Where’s the dancing?

Luke Forbes

Dance Aesthetics in Critical Responses to the 2016 Keir Choreographic Awards

‘Where’s the dancing?’ is a question said to have been posed by dance audiences at the 2016 Keir Choreographic Award (KCA) and it was echoed clearly in dance critics’ published responses to the KCA’s series of eight commissioned contemporary concert dance works. [1] Unable to distinguish dance from other physical activities on stage, dance stalwarts were left wondering ‘what choreography actually means’.[2] Despite the KCA’s stated goal to foster ‘debate around choreographic practice in Australia’,[3] which functions as a disclaimer of sorts for dance traditionalists, The Sydney Morning Herald found the program ‘puzzling’, because ‘Actual dance – whether in performance or training – seems to take a back seat’.[4]

In an attempt to contextualise critics’ inability to see dance in the 2016 KCA’s program, this article revisits critical responses to it, paying close attention to reviewers’ espoused notions of dance and choreography. I take a dance studies approach to provide not only a conceptual framework for a better formal understanding of the choreographies produced in the context of the KCA, but also the possibility to speculate about the root of the troubled critical reception it inspires. I ask myself and dance spectators, what are the normativising dance concepts being disseminated in Australian dance criticism? My attempt to better understand a priori assumptions about dance found in many dance reviews engages with dance scholarly debates and allows for a counter discourse about the ‘political ontology’ of contemporary concert dance in Australia. This reflection is informed by a close reading of dance scholar Andre Lepecki’s Exhausting Dance.[5]

In Exhausting Dance, Lepecki contextualises his overarching argument by unpacking the popular understanding of dance expressed implicitly by New York Times Senior Dance Editor Anna Kisselgoff in an article bemoaning a tendency among dance makers to withhold ‘the dance’ from their audiences. Kisselgoff informs her readership that those ‘interested in flow or a continuum of movement have been finding slim pickings [which is] all very “today.” What about tomorrow?’[6] Lepecki suggests Kisselgoff’s ‘critical anxiety’ derives from choreographers’ choreographic explorations that break the smooth continuity of uninterrupted movement associated with much twentieth century modern and postmodern dance. He also locates her critical stance within a metadiscursive battle in defence of modernist aesthetics in contemporary dance, which Lepecki argues are inherently linked with and enact Western modernity’s political projects.[7] To summarise Lepecki’s extended discussion of twentieth century dance’s imbibement of movement, which he frames with references to queer and postcolonial theory, the argument serves to politicise ‘modernist’, aesthetically motivated dance productions and aesthetic responses to dance.

Similarly, in reviews of the KCA, Australian dance writers have asked:

Does [choreography] have to have a variety of steps and movements? I think it does, although none of the four works on the program seemed to focus on developing any kind of strong, visually arresting movement vocabulary.[8]

Another points out that ‘surely the choreography of the award’s title should be central.’[9] Filtering my interpretation of such critical responses through the Exhausting Dance lens, I tentatively propose that Western ‘modern’ projects and dance practice converge conspicuously in Australia. On the one hand, Lepecki points out that – in European and North American dance performance – ‘As the kinetic project of modernity becomes modernity’s ontology’, which coincided with a boom in European imperialism, ‘Western dance becomes more and more aligned with the production and display of a body and a subjectivity fit to perform this unstoppable motility’.[10] Or, as I interpret Lepecki’s argument, the Western concert dance body was reformed through the (often destructive) ‘progress’ of empires, as well as concurrent industrial developments, such as moving assembly lines. It is also reasonable to broaden this conceptualisation of modernity’s effect on dance to incorporate ideas and processes such as mechanical aesthetics, cultural imperialism, and the globalised flows of products and knowledge (dominated by the world’s ‘centres’). Running parallel to this observation, many Australian dance critics, historians, and dance makers, have asserted that there exists an unbreakable bond between the Australian landscape and the national dance identity: vast, open landscapes and climatic extremes that invite expansive and athletic choreographic displays.[11] There are various ways to approach a discussion of the inherently colonial legacy of an Australian concert dance identity that embodies ‘new’ movements in ‘empty landscapes’ – including cartography as Weltaneignung, notions of terra nullius, and the performance of indigeneity – although these will not be explored in this article. I propose, however, that the innocuous legacy of Australia’s colonisation and the national(ist) pursuit of modernist projects can be read in the subtext of discussions of the KCA, for example, when reviewers reject the KCA’s encouragement of contemporary debates about and through dance practice.

