Welcome to the Deadly Massive, for the largest amount of First Nations work presented in Dance Massive’s history.

In 2019 Dance Massive creates a time for life, made massive, from 12 - 24 March, Melbourne

Artists from across Australia invite you to pause, be curious, pay attention and step out of your comfort zone. In this sixth edition of Dance Massive, the festival reveals a contemporary dance festival of urgent, thought-provoking work made in direct response to our times. The 2019 program includes vital questions of identity, equality, environmental collapse, rapid technological growth, a longing for home and so much more.

Same But Different - DubaiKungkaMiyalk, image by Bryony Jackson

Same But Different - DubaiKungkaMiyalk, image by Bryony Jackson

Same but Different - DubaiKungkaMiyalk 

Wed 13 – Sat 16 March, 7:00pm
Wed 20 – Sat 23 March, 7:00pm
(60 mins)

Meat Market, 5 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne



ABOUT DubaiKungkaMiyalk

Four First Nation female artists, each from a different Country within Australia, invite you to share in a conversation that they have been yarning about for years. 

DubaiKungkaMiyalk brings together Mariaa Randall, Henrietta Baird, Carly Sheppard and Ngioka Bunda-Heath, four contemporary choreographers who tell stories through dance. Each of the women have created a work that draws on their individual dance practice – and no two works are the same. While each artists’ style of moving may be different, the women are unified by their common desire to move. Same but Different places the women and their work side by side to challenge any notion that all Indigenous contemporary dance is the same.

Creative Team;

Curator/Performer – Mariaa Randall 

Mariaa Randall belongs to the Bundjalung and Yaegl people of the Far North Coast of NSW.  She is a  Victorian College of the Arts Graduate obtaining a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Arts Management, Graduate Diploma in Performance Creation and a Master in Animateuring (by Research) in Melbourne. 
She recently premiered her solo performance, Footwork/ Technique at the Performance Space New York. It has been developed to as an ensemble work as part of Same but Different this year. As an independent artist Mariaa continues to teach, dance and make movement with others. 

Choreographer/Performer – Henrietta Baird 

Henrietta Baird a Kuku Yalanji woman from FNQ, graduated from NAISDA in 2005. Etta performed in many productions across Australia, including Vicki Van Hout's “Stolen”, which toured NSW. Her script "The Weekend" was one of 6 finalists selected for the Yellamundie Festival. Etta performed in "Divercity" which toured Dance Massive (2017) , Yirrimboi Festival (2017), Spirit Festival (2018) and showcased at APAM (2018). 

Choreographer/Performer – Carly Sheppard 

Carly Sheppard is an emerging cross-disciplinary performance artist. Her work negotiates dance and theatre making, sculpture, drawing, voice and installation. Carly  investigates the experience of being a part of the Indigenous diaspora of Australia; intersecting identities and the navigation of trans-generational inheritances. Carly explores the mapping of these shifting spaces and their interaction with changing social and cultural environments. 

Choreographer/Performer – Ngioka Bunda-Heath 

Ngioka Bunda-Heath is Wakka Wakka, Ngugi, QLD (mother) and Biripi from NSW (Father). In 2015, Ngioka was the first Aboriginal women to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance from the VCA, then completed a traineeship in Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Youth Education Rekindling Program and toured with the Indigenous Hip Hop Projects. 2017 she performed in Mariaa Randall’s work “Divercity”. 

Photographer/Projection Artist – Jody Haines 

Jody Haines is a photo media artist and Curator based in Melbourne, Victoria. 

Her work focuses on Identity, representation and the Female Gaze.  Through a collaborative and relational practice, Jody’s work explores ways visual language can be applied through video and photography to deconstruct/breakdown ideas of gender, race and the representation of Women.  Presentations are situated in public and semi-public spaces, ranging in scale, duration and medium. 

Lighting Design – Siobhain Geaney

Image by Jody Haines

Image by Jody Haines

Painting the Dance  - MARIAA RANDALL 

She creates her world with one step, one gesture, one movement. Linking country to stories and stories to country, she creates a world that reflects her, that she can be seen in. A place where her image is controlled by her. 

Image by Jody Haines

Image by Jody Haines

Blood Quantum (excerpt) - NGIOKA BUNDA-HEATH 

“The politics of pigmentation, is a foul vapour that would come to lie on my skin in these moments, to remind me that I was less than Aboriginal, less than white, something in between – possibly a freak “ - Dr. Tracey Bunda 

Blood Quantum is a Performance Lecture depicting the inter-generational and institutionalisation impact of The Stolen Generations, through three generations.

