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DANCEHOUSE, Former Carlton Community Hall

Architect: James Munro and John Pigdon (Builder)

City of Yarra | Y06

This two-storey brick hall was built for £2,000 in just three weeks in 1887, under controversial circumstances during the election campaign for the new seat of Carlton. Since then, it has undertaken many changes in layout and function. It has gone from being operated by the Carlton Mechanics Institute as a subscription library to temporary housing after the Second World War, to accommodating the Carlton Community Centre’s school holiday programs in the 1970s. For the past 25 years, it has been the epicentre of independent dance practice in Australia. Its reputation and influence have crossed state boundaries to shape the art form nationally and internationally. Dancehouse is Australia’s only performing arts venue solely dedicated to the creation and presentation of contemporary dance. Its programs generate a kaleidoscope of opportunities and sit at a confluence of circulations of makers, ideas, spaces, contexts, publics, disciplines, and territories. During Open House Melbourne, visitors can enjoy a chat, a dance, and some brunch or afternoon tea. Free classes will be offered in diverse dance disciplines throughout the day, and tours at 10.30am and 1.30pm each day will introduce visitors to the past and present uses of the building.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 3 & Thursday 1 January 10.30am - 4:30pm

  • Photography Restricted: Yes

  • What's Open: All parts of the building

  • Special Note: Wear comfortable clothes in case you may want to take a class. Upstairs floor is now wheelchair accessible.

  • Tour Type: Y06

  • Access: Pram accessible, Limited mobility access

  • Building Type: Cultural

  • Facilities: Toilets, Food and beverage available

  • Special Programming: "Free classes will be offered in diverse dance disciplines at 11:00, 12:15, 2:00 and 3:15. Walk-ins for classes welcome, but to ensure your place book here at Bookings open on the 17th of July. Twice daily at 10:30 and then at 1:30 an associated artist of Dancehouse will playfully guide you through the building, respond to your questions, and offer you believable and unbelievable insights into the building, its history and what happens here today."

  • Year Built: 1877, 2017

  • Transport: Stop 114: Princes St on routes 1, 6, 8.


150 Princes Street, Carlton North 3054, VIC


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