At this point, it is important to note that I do not view the KCA competitors – many of whom self-identify as ‘independent’ dance makers – as radical anarchists who have turned their backs on dance traditions. I advocate instead for a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship that exists between choreography and institutions.[12] Popular dance discourse tends to emphasise institutional structures that sometimes predetermine dance production processes, or dance makers’ rejection of conventional production processes and institutional framing.[13] What the KCA demonstrates, through its support of dance that performs institutional critique, is that interactions and collaborations between reflexive dance makers and institutions are not antagonistic. Rather, there is a cycle of adaptation that takes place incorporating feedback from dance makers in response to the opportunities and demands of the dance field, and vice versa.[14]



Meanwhile, dance criticism is dismissive and frequently outright resistant to recent developments in contemporary dance. Certain reviewers have advised that the works in the KCA’s 2016 program should be denied recognition as dance and choreography.[15] RealTime’s Andrew Fuhrmann accurately predicted that the 2016 KCA would ‘unleash howling fantods in dance fans worried about a developing trend toward exhaustive intellectualisation’.[16] But, if we are to perceive journalistic dance criticism as an indication of dominant popular understandings of dance and popular desires for dance’s future, then there is room to blur the boundaries between a dance studies approach to the dance discipline and common ideas about dancing. For this reason, my article instead examines the reception of KCA dance works as a further constructing force in the dance field.

My focus is on the reception of two dance works that featured in the 2016 final: If It’s All in my Veins by Martin Hansen, and Fragments of Malungoka – Women of the Sea by Ghenoa Gela, which won the KCA and People’s Choice prize. This strategic selection juxtaposes two works that were viewed as drastically different from each other. My selection of these dance works also provides an opportunity to problematise this shift away from modernist danced movement in contemporary dance contexts, in opposition to dance critics’ desires, which is increasingly being ascribed critical potential and value by dance institutions and dance scholarship.

I seek to take a first step in mediating between two dance camps: those who feel a conceptually driven work is incongruent with dance as a poetic and physical practice, and others who deny the capacity for dance institutional and aesthetic critique expressed through a dance vocabulary. Here, I also encourage readers to further question the received wisdom that dancing, in its most conventional sense, cannot engage with the world critically and conceptually.

If It’s All in my Veins

Martin Hansen’s KCA entry takes stock of dance modernity’s historical narratives in fleeting choreographic snapshots, presented as large projected GIFs – short excerpts of the dance canon’s most monumental works compressed into looped, low-quality citations – which are in turn approximated by an ensemble of three performers. The cited dance works make temporal and spatial leaps that draw attention to the gaps in the practice of dance history writing, contrasted by a digital stop-watch that ominously counts down and marks the elapsing time of the performance. The performers strain to replicate the panicked cyclical dance phrases that are cut short and repeated before they reach any transcendental or iconic pose; neither do the snippets sensibly conclude and transition to the next significant and curated dance historical development (according to the dance canon). These great moments of dance history are interspersed with small moments in dance history, too, such as examples of blatant choreographic plagiarism in popular culture, or the celebratory finale of If It’s All in my Veins, where we witness a recording of young Eastern Europeans celebrating the collapse of the Soviet Union, overlayed with pop singer Roisin Murphy’s Simulation. Here, the footage is played in full and no attempt is made by the cast to recapture and reconstruct the significance of the ‘low culture’ dance event. Instead they hold in their outstretched arms a large mirror ball, which they peer into like they can read the future as it disperses specks of light throughout the performance space.



While some critics emphasised the prominence of sitting, waiting and being idle in reference to If It’s All in my Veins, it was also acknowledged by one reviewer that ‘Martin Hansen’s [choreography] is a much darker and more overtly physical work’.[17] In a further polarising response to Hansen’s revisionist Dance History 101, The Guardian Australia remarked that:

What is noteworthy, though, is that choreographers are rejecting not only dance, but even the notion of choreographed movement […] The influence of conceptually-bent European dance is present in all works, but nowhere more so than in Berlin-based Martin Hansen’s If It’s All In My Veins.[18]

