Maya Angelou – a dancer before she was a poet, and so always a dancer.
Ausdance NSW would like to meet with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) dance artists and producers in our first sector consultation addressing racial equity in the dance sector. This open meeting is CALD dance practitioners and dance workers – including producers, arts managers and other related professions, in NSW.
As Australians born on or having migrated to First Nations countries, CALD refers to how we identify, hold, and practice culture on a daily basis in our dance practices and/or as lived experience. If you identify as a dance artist with a cultural practice, a CALD studio owner or teacher, a ballet, an independent or commercial artist from a CALD background, or any other CALD dance professional, join us for a sharing of stories and lived experiences, best practices, resources, and strategies.
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 decentre whiteness in dance, an artform 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. For this meeting, we stand in solidarity with them and gather across Countries that have never been ceded.
Note: Ausdance NSW is delighted to see so much interest in this event. Please note, however, the event is and has always been closed for CALD-identifying dance (or related artform) professionals: If you do not identify as CALD, we trust that you will honour this space and refrain from RSVP-ing. See event description for details and don’t hesitate to email Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further clarification. We apologise for any confusion. An open forum on racial justice and cultural equity in dance is in the works for later in 2020.
This event will be an open discussion over Zoom. We invite you to listen and share in a safe space where we can unpack racial and cultural inequity in dance, let it be on stage, on screen, or in the studio. As such, this is an intentional and protected space for those who identify as CALD.
Please submit questions and comments for discussion to Kate, Projects & Program Manager, by 1 September 2020 at email@example.com
Please contact Kate also to specify any access requirements you have such as an interpreter or to advise if English is not your first language and potentially a barrier to attending.