BLAKDANCE PRODUCER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

 

The Producer Development Program grows the next generation of Indigenous Dance Producers in Queensland.

The program will support Queensland based Indigenous producers in their professional development; up-skilling them to take on new projects and better understand and meet the highest quality of professional delivery of their existing projects.

 Image; Dale Harding

Image; Dale Harding

This program began with our first Trainee Producer, Hannah Scanlon.

I am a proud Wiradjuri woman whose family descends from Coolah NSW. My training has always been dance focused. After graduating from Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts (ACPA) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Dance, I went on to perform nationally and internationally.

I started the BlakDance Producer Development Program in August 2017. I am now in the position of Emerging Producer and this phase is supported by Arts Queensland’s Backing Indigenous Arts program.

This role was a different step in my career but my aspiration to extend my skills in administration and support artists from our communities pushed me to try something new.

— Hannah Scanlon

 

Within my first week as the Trainee Producer, I attended the Performing Arts Connection’s PAC (formally APACA) event in Sydney along with the BlakDance Executive Producer and General Manager. After attending I could see there was a high demand for Indigenous dance productions.

Being a dancer myself I realised that dancers/choreographers need more support to get their works out and touring, noticed by not only presenters but the wider population.

I knew I wanted to continue, this gave me the drive and commitment for me to move forward with BlakDance and support our thriving First Nations dance sector.

Since being at BlakDance I have learnt a lot in office administration, such as:

budgeting, scheduling, delegating tasks, professional emailing, data entry, artist correspondence etc. Also, been able to attend industry and community events like (PAC), Black Bold and Beautiful as well as working on the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM).  I was charged with taking the lead on producing Mooroomba Ginyinggarr-Bu an Elders gathering in East Brisbane. All of these professional experiences have all taught me so much in all the broad and different aspects of being a producer such skills as; organisational administration/logistics, managing an initiative or program from seed to completion in all relevant steps.

APAM 2018 was very rewarding to be involved in and I was constantly learning through questions and conversation. It also opened my eyes to:

  • Creating schedules and being on top of the program.

  • Communication is critical for all involved.

  • The Producer is actually a multi layered role that encompasses many areas.

  • First Nations choreographers from Canada, New Zealand and USA including Cathy Livermore spoke with me regarding the design and opportunities of the BlakDance residency program and I have a better understanding that projects evolve and develop through engagement with partners.

  • Constant conversation that feeds in to create effective programs.

  • By attending APAM 2018, I learnt how important it is to network with other organisations, like partnering with for host venues.

I ran the legacy program for the The Original Peoples’ Party (TOPP) and First Nations Exchange (FNX) artists of APAM, by sending them regular communications, thank you letters and informal survey questions, I have stayed in contact and across their new work and developments.

 

I now am the lead Producer of the BlakDance Residency Program.

As evidenced through the notable lack of First Nations content produced and staged in South East Queensland over the past 25 years, the Brisbane First Nations Dance sector is severely underrepresented across all presenting platforms such as festivals and venues, however; Queensland has the highest number of First Nations dance practitioners and makers, yet we rarely see them supported in Queensland. In light of this, such programs as the BlakDance Residency Program and the Producer development program are critically important to address this dearth of creative work generated, supported and presented here in Queensland and for Queensland audiences.

Having trained at ACPA, I am incredibly passionate about supporting emerging artists from Queensland.

We would love to keep growing the residency program to create even more opportunities particularly within Brisbane.


BlakDance has received financial assistance from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland's Backing Indigenous Arts Initiative