While Hansen’s work may be ‘conceptually bent’, if we are to acknowledge his creative process and give special weight to his own public statements regarding the centrality of dance practice to his artistic research, it appears ‘conceptual dance’ and an intensely physical engagement with danced movement are not mutually exclusive.[19] If Hansen’s dance historiographical work – which primarily re-enacted the dance canon in the stringent fashion of dance history writing – was neither dance nor choreography, then what was it? His performers certainly re-enacted the (contemporary) dance canon’s ‘preordained set of steps, postures, and gestures’, which Lepecki would say perpetuates normativising dance concepts and the authority of the canon.[20] And yet Hansen is nonetheless confronted with, to again borrow Lepecki’s formulation, an:

accusation of betrayal [that] necessarily implies the reification and reaffirmation of certainties in regard to what constitutes the rules of the game, the right path, the correct posture, or the appropriate form of action.[21]

Although it is a gross overstatement to characterise Jana Perkovic’s comments in The Guardian as an accusation of betrayal or disloyalty to dance, I sense the author was also sensitive to the critique expressed by her dance reviewer contemporaries: for example, Perkovic consistently uses quotation marks when employing contentious phrases, such as ‘proper dancing’.[22]

These responses may be a result of Hansen’s subversive re-enactment of the dance canon that at once reaffirms dance luminaries’ status and simultaneously emphasises the vanity and inevitable decay of the dance historical record. It is within this ‘queer’ disruption of dance’s smooth historicity that Hansen is centring his research. Hansen clearly states that ‘It spins me out how, as dancers, we reproduce history, so I find myself continuously inspired to challenge and explore that idea.’[23]

My concern about reviewers’ reluctance to categorise a dance historiographical performance as an example of dance echoes Lepecki’s dissatisfaction with Kisselgoff, who at the outset of Exhausting Dance characterises the danced ‘still-act’[24] as a passing fad, or alternatively, as ‘a threat to dance’s “tomorrow,” to dance’s capacity to smoothly reproduce itself into the future within its familiar parameters’.[25] Like a figure out of the Exhausting Dance songbook, the KCA’s 2016 resident dance critic, Deborah Jowitt from The Village Voice (USA), wonders whether Hansen is putting dance’s ‘futurity’ at risk:

 Martin Hansen’s If It’s All in My Veins questions the often-taught version of twentieth-century dance history as a family tree of supposed rebels (Isadora-begat-Martha and so on), turning it into a struggle in which the wheels of progress may get stuck in the mud, and God knows what the future may be.[26]

In contrast to dance critics’ concern, dance institutions have grown to accommodate this kind of practice. It is no longer produced in opposition to dance institutions, but in collaboration with self-reflexive dance production processes.[27] Dance scholars Yvonne Hardt and Martin Stern have theorised how critique of the dance field attracts the interest of audiences and producers – I would add dance scholarship to this list – and elicits what they refer to as ‘resonance’.[28] The critique expressed by dance makers becomes a critically and commercially accepted ‘modality’ of contemporary dance practice. [29] In fact, it can be viewed as a further development of critical practice since the emergence of modern dance, which in many regards was a reaction to the institution classical ballet and ballet’s affiliation with the state and monarchies. Elsewhere, elaborating on the dynamics between dance makers and dance scholarship, Hardt has also noted that an engagement with the past in contemporary choreography has benefitted (German) dance scholarship like no other choreographic research.[30]

With the reciprocal choreography/institution/scholarship relationship in mind, I argue the KCA is an example of how Lepecki’s conceptualisation of the danced still act continues to find traction. Without diminishing the contribution of critical and conceptual dance practices to artistic research and dance discourse, in the remainder of this article I propose it ought to be explored, however, to what extent this shift in contemporary dance practices and institutions is further propelled by a belief that only performances that incorporate still-acts can interrogate normativising legacies.

Fragments of Malungoka – Women of the Sea

In the following discussion of Fragments of Malungoka – Women of the Sea, I reflect on what the artistic research of a Torres Strait Islander dance maker can contribute to this discussion. The discussion is partly informed by Gela’s own negative views on dance production and the critical reception of her work, some of which are published in news media, and shared with me in a recent interview about her KCA contribution.[31] I also argue that it is problematic to approach Gela’s creative processes and performances – which often incorporate cultural dance techniques, choreographic material, and presentation forms – through a dance studies theoretical framework, such as Lepecki’s, that are largely founded upon Eurocentric narratives and experiences of modernity.

