NAISDA Dance College students recently joined with the NT Dance Company in Darwin and traditional Yolngu artists from Miku Performing Arts, based in East Arnhem Land, for a unique collaboration.
Supported by the Federal Government’s RISE Initiative, this collaboration enabled NAISDA students to train, learn and perform with NT Dance Company as part of a secondment and professional development program.
The collaboration began in March this year when Larrakai man Gary Lang, the artistic director of NT Dance Company and a graduate of NAISDA, took up a residency at NAISDA's campus, along with two senior NT Dance Company members. In turn, three Advanced Diploma students from NAISDA joined NT Dance Company in June, just prior to lockdown, for a 10-week secondment.
Kim Walker, the CEO of NAISDA, is thrilled at the opportunity the collaboration has provided for his students. “The program was designed to develop and equip emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists with authentic company experience and strong connections into the professional dance industry,” he says.
The students enjoyed the “challenging but rewarding” experience. “It was such an awesome opportunity to learn from someone like Gary who has a really unique style of blending partnering, ballet and contemporary with Indigenous dance,” student James Boyd said.
The collaboration culminated in a new work called Forbidden, which was performed at the Darwin Entertainment Centre over two nights.
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