Their culture is passed to the next generation using the oral language that they can find in stories, legends, dances, music and songs. Students continue the process by asking themselves, and others, questions that arise for them from examining the idea that dance in Indigenous cultures is a form of sharing knowledge and not just entertainment. Dancing was done with set arm, body and foot movements with a lot of foot stamping. They have been developed as a proof of concept to progress the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in Australian classrooms. They devise a way of describing these movements in words so that they can be written in a list. It does not necessarily need to be Indigenous music. The teacher can consider using the same soundtrack as in the Bangarra video, or choose something else appropriately designed to stimulate student creativity. Very large text size. This sequence of classroom activities aims to develop students’ awareness of traditional Indigenous dance motifs and devices, and then draw on them in the construction of their own creative works. Rather, contemporary dance such as that created and performed by Bangarra Dance Theatre3 should be seen as a step along the creative path that Indigenous dancers have always followed. Organisations such as Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA) and Bangarra Dance Theatre create performances using Aboriginal dancers, displaying stories and movements from traditional routines. Students should use their own words to express what they have learnt and how this impacted on their creative choices. The indigenous dance is not a genre of dance itself, nor does it encompass any type of dance that presents the same type of movements or patterns. Students will firstly view and then analyse short videos of traditional dances from several different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. 2, 4 Australian Aboriginal Fire Dance:, 5 Bangarra Dance Theatre: Fire - A Retrospective (2009):

In drawing on the material, users should consider the relevance and suitability to their particular circumstances and purposes. “We have so many dances, and we’ve been doing them for a long time. It is part of their history and these rituals and ceremonies still play a vital part in the Aboriginal culture. Dancing styles varied throughout the hundreds of tribal groups. (This video is actually a compilation of performances so there are many examples used). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance groups use both traditional and contemporary influences in their works in order to express knowledge and meaning. Lockhart River dance embodies traditional stories, history and cultural truths that are vital to the passing on of Culture. In this way, dance styles that are a blend of traditional and contemporary dance motifs and devices are not a new phenomenon that breaks with tradition. They will view the work Kaya of the Ochre Contemporary Dance Company in Perth as an example of a dance group that combines both traditional and contemporary styles to express a narrative. 1 Tamisari, Franca (2000). They watch the Bangarra performance Fire – A Retrospective ( and identify any traditional dance motifs or devices that they can see being used. The star dance, dances about hunting and collecting sugar bag, catching bullocks and branding them, and the dance about Yanthimini - a greedy ol fella,” says dancer Lawrence Omeenyo. Students can then choreograph their own dance performance to a piece of music set by the teacher in which they combine two traditional dance motifs that they have learnt which their choice of movements that they already know and can perform. Aboriginal ceremonies have been part of the Aboriginal culture since it began. While viewing the video of the traditional dance example, the teacher will begin an inquiry process by asking the students to consider how the dances might be conveying knowledge that forms part of the dancers’ beliefs. While song and storytelling encodes the verbal knowledge, and design documents the patterns and connections of the living world, it is dance that provides people with the practical knowledge they need to understand and interact with their environment and hunt for food.

Check out more facts about aboriginal dance below: Facts about Aboriginal Dance 1: no written language. Most of them have experienced traditional dancing with their families and communities, and are looking for pathways to direct their talents into formalised training in dance. Larger text size.

Similarly, Bangarra’s incorporation of contemporary costuming, staging, lighting and multi-media is a way of continuing the millennia-old process of blending the essential hereditary knowledge passed down through the generations with a framework that adapts itself to each new present context. Traditional dancing is part of the core structure of Aboriginal Tradition. The resources include the views, opinions and representations of third parties, and do not represent the views of the Australian Government. Kawadji Wimpa Dance Troupe perform within their community celebrating important occasions and travel to the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival bi-annually.

Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time. Each creator is not only free to extemporise but is expected to do so, framing and reframing ancient knowledge within the present world. Suggested timing for activity: one lesson, Required resources: computer with access to internet, projector. In an interview, members of the Gupapuyngu Dancers from Galiwin’ku in Arnhem Land said, “we find that audiences respond to us much better when we remain true to the inclusive nature of the bunggul (dance) tradition and encourage them to be painted and share in the dancing experience. Keeping culture alive through dance The development of these resources was funded through an Australian Government initiative delivered by the University of Melbourne's Indigenous Studies Unit. As artist-in-residence at VCA Mr Boehme has now been able to bring Indigenous dancers from all over Australia to Melbourne for training in choreography, ballet and contemporary dance. Students view the video, Aboriginal Fire Dance ( with the purpose of identifying a number of recurring dance motifs and devices that they can see. They will examine videos of both male and female styles of dancing. Watch Indigenous dancers in the Wilin Spring 2012 Intensive take class and participate in studio work at the VCA: Traditional and contemporary Indigenous dance – strong and proud.

The group also performs in Melbourne as part of Wilin Week, the annual campus celebration of Indigenous arts. The other members of the class can provide feedback after the performance about how effective the incorporation of the two traditional moves were. In this creative activity, students organise their work around the most engaging features of the dances they have studied prior, and present their work in their own chosen dance format. The Aboriginal people do not have any written language. The knowledge given to the people from the ancestors has been passed down over millennia from generation to generation through songs, dances, stories and designs. Knowing the country, holding the Law: Yolngu dance performance in north-eastern Arnhem Land. These may be similar to the ones from the Aboriginal Fire Dance from the previous lesson, or not. In many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies, dance has a central role in people’s lives – not just a small handful of dance specialists, but all people.1 Furthermore, it is not exclusive, rather, dance is used deliberately as a way of bringing people together. Opera singer and Director of the Wilin Centre Deborah Cheetham says when she joined the VCA she recognised there was a lack of formalised Indigenous dance training in Victoria, and that Jacob Boehme – who has a Masters in Puppetry, had formed an embryonic dance company called Idja (which means skin in his father’s language). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander School Curricula, Comparing traditional and contemporary styles of Indigenous dance,,,, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, University launches new Indigenous Knowledge Institute, Acknowledging Country in the digital realm, University appoints inaugural Director of Indigenous Knowledge Institute, Bruce Pascoe appointed Enterprise Professor in Indigenous Agriculture, Charter for Research with Indigenous Knowledge Holders.

Suggested timing for activity: one full lesson for creating, one full lesson for performing. The Troupe also travels to Melbourne to work with the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development at the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music to learn contemporary techniques and styles with Artist in Residence Jacob Boehme, who is Artistic Director of the Idja Dance Theatre. After trialling a few of the movements, the teacher and class jointly decide on two or three movements to be used and these are then rehearsed. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. The 2013 Wilin Intensive Showcase will take place on 28 September at the VCA. Comparing traditional and contemporary styles of Indigenous dance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance groups use both traditional and contemporary influences in their works in order to express knowledge and meaning. Aboriginal Dancing .

Each group is to choreograph a 30-second movement piece. In the second lesson, after quickly rehearsing their pieces, each group performs to the class.

Firstly with no music, and then secondly to a backing track of the teacher’s choice. Dances often imitated animals or birds. Normal text size.