Former footballer Ahilan Ratnamohan performs SDS1, a thrilling dance-inspired work derived entirely from the physicality of ‘the beautiful game’.

Exploring football (or soccer) as an art form, this physically charged performance has the audience living the surreal, visceral yet poetic experience of a football match. SDS1 ponders the psyche of the vulnerable warriors on the pitch striving to be loved and hated, worshipped and scorned, and through sheer athletic prowess, creates layers of movement that see the player ‘caught’ in the performance, rather than in control of it.

“…The sheer physical stamina and technique displayed by this fusion of dance and football was thrilling...” - Crikey Daily Review

This is football as theatre, stripped back, extracted, frozen, repeated and abstracted. Beautiful and ugly at once.


Creator & Performer Ahilan Ratnamohan
Lighting Designer Mirabelle Wouters
Outside Eye Lee Wilson
Dramaturg Kristof Persyn
A Performing Lines tour for Mobile States


"The soccer workshop went superbly today. Over the day, the group of 30 young people had a range of things to do and think about. They enjoyed hearing about Ahil and viewing his work as well as doing the skills-based workshop. Given they were a mixed group from 3 schools and some only recently arrived in Australia, this was a great achievement. 

There was one person that Ahil connected with, which was really important and potentially life changing. I hadn’t met him before as he is in community detention in Melbourne and is soon to return to Nauru. He is allowed out of detention to attend school but little else. Initially he had a negative demeanour and behaviours, and we were not sure that he would join in the activities at all. Overall, he painted the very grim picture that we imagine when we think of young men, trapped within a system and disempowered.

Thanks to Ahil, he made sure to connect with this person and learn about his prowess in sport in his home country, Iran, and of his love for soccer. As suggested by Ahil, I will follow up with the principal of his school to see whether there is any possibility of him joining a team to train for the short time he is in Melbourne – this seems a small but important gesture towards helping someone to feel valued and connected to community. "

The Huddle | North Melbourne


Narelle Lewis | Producer
[email protected] | +61 (0)2 0319 0066


Melbourne | Arts House, North Melbourne, VIC
South Australia | Vitalstatistix, Port Adelaide
New South Wales | Blacktown Arts Centre, presented by Performance Space, Blacktown, NSW
Tasmania | Moonah Arts Centre, presented by Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, TAS
Western Australia | Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
Western Australia | Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
New South Wales | Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre