Joshua Pether in Jupiter Orbiting. Image credit; Adele Wilkes

Joshua Pether in Jupiter Orbiting. Image credit; Adele Wilkes

The First Nations Dialogues Lenapehoking New York, is a series of Indigenous led performances, discussions, workshops and ceremony. First Nations Dialogues 2019 kick-starts the development of the groundbreaking Global First Nations Performance Network (GFNPN). The GFNPN is a pilot initiative focused on cultural change through commissioning, touring and presenting Indigenous performance, building demand and capacity for the presenting sector.

Running January 5 - 12, 2019, First Nations Dialogues is in partnership with The Lenape Center, American Indian Community House, Amerinda, Danspace Project, Abrons Art Center, Performance Space New York, La MaMa, American Realness, Under the Radar Festival, Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) and International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA).

The First Nations Dialogues has been initiated and led by Indigenous artists and organisers from the US, Canada and Australia in order to support Indigenous performance work. It is designed to create new opportunities for production and dissemination of work internationally, to overcome the historic under-representation of such work in the US and a dearth of support for artistic exchange between Indigenous communities globally.

We build on four years of convening and conversation within formal and informal networks in the Indigenous and non-indigenous performance sectors. We build on forty years of vibrant dialogue between Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and First Nations North American contemporary theatre and dance leaders.

The First Nations Dialogues is led by a transnational consortium of Emily Johnson/Catalyst (USA), Vallejo Gantner (USA), BlakDance (Australia), Jacob Boehme (Australia), ILBIJERRI Theatre Company (Australia), Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance (Canada) and is creating the Global First Nations Performance Network (GFNPN).

First Nations Dialogues is organised by; Emily Johnson, Vallejo Gantner and BlakDance.


Tëmikèkw: An honouring and welcome gathering hosted by First Nations Dialogues with The Lenape Center

Danspace Project

131 E. 10th St.
New York, NY 10002

5 January 2019, 12:30pm - 4:00pm

Hosted by First Nations Dialogues with The Lenape Center, presented at Danspace Project.

First Nations Dialogues commences in Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland; through protocol and ceremony, welcoming global First Nations leaders, artists and our allies.

The afternoon honours leaders and grandmothers of Indigenous theatre: Muriel Miguel, Gloria Miguel, and Deborah Ratelle of Spiderwoman Theater and Diane Fraher of Amerinda. The SilverCloud Singers will be led by Kevin Tarrant of the Hopi and HoChunk Nations; performances by Laura Ortman of the Apache Nation and fancy shawl dancer, Anatasia McAllister of the Colville Confederated Tribes and Hopi Nation.

All are welcome to join in this afternoon of exchange, performance offerings, and feast.

The First Nations Dialogues acknowledges with great gratitude the naming of this gathering, Tëmikèkw. We pay respect, offering gratitude and solidarity to Lenape people, elders, and ancestors past, present and future.

This is a free event, open to the general public. More information HERE >>

 Pictured; Muriel Miguel, Gloria Miguel, Deborah Ratelle, Diane Fraher

Pictured; Muriel Miguel, Gloria Miguel, Deborah Ratelle, Diane Fraher


Global First Nations Performance Network (GFNPN) - Workshop and Discussions

Abrons Art Center

466 Grand St.
New York, NY 10002

6, 7, 8 January 2019

The GFNPN will develop institutional and audience demand for Indigenous live performance and the commissioning, presentation and development of those artists.

The GFNPN will create a new pillar of much-needed infrastructure providing:

  • artist-directed commissioning, presentation and touring support (based on collaboration and demand) with presenting organisations;

  • compulsory protocols & education for presenting organisations around the cultural specificity of collaborating with Indigenous artists and communities.

  • partner organisations will work toward decolonizing their internal structures, curatorial processes, and programming;

  • brokerage and information services between artists and institutions.

By invitation only. Closed work sessions for presenters in the GFNPN, First Nations Artists and stakeholders.



Performance Space New York

5782, 150 1st Avenue 4th floor

New York, NY 10009

5 - 10 January 2019

KIN curated by Emily Johnson is produced by Performance Space New York in partnership with First Nations Dialogues, BlakDance, Global First Nations Performance Network, and American Realness. Supported by the Barragga Bay Fund with additional support by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

KIN centres radical forms of care, consent, reciprocity, and love. For KIN, Johnson invites five First Nation Australian artists Joshua Pether, SJ Norman, Mariaa Randall, Genevieve Grieves and Paola Balla, and local NYC-based elder Muriel Miguel from the Kuna and Rappahannock Nations to share performance works and related conversations, engaging practices of kinship and power. These artists and their Indigenous knowledge systems work through generosity and acknowledgment of present and past to transmute injustice and grief. They offer a commitment and ask for participation toward a shared, healing future.

For tickets to KIN, visit Performance Space New York HERE >>


Reflections of Native Voices

La MaMa

Great Jones Hall
47 Great Jones Street
New York, NY 10012

8, 9 January 2019, 6:00pm and 9:00pm

Curated by Murielle Borst-Tarrant (Kuna, Rappahanock)

Presented by La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club through La MaMa’s Indigenous Initiative Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective; with First Nations Dialogues.

