Known as a grandmother of the Indigenous theater movement in the United States and Canada, Ms. Miguel is among the 30 or so artists participating in this year’s First Nations Dialogues New York/Lenapehoking. (Lenapehoking is the homeland of the Lenape, the original inhabitants of the area encompassing New York City.) Taking place at multiple downtown theaters, the Dialogues bring together Indigenous performing artists from Australia, Canada and the United States for a week of performances, discussions and other gatherings, beginning Jan. 5.
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – 16 Australian First Nations artists will feature alongside Indigenous artists from the United States and Canada during First Nations Dialogues Lenapehoking/New York, an eight-day celebration of Indigenous-led performances, discussion, workshops and ceremony.
For decades, the idea of a National Indigenous Arts and Cultural Authority (NIACA) has emerged and re-emerged in recognition of the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts as the world’s premier continuous cultural tradition and the ongoing responsibilities and obligations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to maintain, control, protect and nurture this inheritance and its myriad contemporary creative expressions.
The First Nations arts and cultural sector has identified a significant gap in existing structures and is working towards agreement to create a NIACA. A NIACA would provide a much needed central peak body for the Indigenous arts and cultural sector, providing First Nations artists and cultural organisations with a national voice across all areas of practice. The body would promote social, cultural and economic development, including important leadership on matters such as the upholding of Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural expression (TCE) and their cultural and intellectual property; arts practice priorities; and emerging issues and opportunities to increase economic returns for First Nations communities through increased participation in the creative industries.
There are a number of ways you can provide input through the consultation process. They include:
writing a submission in response to the discussion paper (opening October 8th)
completing the online survey (opening October 8th)
attending one of the First Nations consultation forums
The input through this consultation will feed into a national gathering on First Nations arts and culture in the second half of 2019. Subscribe to NIACA on their website for further updates www.niaca.com.au
This is why at the National Indigenous Dance Forum; I pitched the idea to have an open discussion on the topic ‘Culture & Dance as Medicine’.
11 March 2015
BlakDance and Performing Lines announce a partnership that will propel the next generation of Indigenous dancers and choreographers: DANA WARANARA
BlakDance, the national industry body for contemporary Indigenous dance, is excited to announce a new project in partnership with Performing Lines.
Dana Waranara will support contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander choreographers to extend their practice and the life of an existing or a new work in-development, and create pathways to new opportunities for the next generation of dancers and choreographers.
Successful in recently securing an injection of funding from the Australia Council for the Arts through the highly competitive Creative Australia/Dance grant program, the Dana Waranara project will be launched in mid-2015.
The project will also be linked to BlakDance’s long-term international strategy, currently being developed by Executive Producer, Merindah Donnelly, and who is attending major markets and festivals in North America during 2015.
Ms Donnelly says, “What’s really important about this project is its focus on redefining producing and touring models. No longer is it solely a presenter driven structure. BlakDance is deliberately undergoing a process that will see presenters collaborating with artists from the beginning of a process, ensuring that protocols and ethics are Indigenous led from day one.”
Dana Waranara will build knowledge, interest and networks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander choreographers through alliances with key events such as Dance Massive and a number of Indigenous festivals, as well as organisations such as Critical Path, Strut Dance, The BANFF Centre in Canada, Arts NSW’s Birrang program and more.
“Performing Lines has a rich history of producing and touring Indigenous performing artists. We look forward to partnering with BlakDance to create more opportunities for Australian and international presenters and audiences to experience the extraordinary depth of contemporary Indigenous dance”– Karilyn Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Performing Lines.
BlakDance is thrilled to seed this project.
Image: Winds of Woerr choreographed by Ghenoa Gela, a Performing Lines MAPS NSW artist.
BlakDance would like to acknowledge and thank Uncle Richard Green for the Dharug name Dana Waranara ‘Come over here! Bring your (dancing) feet’.
Thom Smyth | firstname.lastname@example.org | 08 9200 6212
By Ann-Maree Long & BlakDance
12 April 2013
BlakDance Australia Ltd is an industry leader in the performing arts and an advocate for Indigenous contemporary dance in Australia, with the vision to contribute significantly to the artistic landscape of Australian Dance. BlakDance supports and promotes their dance artists at state, national and international level. Their BlakDance 2012 performance and professional development program demonstrates this.
It’s a story told by passionate movement, by a collaboration of inspiring cultural artists, young and old. It’s a call for home, to our ancestors, and for all to listen. It exposes identity and truth. There’s controversy, and it’s important, but most of all it is learning.
BlakDance 2012 was a touching performance narrated by a diverse group of First Nation independent dance artists, and companies and families from around the globe. The production was held in June 2012 in partnership with the Queensland Theatre Company. The vision was to profile Australian First Nation independent contemporary choreographers on an international platform. The program was designed to bring together a diverse range of work representing a diverse range of cultural artistic voices.
The lead-up to the BlakDance 2012 performance, and the performance itself, was a week that I will never forget. As I was sitting there at lunch after a dance workshop, I gazed around in admiration at all of the individuals coming together. Artists from Guam, New Zealand, Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Island Australia were all chatting, laughing, creating friendships and listening to each other’s stories.
The choreographers were Ojeya Cruz Banks, Cathy Livermore, Jack Gray, Tammi Gissell, Rita Pryce and Albert David. Being surrounded by these artists and listening to tales of their past gave me a strong sense of self, cultural worth and pride. It was one of the most satisfying emotions, and I imagine that the students, adults and children around me shared this feeling.
The lights went down and it was the evening of the first performance. The feelings and thoughts that came across my mind during the performance were unlike anything I had ever experienced. I felt exposed, but in a way that I had needed to be.
Being involved in the production BlakDance 2012, and working at BlakDance Australia Ltd as an intern in my final year as a journalism student has inspired me. We all have stories to share that connect us, and every one of us has a past, a history, ancestors and traditions.
It’s often challenging being an Indigenous Australian with pale skin and blonde hair, yet sitting there in the audience, this all became so insignificant to me.
I’m a Butchulla woman of Fraser Island, and grew up in Toowoomba, Queensland. My mother is an Indigenous artist, and during my childhood I was always surrounded by her art, and passion of culture and artistic expression. When I was watching the BlakDance 2012 performance I felt the music, the song, the stories and movement as if it were in my own body. It took me home.
It’s not every day that you can sit around and be surrounded by such a diverse cultural group of people. I know the future is secure with the support of our industry, with the vision to move forward with one voice.
BlakDance is an exciting place to be working as an intern in my final year as a dance and journalism student. I look forward to being a part of the planning for BlakDance 2014 and the many other initiatives.