NAYA WA YUGALI – WE DANCE
NAISDA AND CARRIAGEWORKS PRESENT
NAYA WA YUGALI – WE DANCE
Founded by Carole Johnson in 1976, workshops in Glebe and Redfern led to the formation of the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre (AIDT) and a school for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance that is now known as NAISDA. Naya Wa Yugali (translating to We Dance in Darkinyung language) will feature oral histories, a new commission by Vicki Van Hout and Marian Abboud and the work of artists including Tracey Moffatt, the late Michael Riley, Juno Gemes, Lee Chittick and Elaine Kitchener.
‘NAISDA HAS PRODUCED SOME OF AUSTRALIA’S MOST SUCCESSFUL INDIGENOUS PERFORMERS.’ ABC
An introduction by curator, Tahjee Moar
This year, NAISDA Dance College celebrates its 40th anniversary. Born during the beginning of the movement for Indigenous self-determination, NAISDA is a college that has created its own model for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance and contemporary dance.
NAISDA has contributed to the cultural and artistic development of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, many of whom have continued to perform, teach and mentor across the country and all over the world.
NAISDA Dance College emerged against a backdrop of burgeoning cultural, artistic and political activity in Sydney’s inner-city communities of Redfern and Glebe in the mid-1970s. It began with dance workshops led by Carole Johnson of the Eleo Pomare Dance Company and convened by Euphemia “Phemie” Bostock at the St James Church Hall on Bridge Road, Glebe. Funded by the newly formed Australia Council for the Arts, these workshops were aimed at developing Indigenous theatre and were the first of their kind.
Through the efforts of the founding students and members, a formal year-long ‘Careers in Dance’ training course was developed. The performance arm of this program became known as the Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre (AIDT). The students received invitations to perform at political rallies in Sydney and Canberra, and then at festivals across the world. The training side evolved into the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Association – now known as NAISDA Dance College.
Across these 40 years, the activities of NAISDA and AIDT have been captured by some of Australia’s most celebrated visual artists and photographers, including those who are included in this exhibition. Their images transcend time and demonstrate the strength of the College’s community and the role it has played in developing some of our Indigenous arts and cultural leaders of today.
Naya Wa Yugali – We Dance celebrates NAISDA’s unique and important history and the ongoing contribution of the College to the Indigenous community and the arts community today.
SHARON SMITH, PHILLIP LANGLEY, DAVID GULPILIL PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN
17NOV - 11 DEC 2016
17 NOV – 11 DEC 10AM – 6PM