APATA – The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association

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Sharing Knowledge with Natano Fa’anana

Oct 26, 2022

About This Episode:

We were absolutely delighted to have acclaimed contemporary circus director, producer, and performer Natano Fa’anana join us for the APATA Award presentation for our Performing Arts Student of the Year (Watch the video) so we relished the chance to share Natano’s journey as an artist and maker with you!

Drawing inspiration from his Samoan roots Natano has carved a unique path that has achieved national and international recognition through his work as a multi-faceted artist for a string of renowned companies.

He earned his stripes as an ensemble member with award winning Meanjin company Polytoxic (2007 – 2012) , co- founded Briefs Factory International in 2008 with brother and fellow performer/director Fez Fa’anana and brother-in-law Mark Winmil. Going on to co-found, direct, produce and perform with internationally acclaimed contemporary company, Casus Creations. It was here Natano solidified his place on the international stage through works such Knee Deep, Driftwood, You & I, Chasing Smoke and Aunties Fiafia.

Natano was Director and co-producer, for Chasing Smoke, Australia’s first all indigenous contemporary circus show which was nominated for a Matilda award and took home the Green Room Award 2017 for Best Circus and Physical Theatre. Currently Natano is producer at Moogahlin Performing Arts company which solely and specifically produces and supports First Nations work.

Independently Natano has a string of awards both as a performer and director. Significantly winning two Matilda Awards for We Live Here in the categories for Best Circus and Physical Theatre Show and Best Director, in conjunction with co-director Bridget Boyle. Based on the stories of parents, siblings, and guests of Hummingbird House, Queensland’s only youth hospice, We Live Here explores themes of resilience, chaos, and the beauty of a moment shared. Created by a team of highly skilled young circus performers.

Adding to his folio Natano was awarded the prestigious Sidney Myer Fellowship 2019 acknowledging his contribution to Humanities through the Arts. In 2020 Natano became a recipient for The Churchill Fellowship to further investigate diversification of the theatre industry through cultural protocol and practise.

In 2021 Natano was a Senior Producer at YIRRAMBOI Festival. Occurring biannually YIRRAMBOI is a First Nations lead and focused arts festival based in Melbourne.

Today Natano juggles all of the above as a director in the ever-shifting landscape of contemporary arts and advocates for change by creating pathways for the next generation of cultural arts practitioners.

Taking the time, where possible, to connect with remote communities across Australia and beyond, and communities like ours here at APATA.


Access Pdf Transcript HERE

Reach out to Natano



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