This line of questioning is not part of an effort to contest the validity of any of Lepecki’s articulate claims, but rather to demonstrate that critical dance studies approaches can find limited applicability to the study of cross-cultural examples of choreography presented within ‘Western theatrical dance’ contexts.[32] It could even be argued that Lepecki’s methodology invites a critical reading of his own theoretical framework.

Gela’s Fragments of Malungoka – Women of the Sea was the culmination of an intensive period of rehearsals transmitting Torres Strait Islander ailan dans to an ensemble of three non-Indigenous Australian performers. Throughout the process, Gela consulted with and received guidance from her family and elders, remaining conscious of cultural protocols surrounding the transmission of cultural practices and the translation of these practices for performance onstage in a Western, mainland Australian context.

At first glance, Gela’s choreographic process, particularly in the context of the KCA, raises questions about discourse on ‘authenticity’ surrounding performances of cultural dances, and also the unspoken critical requirement of a choreographic competition that the dance presented be ‘innovative’. Furthermore, through a presentation of ailan dans as a codified technique, redacted of cultural knowledge deemed inappropriate for an unfamiliar audience, Gela consciously probed non-Indigenous audiences’ attitudes to the legitimacy and refined technicality of non-Western dance forms, hereby providing a forum for a timely discussion about racialised bodies and performance on stage.

The inherent politics of the performance was lost on reviewers, who disregarded the subtle choreographic and conceptual complexity embedded in Gela’s work. Instead, dance critics commented that ‘There is nothing complex about the choreography’[33] and ‘Of the finalists, Ghenoa Gela’s Fragments Of Malungoka is the most conventionally danced […] It contains a physicality that we recognise – flat-footed stomps, lowered torso, body percussion’.[34] The statements demand reflection on the possible reasons why a critic, whose desire to view dance performance that conformed to their own normative notion of dance was fulfilled, then described the choreography as lacking physical complexity. It is also curious that the only choreographic work that incorporated movement typically reserved for performance by Torres Strait Islander Australians was received as the most familiar dance vernacular to a non-Indigenous audience.

Others commented ambivalently that it was ‘the simplest and clearest work of the eight’,[35] or, alternatively, that Gela’s ‘choreography (in my sense of steps and movements) was very simple, and consisted of a lot of walking, but I too would have chosen her work over the others because it looked completed’.[36] The same reviewer adds:

I’m not sure that the work overall answered the questions Gela posed to herself as “a performer caught between two cultures”. It was nevertheless the most theatrically satisfying of the four works.[37]

In short, Fragments of Malungoka – Women of the Sea attracted reserved praise from critics for its privileging of danced movement phrases and its ‘completeness’. This suggests that the work was appreciated aesthetically as an art object dislocated from the creative research and its conceptual footing, at the expense of appreciation of Gela’s efforts to highlight the politics of cross-cultural performance.

The documentation of the KCA also references an alternative crisis of critical criteria among jurors. This was hinted at by Jowitt, who wrote of ‘polite dissension’ among jurors – who are to varying degrees invested in critical practice in dance — in selecting a winner from a field where Gela could be described as an outlier.[38] Is it possible this alleged discord among jurors was linked to an unfamiliarity with Gela’s take on critical dance practice, an approach that employed a ‘dancecentric’ modality when engaging in contemporary debates surrounding cross-cultural performance?

In conversation with Gela, she confirmed that Fragments of Malungoka – Women of the Sea is:

definitely a dance-based work, and also a storytelling work. In our culture, we do story telling that happens with our dances and it can be with song or without song […] I was putting a traditional form on stage to see what people thought and people thought it was simple.[39]

What I draw from this is Gela’s confidence that a movement-based contemporary dance work, one that takes formal cues from ailan dans, is capable of performing ‘stories’, or narratives about life worlds, even if it appears abstractly expressive. This treatment of dance can be critical and educational (and more), and choreographic in a sense that is in many ways analogous to a modernist notion of dance.

If I were to attempt to appreciate the institutional criticism expressed by Gela’s wining choreography through Lepecki’s interpretive framework, and emphasise the critical potential of the still-act, I would be trying to in vain to identify certain choreographic tropes: for example, dancers performing horizontally, or seated, challenging the erect and expansive mobility of the colonialist, and therefore providing an alternative ontology of Western dance and being in the world. But, as 2016 KCA audiences would know, Gela staged a dance work that was upright and incorporated movement phrases set to music that most closely resembled critics’ preconceptions of dance.

