Three dancers who are graduates of Australia’s leading Indigenous dance college will visit Charlottesville in early February as guests of the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection and the University of Virginia’s Dance Program. Dancers Taree Sansbury, Thomas E. S. Kelly, and Hans Ahwang, and Carole Johnson, Artistic Director Emeritus and founder of NAISDA Dance College, are in the United States for six weeks as part of an international exchange program. While in Charlottesville, they will work with U.Va. students in ‘Modern Dance II’ and ‘Dance and Culture’ and showcase contemporary Indigenous dance for the public during First Fridays at McGuffey Art Center on February 5 at 6:00 and 7:00 pm in Studio 11. They will also offer a workshop on Saturday, February 6th from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm for community members ages 12 and up. Registration is required and there is a $10 fee for the workshop. Please register here.
Carole Johnson is an American-born graduate of Julliard and performed as a soloist with Eleo Pomare Dance Company in New York. She established NYC’s Dancemobile and founded dance magazine FEET. Johnson went to Australia with Pomare Company in 1972 and remained there to establish contemporary Indigenous dance, which fuses contemporary dance with Aboriginal traditional dance. She founded NAISDA (National Aboriginal/Islander Skills Development Association) Dance College and Bangarra Dance Theatre. Johnson was installed in the Australian Dance Hall of Fame in 1999 and was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 in recognition of service to Australian society and the Indigenous community through dance.
Thomas ES Kelly (Wiradjuri and Bundjalung) Graduating from NAISDA Dance College in 2012, Kelly has performed in Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. Most recently he performed in Vicki Van Hout’s “Long Grass” at the 2015 Sydney Festival at the Seymour Centre and the 2015 Dance Massive Festival in Melbourne.
Taree Sansbury (Kaurna, Narungga and Ngarrindjeri) An emerging freelance artist and NAISDA Dance College Graduate, Sansbury worked most recently with Martin Del Amo during the first development of his new work, Champions, followed by a season performing in Victoria Hunt’s latest work, Tangi Wai, for Liveworks Festival at Carriageworks in late October 2015.
Hans Ahwang (Moa Island, Torres Strait) A 2014 NAISDA College graduate, Hans works as an independent artist and has performed across Australia, in Fiji and Taiwan. His film and television credits include Wonderland, Redfern Now and Old School.
This program has been supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Arts NSW, McGuffey Art Center, NAISDA Dance College and the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts.
Indigenous Dance Showcase
Friday, February 5, 2016, 6:00 and 7:00 pm, Studio 11
McGuffey Art Center
201 Second Street NW
Charlottesville, VA 22902