Shannen Jones also known as The Girl With No Bones, is a Gold Coast local and one of the many talented artists featuring in this years’ Bleach* Festival. She’s a world class entertainer who has already performed at such prestigious gigs as the Glastonbury Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Adelaide Fringe Festival. So what’s all the fuss about? Get ready for the slightly bizarre! Shannen is a mind-boggling contortionist and acrobatic archer.
You’ll watch in awe as this topsy-turvy star picks up a bow and arrow with her feet and fires at her target – sometimes held by a willing volunteer. Her act has it all: skill, strength, suspense and awe. She’s able to twist, manipulate and dislocate her body in ways that are by no means ordinary. We caught up with Shannen to hear about how she came to be a contortionist and her favourite spots on the Gold Coast .
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I have been living on the Gold Coast since I was 4 years old. I’m a Robina local.
What do you love most about living here?
The Gold Coast is a really diverse space. I enjoy living close to the beach and simultaneously being around the corner from Springbrook National Park. Brisbane is just an hour away and Byron Bay in the other direction. The airport is close to home and as a result of this, everything seems so accessible.
Tell us about what you do.
I am a professional circus artist and I specialise in Contortion and Foot Archery. I also have training in hula hoops, aerial hoop and acrobatics.
Talk us through how you came to be a contortionist?
I started off as a Rhythmic Gymnast when I was 5 years old and trained almost 10 years in the sport. I was never the best in the team but I always had a natural love for performing and was very hypermobile. This led me to dance and circus classes where I trained meticulously. I was signed as an emerging artist at Aerial Angels Academy in 2018 where they developed an act for me. I have been performing professionally for almost 3 years now. I train about 25 hours per week aside from gigs; which includes stretch and strength programs, creative development for my acts and repeatedly training them. It’s a complete lifestyle, from eating plant-based to injury prevention and recovery methods.
What are some of the best things about your job?
I love that travel is a huge part of my work. I love how many artists I am able to connect with and take inspiration from each show. I love the freedom and expression that this art form has given me. I feel like a vessel of creativity and this energy is evident through my performance. I love the energy exchange on stage between the performer and audience.
What have been some of the highlights of your career to date?
I performed in the Big Top at Glastonbury Festival in 2018. I toured my street show around the UK last year and Edinburgh Fringe Festival was a highlight. Adelaide Fringe Festival too.
What is your plan for the rest of 2020?
I am in the process of designing a new prop with an amazing designer Sam Prest. I am training and creating more than ever; preparing myself for the next season of shows.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast
Coffee spot: Parkway Coffee in Robina.
Cafe: Cardamom Pod in Broadbeach.
To see Shannen perform, make sure you check out her performances at the Bleach* Festival here.
The last few months of 2020 are shaping up to be a good time Gold Coasters. We’ve had some great new venue openings, a host of events that are going ahead and VERY excitingly, BLEACH* Festival has just launched their 2020 program and it’s a good one.
The 11 day program invites us to be adventurous; to step into someone else’s shoes for an afternoon, to escape from the everyday with an unexpected experience; to dive in, boots and all and have a good time.
All things we are absolutely pumped to do right now.
Whether it’s down at Burleigh Heads for sunrise performances, recitals at dusk, evening light installations or a drink at the BLEACH* bar, the festival has something you’re absolutely going to love.
On Chevron Island you’ll be welcomed to Club Chez Nous for cabaret, opera and music and within grounds of the Botanic Gardens there’ll be a special concert that’s been curated with works from one of our finest living composers, Elena Kats-Chernin.
On Burleigh Beach there’ll be a sand circle; a culturally safe and inclusive space for dance, music, storytelling, performance and yarning.
You’re invited to sit, watch, participate or talk within the ring.
Wake with the birds and join in each morning at sunrise and in the evenings at sunset for music and dance rituals with Luther Cora.
Throughout the day, there’ll be workshops in contemporary dance, song and weaving, and dance under the stars every night.
We suggest heading down to the BLEACH* Club under the trees and watch as the waves roll in. Stop by for a sundowner, catch local DJ sets, and float away to some ambient tunes and killer beats.
Intermezzo will see the The 7 Sopranos perform angelic harmonies arranged by Tarita Botsman and Craig Allister Young and you can let the heavenly lullabies transport you dreamily into the night. Yes please.