What this reveals is that aesthetic parallels and shared performance spaces do not necessarily demand a shared aesthetic of dance reception. Critics’ responses demonstrate the inadequacy of a modernist aesthetic of dance appreciation when assessing Gela’s work. Existing alternative interpretive fames, such as Lepecki’s, may also do a disservice to attempts to meaningfully engage with Fragments of Malungoka – Women of the Sea.

In direct contradiction to Lepecki’s argument, and the institutional valorisation of works that subvert dance’s entanglement with modernity, Gela speaks to the possibility of operating within Western performance institutions and ideological frameworks, making them productive on her own terms. It is critique of the system, but with the system, that also honours her ancestral connection to Torres Strait Islander cultural dance practices.

In ABC’s dance documentary miniseries, The Movement, Gela can be heard calmly asserting that:

This country is not a place where we can ever stop moving. There was the time where we weren’t even humans, so we’ve just got to take up the space.[40]

Similarly, Jacqueline Shea Murphy when writing about contemporary Native American dance, comments on the significance of First Nations North Americans’ enduring engagement with dance performance despite a long history of dispossession and violence, and even entitles her book The People Have Never Stopped Dancing.[41] By acknowledging that dance did not cease in First Nations, it is possible to reassert dance’s power to maintain connections to ancestors, land, and spirituality, a performative and political act that is common to many (if not all) First Nations peoples’ experience of modernity.

In spite of the proposition that disruption and decolonisation in dance occurs by stilling movement, dance scholarly perceptions of performed politics are troubled when Gela states and demonstrates that, ‘I can tell stories with true dance as well.’ This has much to do with the fundamentally different ideological and political world within which movement circulates and acts in Torres Strait Island contemporary dancescapes. Or, finally, as it has been explained to me by Gela:

We just do that anyway in our culture. It’s a matter of getting white people to recognise the way that we story tell, that’s the hard part. They’re expecting us to follow a Western narrative structure, but our stories don’t fall like that. You might expect us to grow an apple tree, but we’ve got mango seeds.[42]

Toward a Future of Dance Appreciation

This article has sought to make a general statement about the contribution of dance’s scholarly conceptual frameworks to discussions that critically assess normative dance aesthetics, such as those identified in critics’ responses to the KCA. Hansen’s If It’s All in my Veins is an example of a provocative critique of the dance field that simultaneously participates in the reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationship between contemporary dance, dance organisations, and cultural studies inflected dance scholarship. I have also considered the limitations of a dance studies approach using the example of Lepecki’s (re)interpretation of dance history, practice and reception. In response to Gela’s views introduced above, it is possible to ruminate on how Lepecki’s politicised reading of danced movement relates to the reception of cross-cultural dance on Western concert dance stages. In dialogue with such a politicisation of movement on dance stages, I problematise how Gela’s choreographic practice can be read and praised as an embrace of a so-called modernist understanding of dance – exhibited in constant and flowing movement phrases – albeit in concert dance adaptations of ailan dans. However, by teasing out the misrecognition of Gela’s movement, it can be said that the work is perceived either as simplistic yet aesthetically satisfying by critics, or with specific regard to a dance studies’ interpretation, in terms of a conflation of modernist projects and ‘expansive’ movement in ‘Western’ concert dance. Through my reading of dance writers’ opinions of the KCA, it becomes clear that the event achieves its aim to inspire debate about and through dance. This article argues for a broadened definition of dance that is productive for future dance appreciation in Australia by opening a metadiscourse on the limitations of Eurocentric aesthetics and critical dance studies, particularly in the reception of Indigenous Australian contemporary dance performance.

[1] Deborah Jowitt, Keir Choreographic Award 2016 – a Review by Deborah Jowitt, (Dancehouse, 2017), 1. http://www.dancehouse.com.au/files/DeborahJowitt_KCA2016.pdf; see also Jana Perkovic, “Keir Award 2016: Where Is the ‘Dance’ in Australian Contemporary Dance?,” The Guardian, 03/05/2016. https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/may/03/keir-award-2016-where-is-the-dance-in-australian-contemporary-dance.

