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BlakDance – Preparing Ground

Posted by BlakDance | Jul 29, 2021

Preparing Ground is an arts project in development throughout 2021-2023, showcasing First Nations solutions to climate justice through a new dance production and community environmental actions. Leading First Nations choreographers Marilyn Miller, Jasmin Sheppard and Katina Olsen develop the project across Wakka Wakka, Tagalaka, Yalanji and Kombumerri homelands, aiming to create a touring performance installation.

The creative developments for Preparing Ground continue throughout 2021-2023 On Country and in the studio, underpinned by First Nations led climate justice discussions and cultural exchange. These conversations gather local community members eager to combat the climate crisis and honour local knowledge keepers with land management expertise and practices.

Preparing Ground returned to Country in March 2021 for initial research and development, followed by creative development at Bulmba-ja. Their process and methodology was led by senior members of their family and local Elders. They spent time at sacred sites of resistance, devastation, rejuvenation and revival. Through listening to Country and community, the collective engage in a millennia-long methodology of remembering, revisiting, revitalising and re-imagining cultural practice.

“Preparing Ground cannot happen without dedicated time on Country. Having this time researching and developing on Country means that our communities are involved in the making of our work right from the beginning and throughout the process of making the work. Therefore we are honouring our own protocol and duty to our communities, and the voice of community is then reflected in the work.”

Katina Olsen, Co-Director Preparing Ground

The next stage in the Preparing Ground journey is a creative development in September 2021 supported by Brisbane Powerhouse, Judith Wright Arts Centre and Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) before returning to Country for further research and development across 2022-2023.

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