BlakDance is the industry body for contemporary Indigenous dance.
Our mission at BlakDance is to cultivate and promote dance in our communities and beyond.
We support artists and communities across many forms of dance and diverse geographies of histories, songlines and protocols. We connect collaborators and communities, fuel creative exchange and build public discourse to strengthen our art form and our artistic sovereignty. Artistic sovereignty is our communities defining art practices and protocol.
Our BlakDance outgoing Chair
BlakDance held its annual General Meeting (AGM) in Sydney in July 2016. At this meeting, our Chairperson stepped down after serving from 2014 to 2016. Madam Chair, Monica Stevens - mBabarum, of Yidinji, Kuku Yalanji peoples has danced professionally with the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre and is a founding member of the Bangarra Dance Theatre. BlakDance was honoured to have Monica as our Chair through the transformational period of BlakDance. Going into 2017, BlakDance is on solid ground with federal and state funding from 2017-2020. We thank Monica for her dedication, steady stewardship and tireless commitment to BlakDance and the sector in which its serves. Monica joins the BlakDance Elders as our newest Elder of BlakDance.
Please see our team page for a full list of Elders, Peers, Board Directors and Staff.
Elected Chair of the BlakDance Board in 2014.
Experience: Monica is a senior Aboriginal knowledge keeper within the dance community. She has broad experience ranging from dance programs touring and events, to academic, performing arts and dance boards and is an active contributor and practitioner.
The BlakDance Vision
Connecting artists and presenters so that audiences can experience contemporary Indigenous dance, dancers can make a sustainable living from their practice, and distribution ecologies can transform.
BlakDance has been a wonderful resource for me as an independent producer. It is great to have an industry body that is working to support our artists, whether as a source of advice, to broker new opportunities, or as an advocate for the sector.
BlakDance has been fundamental to myself, and many other Indigenous dance practitioners careers. BlakDance connect us to the people we need to meet, they assist us to be at markets and they provide vital skills development and training that gives us the tools to navigate the entire ecology.
BlakDance is a necessary and nationally significant organisation who provide access, information and ethical frameworks for collaboration. As a regular presenter of contemporary dance in Australia, and a lead producer of Dance Massive, Arts House welcomes the existence of BlakDance and its ambitions.
The new BlakDance framework and vision is encouraging and their initiatives are vital. Not only are they providing a level of confidence to the broader dance performance and producing sector, they are endeavouring to deliver a much need national space to ensure knowledge transmission & guidance, network opportunities, protocol advice and support on many levels.
BlakDance Australia is an important, necessary, and symbolic organisation. The role BlakDance plays in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists helps to keep strong connection with ongoing and developing culture through dance. Ausdance is proud to have supported the development of BlakDance and looks forward to ongoing partnerships.
The recent collaboration between BlakDance and Talking Stick Festival galvanized the national artistic leaders to form a Steering Committee to care for the Indigenous Performance Network. IPAA is grateful for this guidance and the future is bright for the sharing of Indigenous performance between Canada, Australia and the world.
Recently we were lucky enough to build a deep relationship with BlakDance. I have no doubt that in the years to come the Talking Stick First Nations Festival and BlakDance will enjoy a rich collaborative future together as we activate our strong collective priorities through our respective industry bodies.
At a time of dynamic creative development in Indigenous performing arts, BlakDance is a critically needed Indigenous-managed entity that will provide core infrastructure, professional support and advocacy for contemporary Indigenous choreography and dance.
BlakDance is extremely important for the Indigenous community - it is their voice. The role BlakDance will play in the future is as the key connector - driving Indigenous contemporary dance with Indigenous organisations, contributing to the uniqueness of the broader dance sector, and building capacity of our artists to realise their goals and dreams.