Bringing together Indigenous choreographers and Australian and international festival directors, venue programmers and presenters, Dana Waranara was a landmark event that took place at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Brisbane from 8 – 10 December 2015.

Read the Dana Waranara Summary Report.

In 2015 BlakDance delivered key industry event Dana Waranara at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane.

Dana Waranara was a unique national event in two parts:

 -        A one-day Plenary Summit; The BlakDance Summit; held to discuss and set the agenda for the upcoming 2016 National Indigenous Dance Forum. This was an opportunity for the sector to come together, to be heard, and to look to the future.

-        Following the plenary, the three-day Convergence saw 28 choreographers and 21 national presenters and producers, plus five international guests take part in a professional exchange around practice, protocol, choreographic expression, collaboration and transformation.  It identified critical creative development and presentation challenges and opportunities for Indigenous choreographers, and challenged presenters and producers to work more proactively to broaden their understanding and programming horizons.

What are some of the important issues being discussed at Dana Waranara?

Why is it important to connect with peers at events such as Dana Waranara?

Panel discussion

Deciding whether, when and how to travel and participate in cultural exchange, residency and collaboration globally is never simple. This panel discussion looked at how artists have worked successfully with international presenters to address matters of protocol in commissioning, programming, and presenting.

Presented in partnership between BlakDance, Australia’s industry body for contemporary Indigenous dance, and respected national producers Performing Lines, Dana Waranara is an Indigenous-led event enabling participants to develop a rich understanding of practice and needs to generate creative development and presentation opportunities.

Choreographers and presenters from around Australia were joined by special international guests include Alaskan First Nations choreographer Emily Johnson, American producer Meredith Boggia, Maori choreographer Jack Gray from New Zealand, and Canadian dance industry leader Judy Harquail.

At its core, Dana Waranara addressed questions of how presenters and producers can work together to enable Indigenous choreographers to create, present and tour productions from their own voice, not mitigated through a Western lens.

This project looked at long-term pathways to creative development, presentation and touring to regional and metropolitan presenters and festivals with an interest and commitment in developing and presenting contemporary Indigenous dance.

BlakDance and Performing Lines look to a future where Indigenous-led collaborations with presenters create dance that is performed on country, in arts centres and festivals, around Australia and the world.

Download a list of articles about Dana Waranara.