a variety of contexts including performance, installation, workshops and composition. Marco’s award winning theatrical compositions and sound designs have been presented internationally by organisations such as London International Festival of Theatre (UK), Vienna Festwochen (Austria), Holland Festival (Holland), Theatre der Welt (Germany) and Melbourne International Arts Festival (Australia), amongst others.

Marco’s solo and collaborative performances have explored live sampling, electronics, home made software and more recently prepared guitar. He has performed in India, China, France, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan and extensively throughout Australia. Sister, an improvised duo with Ben Speth maintains an extensive online archive of their practice, premiered Work at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music in 2017 and released a mail art CDR in 2020 called 45:02 with artist Moyra Davey.


Creator and Performer: Raina Peterson
Composer, Performer and Visual Effects: Marco Cher-Gibard
Dramaturg: Sepideh Kian
Lighting Design: Alex Nguyen
Costume: Geoffrey Watson
Set Design: Jennifer Tran
Producer: Naomi Velaphi
Stage Manager and Production Assistant: Reis Low

Supported by
MOHINI has been supported Creative Victoria and the City of Melbourne through Arts House. A work in progress was presented at Sangam Festival 2021 at Dancehouse. Auspiced by Karma Dance.

Artist statement

“In the beginning, there was the ocean of milk. The gods and demons came together to churn the milky ocean to produce the elixir of life. Lord Vishnu transformed into the enchantress Mohini, to distribute the elixir of life.”

MOHINI is an experimental dance-theatre work exploring the trans experience through a new interpretation of a trans Hindu deity, Mohini the Enchantress. Raina Peterson uses their training in the classical Indian dance form Mohiniattam (lit. ‘Dance of Mohini’) to retell the story of the eponymous trans deity and namesake of their artform. MOHINI is a sensual and vivid journey of transformation, transcendence, and the chaotic joy of the trans experience.

Image Credit: Anne Moffat

Image Description: A person dances in front of coloured lights. 

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