Third Burrbgaja Yalirra laboratory creates local, national and international connections

Burrbgaja Yalirra/Dancing Forwards is Marrugeku’s ongoing capacity building program for change makers in cultural and community informed contemporary dance. We’re proud to have presented the first of our fortnight-long research laboratories in the Burrbgaja Yalirra series: Dance Dramaturgy and Contested Land.

Facilitated by our Co-Artistic Directors, Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain, alongside their long-term dramaturgical collaborators, Yawuru leader Patrick Dodson and Belgian dance dramaturg Hildegard de Vuyst, the laboratory connects choreographers, dancers, actors, directors, dramaturgs and visual artists for two weeks of connection, cultural immersion and investigation.

The laboratories share our research and exploration into the intersections of dance dramaturgy, Indigenous dramaturgies, intercultural dramaturgies and visual/trans-disciplinary dramaturgies encountered and produced when working in a framework of understanding dance in relationship to the land it is danced on.

The Broome-based laboratory presented from 9 to 20 of May brought together 14 participants who gathered to connect with local, national and international leaders including Yawuru leaders Dianne Appleby, Neil McKenzie, Stephen Pigram, Dean Matthews, Ninielia Mills, and Dr Mique’l Dangeli of the Tsimshian Nation of Metlakatla, Alaska.

The second laboratory will take place in Sydney next year, connecting the participants once more for two weeks of discussion, research, and showings before culminating in a two-day public presentation of the practice-led research as a national sector symposium.

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