Of course, there’s an absolutely packed program to enjoy and it’s all happening from 12th to 22nd November.
What a treat it is to live on the Gold Coast and experience this incredible festival.
WHEN: 12th to 22nd November, 2020
WHERE: Various performances across Burleigh Heads, Chevron Island and Botanic Gardens
The Gold Coast is no stranger to excellent eateries, they’re popping up all over the place, all the time. But perhaps the best kind of eatery is the kind that there’s two of, those so-good-they-made-another-one kind of vibes you know?
Case in point, Third Base Coffee in Palm Beach. It’s the kind of high vibe, community space that sees it absolutely pumping with locals all of the time, a firm favourite amongst everyone who knows it. So much so that the team there decided they needed to build a newbie in the ‘burbs for the people of Robina. And so they did.
It’s called Parkway and it can be found at Robina Quays on Robina Parkway and although it’s not exactly the same as Third Base, it does offer the same beloved local feel and a few of the menu favourites you absolutely must sample ASAP.
The new space is on a corner block with a big outdoor garden area overlooking the park and the perfect place for a spot of brunch and relaxation. There’s lots of parking too, love that.
Owners Kelly and Marie turned the space over in record time and used all local suppliers and builders to boot. As is often the way, the gals weren’t looking for a new space but lucky for us, they found one anyway.
The menu is still of the launch variety to see what the people like best but since we’re all here, lets discuss what we like best shall we?
There are a few dishes that have been brought over from Third Base, the most popular of the bunch and for good reason. These include delights like the Bacon and Egg Turkish which is like a Bacon and Egg Roll but LARGER with two rashers of bacon, two fried eggs and a choice of sauce. It’s next-level.
There’s also a Benny Burger, a Chipotle Burger, a saucy Ham and Cheese Toastie and an Avo and Greens Toastie and they’re all so very yummy.
The Bruschetta and the Mushrooms on Toast are tasty vegan and vego options and there are plenty of those if that’s your jam.
You can sip on Kuhl-Cher coffee, roasted in Brisbane too.
If you need something quick on the go, there are muffins, wraps, raw slices and cookies to take away too.
Not only all of that, you can also hire the stunning space for events if you’ve got one coming up. There’s more exciting news that will come out of Parkway in the next little while too so stay tuned for that.
Double goodness, how fun.
LOCATION: Robina Quays, 16b, 361 Robina Parkway, Robina
HOURS: Monday to Friday 6am until 2pm, Saturday and Sunday 7am until 2pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
We love a good cocktail, who doesn’t right? You know what else we love, staying home. Especially when said staying home is done with a few other people, some tasty eats and some high quality tunes. Also known as a party. Which is a thing we’re allowed to have now.
Speaking of all those things, you should do them, then invite us and also get the new guy in town involved. His name is Mr Consistent and he’s a good time Gold Coasters. You may have heard of him, he’s been popping up all over the place lately, in stores, at the markets and most recently in some local bars.
But we’ll get to all that later.
Who is this Mr Consistent we speak of? Well he’s a range of handcrafted cocktails mixers that you can take home, add alcohol and it’s as if you’re out at your favourite bar but you’re at home. At a party we mean. Bliss.
No doubt you’ve sampled a few cocktail mixers in your time but these are unlike any you’ve ever had before in that they are a very high quality, extremely delicious and they come in all the very best varieties.
For example, there’s a Margarita that’s the absolute goods, there’s a Bloody Mary (love you), a Sours, a Cosmo and the recent addition, Mulled Wine. Obviously we’ve sampled every single one and they’re all extremely delicious.
The biz was started by three Gold Coast locals who are old hands in the local hospo scene and know what’s up when it comes to shaking a sweet cocktail. They’re all about top notch drinks and good vibes and honestly, in this day and age, there’s not much more you could want is there?
As mentioned, there are many spots you can pick up a few bottles of Mr Consistent. We love stopping in at the Palm Beach Currumbin Farmers Markets stall on a Saturday morning. You can of course, also order it online.
In exciting news, this long weekend at Robina Pavilion the Mr Consistent team will be taking over Sunny’s deck bringing us all a delicious array of premium sips. Head down from 12pm on Friday for live music and a very good time.
Happy days friends.
Grab a bottle (of each) here.
Words by Kirra Smith