Ahilan Ratnamohan


Vitalstatistix and Mobile States

Former professional 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.

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

His performance is visceral…Ratnamohan has a gift for holding his audience through his artful journey.”
The West Australian

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

Company/Presenter Profile

Ahilan Ratnamohan is a theatre-maker creating physical performance inspired by sport, film, language and unorthodox forms. Since 2007, he has toured and performed in Australia, South Africa, and Europe. Since 2012, Ahil has been based in Antwerp, Belgium, where he has developed his working methodology.
After graduating in 2005 from Film Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, he attempted a professional football (soccer) career in the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany. His experience as a footballer deeply informs the style of work he creates.

In 2013, he performed in choreographer Jochen Roller’s work, Trachtenbummler at Berlin dance festival ‘Tanz im August’. He also premiered his first work as a director in Antwerp, Michael Essien I want to play as you…, a football-dance work addressing the aspirations of the transient African migrant community looking for a way out of poverty through football. Since then the work has toured to Theater Aan Zee Festival (Oostende); EXPLOSIVE! Festival (Bremen), and was part of London’s LIFT Festival in June 2014.

In Australia, Ahilan has worked with a diverse range of companies and artists including Urban Theatre Projects, Branch Nebula, Legs on the Wall, PACT, Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Theatre Kantanka, Martin del Amo and Campbelltown Arts Centre.

Kristof Persyn is a dramaturg, director and theatre-educator. Following studies at the Theaterschool of Amsterdam, he started creating productions with youth-companies in Curacoa, Croatia and France. Since 2006 he has initiated projects in the Middle East and collaborated with artists in Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

Kristof’s work is characterised by a focus on socially or ecologically urgent issues. He has travelled through Egypt to collect popular folk-tales, resulting in the performance The Nile Song with Shady El Dali. In Jordan with Lana Nasser, he undertook an artistic awareness campaign about the Dead Sea drought. Since the Arab Spring in 2011, he has created projects for AAT-network, an organisation which runs an annual woman-rights festival in Amman, Jordan. Kristof lives in Brussels where he has recently opened a workshop and studio teaching drama and discourse.

Lee Wilson graduated from University Of Western Sydney, Theatre Nepean in 1991 and has been a major contributor to the independent performance and dance scene for over twenty years as a highly regarded and award-winning performer and director. He directed The Football Diaries, which toured to South Africa (2010) for the World Cup, and was choreographer on Roslyn Oades’ I’m Your Man, premiering at Sydney Festival in 2012. He has devised in the works of Shaun Parker, Kate Champion, Stalker Theatre Company, Acrobat, Legs on the Wall, Opera Australia, Urban Theatre Projects, Sydney Theatre Company, and Post Arrivalists.

Mirabelle Wouters is a set and lighting designer and performer. She studied at the High Institute for Architecture and Industrial Design in Antwerp and completed a post-graduate in scenography at the Flemish Autonomous University of Antwerp. Mirabelle’s design credits include: Urban Theatre Projects (UTP) & Company B’s Buried City (2012 Sydney Festival), The Football Diaries by Ahilan Ratnamohan and Lee Wilson, UTP’s The Last Highway (2008 Sydney Festival), and Martin Del Amo’s Never Been This Far Away From Home. She also designed lights for Hole In The Wall by Matt Prest and Clare Britton, and The Hosts: A Masquerade Of Improvising Automatons by Wade Marynowsky.


SDS1 was developed independently by Ahilan Ratnamohan, with special thanks to Urban Theatre Projects & CC Luchtbal (Belgium) for providing in-kind rehearsal space. Tour produced by Performing Lines for Mobile States, with the support of the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.


Performance Dates

26-29 August, 8pm
Post Show Q&A 27 August
Waterside, 11 Nile St, Port Adelaide


$25 full
$20 concession
$15 TREv

Creative Team

Creator & Performer: Ahilan Ratnamohan
Lighting Designer: Mirabelle Woutors
Outside Eye: Lee Wilson
Dramaturg: Kristof Persyn
Tour Producer: Performing Lines