Creative, First Nations call to arms: First national tour for acclaimed contemporary dance production, SILENCE

Published by: Pip Miller PR | 8-Mar-2023
In a well-timed call to arms for Treaty, Queensland’s First Nations performing arts company, Karul Projects will commence an Australian tour this month delivering a powerful narrative in its original, compelling, and theatrical contemporary dance production, SILENCE.
Venue: Assorted
Address: Assorted
Date: 23 March to August 2023
Time: Assorted times
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Image Copyright / CDN: Karul Projects
Photo by Amber Haines for Karul Projects
Following a sell-out world premiere season in 2020 at Brisbane Festival and last year’s tour of regional Queensland, Karul Projects, with producer BlakDance, and funding support from Australia Council for the Arts, has assembled an all First Nations cast of SILENCE ahead of the tour (March to August) starting in NSW (Wyong 23 March; Goulburn 25 March) before taking in Victoria during April, Adelaide in May and more to be announced. BlakDance Executive Producer Merindah Donnelly said “SILENCE is a searing commentary on Australian Nationhood, representing the call for Land Back. BlakDance is a self-determined First Nations producing house so it's fitting the first work we tour is adding to the conversation about recognising our Sovereignty.” Critically acclaimed for the contemporary treatment of issues that evade First Nations’ human rights, SILENCE is an hour-long performance that encompasses dramatic and visual storytelling replete with dialogue, humour, and rhythmic percussion – all the elements of which add up to a transformative stage experience choreographed and written by Karul Projects’ co-founder and director, Minjungbal-Yugambeh, Wiradjuri and Ni-Vanuatu man, Thomas E.S. Kelly. Including Kelly, his co-founder Taree Sansbury and returning multidisciplinary performing artist, Benjin Maza, the cast of seven perform on a stage slowly engulfed in dirt. According to Kelly, SILENCE is a seminal, First Nations Australian work developed on rich and raw grounds with the light and shade of visual storytelling in dance, dialogue, and percussion. “Abounding in our struggle for Land Back and Treaty, SILENCE breaks the silence both literally and symbolically using dynamic live percussion from composer Jhindu-Pedro Lawrie whose rich drumbeats drive the dancers in their exploration of past, present, alternate realities and dreamscapes of Country, the milky way and Murun, the emu in the sky,” Mr Kelly said. He adds, “SILENCE interprets what a 250 plus year-long denial of meaningful listening to First Nations people has done to the psyche of the people and land. Brown feet kick up sand, earth, dirt, and dust. The sand seeps through brown fingers as it always has. Always was, always will be,” said Thomas E. S. Kelly. About Karul Projects: Established by Thomas E.S. Kelly, Minjungbal-Yugambeh, Wiradjuri and Ni-Vanuatu, and Taree Sansbury, Kaurna, Narrunga and Ngarrindjerri in 2017, Karul Projects is a performing arts company focussed on bringing to the fore and sharing First Nations’ voices, visibilities, and stories from a local, national, and worldwide stage. About BlakDance: Established in 2005, BlakDance is a self-determined, national industry organisation for First Nations contemporary dancers and choreographers. For tour dates and booking, click here Cast & Crew Thomas E.S. Kelly (Choreographer/Writer/Performer) Minjungbal-Yugambeh, Wiradjuri and Ni-Vanuatu Taree Sansbury (Rehearsal Director/Performer) Kaurna, Narrunga and Ngarrindjerri Vicki Van Hout (Choreographic Dramaturg) Wiradjuri Alethea Beetson (Dramaturg) Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi and Wiradjuri Benjin Maza (Performer) Yidindji, Birri Gubba, Miriam Mer and Tanna Island Keia McGrady (Performer) Githabul Migunberri- Yugumbeh Glory Tuohy-Daniell (Performer) Indjalandji Dhidhanu and Alyewarre Olivia Adams (Performer) Wulli Wulli Jhindu-Pedro Lawrie (Percussion Composer/Performer) Mirning and Wuthathi Sam Pankhurst (Music/Sound Designer) Karen Norris (Lighting Designer) Selene Cochrane (Costume Designer) The national tour has received financial assistance from the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. ENDS

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