Image by Jody Haines

Image by Jody Haines


Blak ones shifting shape

Blak ones wedded to their work

Blak ones mobilising

Blak ones webbed together

Blak ones protecting and distilling

Blak ones casting and manifesting their bodies across space and through time

Blak ones labour, subverting commodification

Blak ones impossible to objectify

Blak ones unowned

Blak ones sovereign bodies

Blak ones hunting, skinning, feeding and clothing

Blak ones crone, mother, succubus, sprite and witch

Blak ones pedestrian, portal, changeling, stoic

Blak ones foot print, bones, breath and vision

Blak ones blood, saliva, sweat and skin

Image by Jody Haines

Image by Jody Haines


Stories are important, Stories from home tell you your history of who you are and where come from. Stories from home, will tell you where your country is and how far it goes.

This installation places you in a secluded space with multi layering of sounds and of the Rainforest with an interweaving of Language of stories from Far North Queensland.

Through natural movement taken from motifs of basket weaving and outlines of country, the movement embodies and instills the importance of why our Stories of our culture must remain important. It is these stories that keep our practice going for the next generation.

Stories is in its 2nd development phase. Henrietta hopes for her work to be developed further into a full length work that takes place on Kuku-Yalanji country.

Image by Jody Haines

Image by Jody Haines

Through sKIN, we breathe - JODY HAINES 

Aboriginal Australia is bound up in a multitude of Settler generated myths and mis-perceptions about who we are as a people.  Myths ranging from the 'transient hunter-gather’ falsehood that dismisses nation sedentism and thousands of years of agriculture, land and water management, existing with in a system of pan-continental governance, pre-colonisation.  To the notion of who is a ‘real’ Aboriginal based on skin colour and proximity to the central dessert region. 

This projection and sound work stems from two myths - who is Aboriginal and all Aboriginal peoples are the same.  Exploring images of land, faces, skin colour and movement, from the anthropological to the poetic, the images focus upon the bodies of four female First Nations contemporary choreographers and dancers, each from a different Country within Australia.  Together these four women create the dance work Same but Different as part of Dance Massive 2019.  Same but Different places the women and their work side by side to challenge any notion that all Indigenous dance is the same.   The projection and sound work will sit beside the four solos, connecting through light, it is the same, but different.


SAME BUT DIFFERENT ARTISTIC YARNS - An introduction to artist, practice and process

Each of the artists featured in Same but Different approach their artform in a distinct way. Therefore the way in which it is shared and talked about must reflect this principal. Each artist gives a glimpse into their practice and the work they have created for Same but Different. This takes shape as a yarn, workshop and pitch rolled into one.

Monday 18 March 12pm - 1.30pm

Tuesday 19 March 12pm - 1.30pm

Meat Market, The Stables - 3 Blackwood St, Melbourne 3051


Reframing curatorial practice

An indigenous perspective. In conversation with Jacob Boheme.

Tuesday 19 March, 11am - 12pm 

Meat Market, Meeting Room - 3 Blackwood St, Melbourne, 3051



Following the Same but Different Artistic Yarns at the Meat Market, enjoy refreshments with other First Nations artists presenting, performing and pitching in Dance Massive. Hosted by the APAM Office and Jacob Boehme and Collette Brennan on behalf of BlakDance.

Tuesday 19 March 1.30pm - 3.00pm
Meat Market, Gardens - 3 Blackwood St, Melbourne, 3051



The BlakDance Presenter Series sits alongside the largest critical mass of First Nations Australian work ever presented at Dance Massive. Hosted by industry advisors, Jacob Boehme and Collette Brennan, the BlakDance Presenter Series is designed to transform cultural thinking and create co-learning opportunities with presenters and producers when programming and presenting First Nations work. It follows the highly successful models delivered by BlakDance at APAM 2018 and NIDF 2017. Presented by BlakDance in partnership with the APAM Office.

