A world of contemporary dance

From grand productions to street performances, experience a world of contemporary dance at YIRRAMBOI Festival, with award-winning veterans and exciting emerging artists.

plenty serious TALK TALK puts front-and-centre the parts of Indigenous art-making that usually remain behind the scenes. Taking dance theatre and weaving in threads of stand-up, visual art, multimedia and performance, recipient of the Australia Council Award for Dance Vicki Van Hout shows off the signature style that has elevated her to one of the most respected tiers of Australian dance-making today.

Based on real-life stories from her maternal grandparents who were part of the Stolen Generations, Blood Quantum is a new performance piece choreographed by Ngioka Bunda-Heath. This production is a unique family affair, exploring the childhood stories of Ngioka’s grandparents as recorded and woven into academic research by Professor Tracey Bunda, the artist’s mother.

In this dynamic double bill, local performance artist and recent Green Room Award winner Carly Sheppard, and founder of Taiwan’s TAI Body Theatre Watan Tusi, showcase two challenging new choreography pieces. Negotiating Home is a new solo work from Carly, while in collaboration, Carly and Watan present Red Earth, a timely dystopian dance piece inspired by Taiwanese First Nation writer Ising Suaiyung’s novel of the same name.

Montreal-based dance company Lara Kramer Danse presents the fierce and visceral Windigo. Kramer confronts a latent war lurking under the surface in an epic with the air of a post-apocalyptic ballad. Windigo exorcises the demons and undercurrents of the violence perpetrated against First Nation peoples on Turtle Island.

Jasmin Sheppard performs the solo dance piece, Choice Cut, that presents the body of an Indigenous woman and puts it under a butcher’s marker. There are the most desirable sections, such as the rump, the womb, the breasts, her skin. There are those she feels many would prefer thrown in the pile of off-cuts – her mind, her spirit, her country.

Kathleen Gonzalez is a Colombian contemporary artist and ethnologic dance investigator. She researches contemporary and interactive emotional dancing, exploring the wisdom and practices of the ancestors through dance. Kathleen performs the solo work Babalu Arnee, using the body in cultural and spiritual exchange to achieve a conscientious awakening.

Image: Babalu Arnee by Kathleen Gonzalez