An informal reading of plays by First Nations artists including legendary Spiderwoman Theater led by Muriel Miguel and Glorial Miguel of the Kuna and Rappahannock Nations; poet, playwright, and scholar Carolyn Dunn who is of Cherokee, Muscogee Creek, Seminole, Cajun, French Creole, and Tunica-Biloxi descent; Ed Bourgeois, who is French and Mohawk, managing director of PA'I Foundation, a Honolulu-based hālau hula and co-creator of Raven's Radio Hour and Alaska Native Playwrights Project; Kuna/Rappahannock/Hopi/HoChunk artist, actor, singer and songwriter Henu Josephine Tarrant; Australian actor, narrator and director Rachael Maza Artistic Director of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Yidinji from North Queensland and Meriam from the Torres Strait Island of Mer; and Choctaw/Creek/Delaware playwright Nicholson Billey.


Serpentine by Daina Ashbee

La MaMa

Downstairs Theater
66 E 4th Street

9, 10 January, 10:00pm

11 January, 1:00pm

Presented by La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and American Realness in partnership with First Nations Dialogues, Global First Nations Performance Network and the Consulate General of Canada in New York.

Serpentine vibrates the essence of Daina Ashbee’s dark and feminine choreographic practice. Exploring the occupation of space, time and attention, the cathartic work is based on repetition and instance. With simple imagery, slow and sensual movement and a disturbing and powerful original electric organ composition by Jean-Francois Blouin, Serpentine creates a haunting juxtaposition that escalates in its violence. Performed by Areli Moran.

For tickets visit American Realness HERE >>


Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter

Abrons Art Center

466 Grand St.
New York, NY 10002

9 January 2019, 7:00pm - 10:00pm

A special edition for First Nations Dialogues of Kinstillatory Mappings in Light and Dark Matter; a fireside gathering.

Presented by Abrons Art Center in partnership with First Nations Dialogues.

A ceremonial fire outdoors in the amphitheater at Abrons Art Center centering Indigenous protocol and knowledge. Sit by the fire and welcome the evening with neighbors, stories, song, dance, and food (bring some to share). The fire for First Nations Dialogues includes performances by Allison Akootchook Warden, an Iñupiaq new genre artist; Dåkot-ta Alcantara-camacho whose work spans ritual activation, performance art, installation, contemporary indigenous movement, and cultural responsibility; and Thomas E.S. Kelly, a Bundjalung-Yugambeh/Wiradjuri/Ni-Vanuatu multi-disciplinary artist and choreographer.

This is a free event open to the public.


Ktalëmskahëmòch, closed protocol ceremony

Bear Mountain State Park

11-12 January 2019

Hosted by First Nations Dialogues with The Lenape Center at Bear Mountain.

Invitation to all First Nations Dialogues delegates, ceremony conducted by representatives from The Lenape Center.

Invitation only, closed protocol ceremony

USA Delegates

Allison Akootchook Warden

Anthony Hudson

Christopher Morgan

Dåkot-ta Alcantara-camacho - iMovingLab

Deborah Ratelle - Spiderwoman Theater

Diane Fraher - Amerinda

Elia Arce - Usekra: Center for Creative Investigacion

Emily Johnson - Catalyst Dance

Gloria Miguel - Spiderwoman Theater

Jeremy Dennis

Joan Henry - Two Wolf Walking Arts

Larissa Fasthorse

Maria Firmino-Castillo

Maura Garcia

Muriel Miguel - Spiderwoman Theater

Roberto Badoya

Ruben Tomás Roqueñi - Native Arts and Cultures

Rulan Tangen - Dancing Earth

Thea Hopkins - Tribe

Tohil Fidel Brito Bernal

Santee Smith - Kaha:wi Dance Theatre

Hadrien Coumans - Lenape Center

Murielle Borst-Tarrant

Rick Chavolla - American Indian Community House

CANADIAN Delegates

Cynthia Lickers-Sage - Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance (IPAA)

Denise Bolduc

Keith Barker - Native Earth

Kevin Loring - National Arts Center

Reneltta Arluk - Banff Center

Joyce Rosario - PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Daina Ashbee

Kim Senklip Harvey

Margaret Grenier - Dancers of Damelahamid

Margo Kane - Full Circle Productions

Ryan Cunningham


Dolina Wehipeihana - Auckland Arts Festival

Jack Gray- Atamira Dance Company

Tanemahuta Gray


Angela Flynn - BlakDance

Ben Graetz

Carly Sheppard

Genevieve Grieves

Emily Wells - BlakDance

Erica McCalman - Next Wave Festival

Joshua Pether

Kamahi King

Kate ten Buuren

Katina Olsen

Lee-Ann Tjunypa Buckskin - Australia Council for the Arts
Mariaa Randall

Marilyn Miller

Merindi Schrieber - Miriki Performing Arts

Nancy Bamaga - Black Drum Productions & BlakDance

Ngioka Bunda-Heath

Paola Balla

Pauline Lampton - Miriki Performing Arts

Rachael Maza - ILBIJERRI Theatre Company

Rita Pryce - Pryce Centre

S.J Norman

Taree Sansbury - Karul Projects

Thomas E.S. Kelly - Karul Projects

Vicki van Hout



Kevin Loring - National Arts Center

Reneltta Arluk - Banff Center

Felix Preval - Darwin Festival

Louisa Norman - Country Arts SA

Simon Hinton - Merrigong Theatre Company

Zohar Spatz - Horizon Festival

Ali Rosa-Salas - Abrons Arts Center

Ben Johnson - City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs

Craig Peterson - Abrons Arts Center

Erin Doughton - Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)

Ron Berry - Fusebox Festival

Joyce Rosario - PuSh International Performing Arts Festival


First Nations Dialogues New York January 2019 has received funding support from;

Barragga Bay Fund; BlakDance; Australia Council for the Arts; Arts Queensland; Creative Victoria; Native Arts and Cultures Foundation; Jerome Foundation; Amerinda; Map Fund supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.