How do we find the light within the dark? How do we cultivate beauty out of sorrow and begin to heal, for ourselves and one another?


Interdisciplinary and intercultural, Exhale is about indigeneity, accountability and trauma. It explores the relationships and boundaries forged between Indigenous cultures on foreign lands; negotiations between environmental and urban lifestyles; and the ability to heal through storytelling.

Exhale is the creation of Black Birds—the Sydney collective fast gaining kudos for energetic, uplifting performances that astutely dissect the female Black and Brown experience in Australia. Incorporating art forms including spoken word, movement, dance, song and story, Black Birds’ work is at once intimate and unexpected, challenging and empowering.

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Image: Emele Ugavule

Cast & Creatives

Created & Performed By Ayeesha Ash, Emele Ugavule
Lighting Designer Amber Silk
Choreographer Sela Vai
Stage Manager Madelaine Osborn

Performance Times

Season 9 – 13 April

Performance Times
Tuesday – Friday 7pm
Saturday 2pm & 7pm

Run Time
60 minutes

Supported by

Development supported by Next Wave and the City of Melbourne through Arts House

Blog Posts

5 Questions with Black Birds


Ayeesha Ash and Emele Ugavule are the creators and performers of Exhale, the latest offering from the Sydney-based performance collective Black Birds, playing at Griffin from 9-13 April. Together, Ayeesha and Emele answered five questions about what to expect from the show, and how it came to...

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A Note from Lee, 28 March


Number one thing to do when the autumnal weather is weird…come to the theatre! We promise we will protect you from the elements, and treat you to some wonderful theatre to boot. Dead Cat Bounce by Mary Rachel Brown is nearly at...

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A Note from Phil, 14 March


I would like to start with a shout-out to the woman on my train to Kings Cross this morning who I saw sipping Red Bull (at 9.30am) and googling “How long does it take to get a black belt in...

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