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Racial Equity in Dance (RED) Working Party

The Cultural Diversity in Dance Working Party was formed and became a priority in 2020 due to requests from our membership base. We are working with dancers of colour, in partnership with Ausdance Victoria to co-design sessions and safe spaces for cultural diverse dancers as well as planning for a future public forum on cultural diversity in dance. If you identify as CALD and wish to connect with Ausdance NSW to raise any particular issue you’ve experienced in the dance sector or to be included in the communication around future CALD dance events and consultation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kate at projects@dance.net.au.

FOUNDING CONSULTATION GROUP MEMBERS:

Annalouise Paul - Independent Artist. Read more about Annalouise here>>>

Dr Elena Lambrinos - Dance educator and academic. Read more about Elena here>>>

Shyamla Eswaran - performing artist, choreographer and educator. Read more about Shyamla here>>>

 

What is Ausdance NSW doing in the Cultural Diversity Space??

 

FREE Public Webinar

CENTERING PEOPLE AND FORMS OF COLOUR IN DANCE SPACES

TUESDAY 30 MARCH 2021, 1PM

Despite experiencing marginalisation, Sydney dance professionals of Colour are producing radical art, education programs and research. Ausdance NSW will curate a virtual showcase and panel discussion centering this work, by exhibiting current practice across the arts and academia and igniting a rich conversation about what cultural diversity in dance means.

ARTISTS:
Rachael Jacobs (South Asian Dancer and Choreographer and Lecturer in Creative Arts Education at Western Sydney University)
Charemaine Seet (Contemporary Dancer and Artist | Founder and Director of Seet Dance) 

Register here>>>


Cultural Diversity in Dance Lunchtime Sessions:

By giving voice to experiences, these sessions hope to make very real issues visible and shine light on ways to improve our industry for all. As a follow up from our inaugural racial equity in dance consultation, these lunchtime sessions are facilitated by our founding group members, each addressing a different issue/ topic. These conversations are artist-led by dancers of colour and facilitated in an open-space style discussion, inviting sharing and discourse in a safe space for BIPOC dancers and dance workers.

NEXT CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN DANCE LUNCHTIME SESSION WILL BE SCHEDULED SOON.

PAST CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN DANCE LUNCHTIME SESSIONS:

  • Culturally Diverse Independent & Commercial Dancers and Choreographers – Concerns and Priorities, facilitated by Shyamla Eswaran.
  • Untethering: On Our Own Terms, facilitated by Annalouise Paul
  • Racial Discrimmination, Disadvantage and Microaggressions in Dance Education, facilitated by Dr Elena Lambrinos
  • Learning from Marginalised Experiences in Career Progressions for Dancers of Colour, facilitated by Yasmin Brock

 


Inaugural Racial Equity in Dance Consultation Meeting:

On Tuesday 8 September we held our first Racial Equity in Dance Consultation Meeting specifically for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) dance professionals. This meeting was held in response to requests from our members to further advocate for equality in dance. Our thanks go to Lena Nahlous, Executive Director of Diversity Arts Australia, who generously held space with the 60 people who attended. The meeting instigated an urgent conversation on the barriers faced by CALD dance professionals in NSW and beyond. This is a small step and a starting point. Ausdance NSW is actively looking for ways to ensure that these meetings and other initiatives that will enable this conversation to continue. No organizational agenda was tabled at the meeting. Rather, it was a place of listening to artists and arts workers and their lived experiences, many people had suggestions on ways to move forward. We will be following up with all registrants to share a summary of issues raised along with a survey detailing the questions we didn’t have time to ask. 

CONSULTATION FACILITATED BY

Lena Nahlous - Executive Director of Diversity Arts Australia. Read more about Lena here>>>

91 REGISTRATIONS FROM ACROSS AUSTRALIA

61 NSW BASED DANCED ARTISTS, RESEARCHERS AND WORKERS

This consultation has led to a series of artist lead, cultural diversity in dance sessions. These conversations are artist-led by dancers of colour and facilitated in an open-space style discussion, inviting sharing and discourse in a safe space for BIPOC dancers and dance workers. For our next lunchtime session, please consult our WhatsOn page (link to what's on page) If you would like to be invited to these, please email projects@dance.net.au 

OVERVIEW:

From our very first dance class through to professional training and practice, dancers are cultivated in a system that privileges some dancers and marginalises others. In the urgent global discussion around racial justice and inequity, the Australian dance sector must question current and often taken-for-granted practices and beliefs to create new ways of doing, understanding, and thinking about dance.

THIS RAISES MANY QUESTIONS:

• How can we decenter whiteness in dance, an art form which traditionally idealises certain white bodies?

• How do we make cultural equity and diversity in dance mainstream in a colonial state that continues to benefit from structures and systems that are inherently racist?

• What does practising anti-racism look like in dance?

• How can we reduce the marginalisation of dancers and dance forms?

• Perhaps most tellingly, in order to make dance more equitable in Australia, what are the questions that need to be asked in the first place?

Ausdance NSW is committed to honouring Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous and First Nations Peoples’ unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters and seas as well as their rich contributions to society. We stand in solidarity with them and gather across Countries that have never been ceded.