Monday 18 March 10am - 12pm

Meat Market, The Stables 3 Blackwood St, Melbourne 3051

Since 2005, BlakDance has been working to transform the presenting sector to create more opportunities for independent First Nations contemporary dance in Australia. Driven by sector demand, our core business and remit is to broker international and national opportunities by working with presenters and sharing our First Nations methodology and leadership. Our trailblazing work includes; Creating Pathways in 2005,; the 2012 BlakDance Showcase, 2015 Dana Waranara, 2017 National Indigenous Dance Forum featuring our first BlakDance Presenter Series, 2018 First Nations Dialogues New York; the second BlakDance Presenter Series alongside the Global First Nations Exchange at APAM 2018; and First Nations Dialogues 2019 in partnership with ISPA, Performance Space New York and American Realness.

Building on these initiatives, we are delighted to be facilitating another BlakDance Presenter Series, at Dance Massive 2019. The program is a partnership between the newly established APAM Office, BlakDance and Dance Massive offering strategic support to First Nations artists and rewarding relationships with visiting international presenters and programmers interested First Nations work. 


A note from our Industry Hosts

Our country is blessed with a 65,000 year dance history and practice. The BlakDance Presenter Series is an opportunity for key presenters and influencers to build essential knowledge and confidence in the presentation of First Nations arts and to meet our country’s First Nations dance leaders and learn first-hand the innovations and future directions of this most extraordinary lineage – Jacob Boehme

The BlakDance Presenter Series provides a very special opportunity for presenters and producers to have some dedicated time to learn, exchange, plan and act in relation to First Nations performing arts. From sharing ideas through to meeting Australia’s most innovative First Nations choreographers – everyone participating will leave with a stronger cultural context, a richer network and clearer plans for future action – Collette Brennan

Jacob Boehme is a Melbourne born and based artist of Aboriginal heritage, from the Narangga (Yorke Peninsula) and Kaurna (Adelaide Plains) nations of South Australia. Jacob is the founding Creative Director of YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival 2017. With a 20 year history working in Cultural Maintenance and Research & Revival of traditional dance, Jacob creates multi-disciplinary theatre, dance and ceremony for stage, screen, large-scale public events and festivals. Jacob's critically acclaimed dance theatre work Blood on the Dance Floor, produced in partnership with ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, is touring nationally and internationally in 2019. Jacob is a recipient of the 2018 Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship, researching innovations, best practice and new models for the development and presentation of First Nations arts.


Collette Brennan is the CEO of Abbotsford Covent in Melbourne, Australia’s largest multi-arts precinct. She is also Chair of the Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board and a Board member of the International Society for the Performing Arts. Previously she was: Director of International Development, Acting Executive Director of Arts Development, and Director of Market Development at the Australia Council for the Arts; Executive Director of Brisbane’s internationally acclaimed contemporary circus Circa; the founding Creative Director of The Edge, State Library of Queensland’s program for children and young people; General Manager of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Out of the Box Festival for 3 to 8 year olds, and; Executive Officer of Youth Arts Queensland, the state’s peak body for youth arts and cultural development. Collette has also worked in schools as a drama and history teacher, as a lecturer with QUT and Griffith University, and as a youth arts worker in a range of school and community contexts with children and young people.


For Dance Massive 2019, BlakDance and APAM also worked together to identify and bring out North American presenters with an interest in working with Australian First Nations artists; 

Émilie Monnet
Artistic Director, ONISHKA Indigenous Contemporary Scene 

At the intersection of theatre, performance and media arts, the practice of Émilie Monnet centres on questions of identity, memory, history and transformation. Her works privilege collaborative processes of creation, and are typically presented as interdisciplinary theatre or immersive performance experiences. In June 2019, she will present This Time Will Be Different, an installation performance co-created with choreographer Lara Kramer. She also founded Indigenous Contemporary Scene, a platform for the presentation of live arts by Indigenous artists. ICS's upcoming edition will take place across a number of Edinburgh's world leading festivals next August.  Émilie's heritage is Anishnaabe and French, she was raised in the Outaouais, Quebec, and now lives in Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyaang / Montréal. 

Erin Boberg Doughton
Artistic Director and Curator of Performance, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)

Erin curates and produces performance programs as part of PICA‘s annual TBA (Time-Based Art) Festival as well as year-round presentations and residencies. She recently served as a Hub Site representative for the National Dance Project (NDP), as a board member of the National Performance Network (NPN) and as a curator for NPN‘s Performing Americas Program. She is an Assistant Professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Prior to joining PICA, Doughton was an intern for Kristy Edmunds at the Art on the Edge program of the Portland Art Museum and served as the Education Outreach Coordinator for the Northwest Film Center. She studied dance, music and theatre at Lewis & Clark College where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours in Theatre in 1994.