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10th Indonesian Dance Festival: Goethe Institut Regional Critic Workshop

June 14-18, 2010


 Da Contents H2

INDIGENOUS DANCE: DANA WARANARA
January 27 2016
Dana Waranara—Privilege and Responsibility
Andrea James

introduction
July 12 2010
10th indonesian dance festival: dance, future tense
keith gallasch: regional dance criticism workshop, jakarta


a dance work revived: faith restored
devi fritrai: gusmiati suid, seruan

aspiration and influence
joelle jacinto: final night idf program

beyond absence
bilquis hijjas: meg stuart & philipp gehmacher's maybe forever

borderline control
giang dang: contact gonzo

cool tensions
giang dang: s]h]elf

dancing between tradition & modernity
devi fitria: idf emerging choreographers

dancing into identity
melissa quek: idf emerging choreographers program

dancing to the threshhold
bilqis hijjas: cross over dance company, middle

July 12 2010
earth's slow death dance
melissa quek: asri mery sidowati’s merah

fighting as performance
cat ruka: contact gonzo and sayaka himeno

foreign bodies
giang dang: meg stuart & philipp gehmacher's maybe forever

from betamax to dvd
san phalla: jeckosdance, from betamax to dvd

indonesian contemporary dance: multiple personalities
melissa quek: idf closing program

into the vortex
devi fitria: asri mery sidowati’s merah

journey into light
joelle jacinto: asri mery sidowati’s merah

love and its disconnects
cat ruka: meg stuart & philipp gehmacher's maybe forever

noise in contemporary asian dance
pawit mahasarinand: darkness poomba and contact gonzo

July 12 2010
one shoe on, one shoe off
bilqis hijjas: muslimin b pranowo, the young

shaking the spectator's heart
phalla san: kim jae duk, darkness poomba

strange worlds, mutating forms
cat ruka: kim jae duk's darkness poomba

such is life, and so is love
pawit mahasarinand: meg stuart & philipp gehmacher's maybe forever

when does forever end?
joelle Jacinto: meg stuart & philipp gehmacher’s maybe forever

working the audience
melissa quek: contact gonzo & darkness poomba

 

Dana Waranara—Privilege and Responsibility

Andrea James

Sydney-based Indigenous playwright Andrea James received the NSW Aboriginal Arts Fellowship for 2015 and is an Artistic Associate at Carriageworks. Her forthcoming work is a one-woman play about legendary Indigenous tennis champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

See also Vicki Van Hout, Angharad Wynne-Jones and Liza-Mare Syron’s responses to Dana Waranara. The articles by James, Syron and Wynne-Jones were commissioned by BlakDance.

December 10 group shot, Dana Waranara December 10 group shot, Dana Waranara
photo Mick Roberts
I was privileged to attend the Dana Waranara Convergence. This timely and vital gathering aimed to bring together Indigenous choreographers/dancers and invited presenters and producers from around Australia (with several representatives from around the globe); to exchange conversations and ideas that will support an active, robust and diverse Indigenous dance sector.

Along with a series of hotbed discussion panels, the highlight of the convergence was the pecha kucha pitches and quick dance presentations that gave a national snapshot of the cultural influences and connections to country that drive exciting myriad Indigenous dance ideas that have or will come to fruition.

What I learnt from this moving and humbling experience is that overwhelmingly Indigenous dance is an extension of our ongoing cultural practice. It is deeply personal and utterly entwined with connection to people and country. Trying to remove an Indigenous choreographer from their dance creation is impossible. It can’t be done. Indigenous choreographers create dance, not to make themselves look good or smart or marketable. Our very survival is dependent on dance. It is through dance that our stories and culture are transmitted, like a yarn, through space, on the ground and in the air. It vibrates forever.

The passion and will to dance and move is irresistible and, despite the dearth of spaces to learn and present our craft in this country, Indigenous people are integrally driven to dance and create that which has been danced and created for years.

Many Indigenous dance works fail to find the big stages, the big venues, the big festivals, but the passion and drive to create is strong. The will to dance finds the rooms, stages and stomping grounds where we can light the fire and share.

What can presenters and producers do to provide a pathway for this passionate and driven cultural and creative transmission? How can the regional art centres (many of whom once banned Aboriginal people from their venues) create a safe place for Indigenous dance and performance?

How can Indigenous choreographers compete with the national and international big shots? What are the sensitivities around marketing Indigenous dance works that have such overwhelming responsibilities to people and place? How do you balance the needs of the audience with our cultural responsibilities?

Despite these deep and seemingly divisive questions, what was most refreshing about Dana Waranara was that presenters and choreographers truly mucked in with one another. We sat as one. We sought to understand each other deeply. We listened. This wasn’t a market. We came to a deeper understanding of each other’s responsibilities—the power of space and the privilege that comes with that; and the power and responsibility of cultural transmission and how this intersects with “art.”

I saw a dancer struggle with the beautiful complexity of dancing his kinship system. I watched a woman carry the weight of a branch and generations of her culture on her shoulders. I saw tragic loss and bountiful hope. I saw mothers and fathers dance for their children. I saw a man literally dance in his dangerous and proud blood. I saw every dancer’s country—time and time again.

Some Indigenous dance works are ready to go, looking for a stage or coming to a stage near you, others are germinating and will require careful resourcing and investment.

Hopefully conversations and connections were made at Dana Waranara that will continue to water the deeply personal ideas that were delicately and passionately shared. Whatever happens, I know deep in my heart, that Indigenous dancers will always dance—either on the nation’s stages or without. They must. They will.


BlakDance & Performing Lines, Dana Waranara, An Indigenous-led convergence bringing together choreographers & presenters, Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane, 8-10 Dec 2015, http://www.blakdance.org.au/

Sydney-based Indigenous playwright Andrea James received the NSW Aboriginal Arts Fellowship for 2015 and is an Artistic Associate at Carriageworks. Her forthcoming work is a one-woman play about legendary Indigenous tennis champion Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

See also Vicki Van Hout, Angharad Wynne-Jones and Liza-Mare Syron’s responses to Dana Waranara. The articles by James, Syron and Wynne-Jones were commissioned by BlakDance.

© ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

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