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.
The NATIONAL INDIGENOUS DANCE FORUM (NIDF) IS BEING HELD AS PART OF YIRRAMBOI; Date 5 – 7 May 2017
Presented by BlakDance
The National Indigenous Dance Forum will gather traditional practitioners, contemporary practitioners, rights’ holders to songlines, community groups, independent artists, makers, creators, producers, choreographers, educators and scholars to participate in three days of discussions that will focus on the current situation affecting Indigenous dance practice within our communities in our great south land.
Our BlakDance incoming Chair
BlakDance is thrilled to announce Carla McGrath as the incoming Madame Chair for the organisation.
Carla joins BlakDance from January 2017.
Carla McGrath is a proud Indigenous Australian woman whose family comes from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. Raised on the Australian mainland, Carla retains strong family and community ties to the Torres Strait.
We would like to acknowledge Nareen Young, BlakDance Director for serving as the interim Madame Chair from July 2016 - January 2017. We are delighted that our former long serving Madame Chair; Monica Stevens has accepted the esteemed position of joining the group of BlakDance Elders.
Please see our team page for a full list of Elders, Peers, Board Directors and Staff.
Carla is a consultant specialising in community engagement and consultation, facilitation, for-purpose organisational sustainability, and program design, development and facilitation.
Carla was previously Head of Sustainability at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) in Redfern, Sydney. Prior to that she worked as Relationship Manager at AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience).
In addition, Carla is a Board Director of GetUp!, Board Director of Shared Path Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation and a Delegate to the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples.
Carla's previous board and governance roles include Co-Chair of the Management Committee of the NSW Reconciliation Council, Vice Chair of AYAC (Australian Youth Affairs Coalition), Board Director of Flashpoint Labs and the George Hicks Foundation, Member of the AIME Corporation and Member of The Smith Family Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel.
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.