[2] Michelle Potter, “Keir Choreographic Award. Finals 2016,” michellepotter.org, accessed January 15, 2018. http://michellepotter.org/reviews/keir-choreographic-award-finals-2016.

[3] “Keir Choreographic Award 2016.” The Keir Foundation. Accessed January 15, 2018. https://keirfoundation.org/project/keir-choreographic-award-2016/.

[4] Jill Sykes, “Keir Choreographic Award Review: Ghenoa Gela Wins a Puzzling Prize,” The Sydney Morning Herald, 08/05/2016. http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/dance/keir-choreographic-award-review-ghenoa-gela-wins-a-puzzling-prize-20160508-gop3dn.html.

[5] André Lepecki, Exhausting Dance : Performance and the Politics of Movement (New York: Routledge, 2006)

[6] As cited in Lepecki, Exhausting Dance, 1.

[7] Lepecki, Exhausting Dance, 1.

[8] Potter, “Keir Choreographic Award. Finals 2016.”

[9] Sykes, “Keir Choreographic Award Review: Ghenoa Gela Wins a Puzzling Prize.”

[10] Lepecki, Exhausting Dance, 3.

[11] See Amanda Card, “Choreographing a Continent: Modern Dance and Constructions of National Identity in Australia,” Choreography and Dance 6 (2001); see also Stephanie Burridge and Julie Dyson, Shaping the Landscape: Celebrating Dance in Australia, ed. Stephanie Burridge, Celebrating Dance in Asia and the Pacific (New Delhi: Routledge, 2012).

[12] Yvonne Hardt and Martin Stern, “Choreographie Und Institution: Eine Einleitung,” in Choreographie und Institution, ed. Yvonne Hardt and Martin Stern (Bielefeld: transcript, 2011).

[13] See Dancehouse, Melbourne. What Does Independent Dance Mean to You? (online video, 2017). https://vimeo.com/218416272.

[14] See Hardt and Stern, Choreographie und Institution, 19.

[15] See Potter, “Keir Choreographic Award. Finals 2016,” and see also Sykes, “Keir Choreographic Award Review: Ghenoa Gela Wins a Puzzling Prize.”

[16] Andrew Fuhrmann, “Everything in the Mix,” RealTime Arts, 2016. http://www.realtimearts.net/article/issue132/12253.

[17] Fuhrmann, “Everything in the Mix.”

[18] Perkovic, “Keir Award 2016: Where Is the ‘Dance’ in Australian Contemporary Dance?”

[19] Ibid.

[20] Lepecki, Exhausting Dance, 9.

[21] Lepecki, Exhausting Dance, 1.

[22] Perkovic, “Keir Award 2016: Where Is the ‘Dance’ in Australian Contemporary Dance?”

[23] Boon, “Choreographer Martin Hansen Travels through Time in ‘If It’s All in My Veins’.”

[24] For a clarification of Lepecki’s usage of ‘still-act’, see Lepecki, Exhausting Dance, 15.

[25] Lepecki, Exhausting Dance, 1.

[26] Jowitt, Keir Choreographic Award 2016 – a Review by Deborah Jowitt, 2.

[27] Pirkko Husemann, Choreographie als kritische Praxis: Arbeitsweisen bei Xavier Le Roy und Thomas Lehmen (Bielefeld: transcript, 2009).

[28] Hardt and Stern, Choreographie und Institution, 19.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Yvonne Hardt, “Engagements with the Past in Contemporary Dance,” in New German Dance Studies, ed. Susan Manning and Lucia Ruprecht (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2012), 217.

[31] Where Gela is cited and no endnote is provided, the quote is sourced from an interview conducted on 22/01/2018.

[32] See: Lepecki, Exhausting Dance, 4.

[33] Sykes, “Keir Choreographic Award Review: Ghenoa Gela Wins a Puzzling Prize.”

[34] Perkovic, “Keir Award 2016: Where Is the ‘Dance’ in Australian Contemporary Dance?”

[35] Jowitt, Keir Choreographic Award 2016 – a Review by Deborah Jowitt, 4.

[36] Potter, “Keir Choreographic Award. Finals 2016.”

[37] Ibid.

[38] Jowitt, Keir Choreographic Award 2016 – a Review by Deborah Jowitt, 2

[39] Interview with Ghenoa Gela

[40] Kate Blackmore. “Ghenoa Gela.” In The Movement, (ABC, 2017), Video. http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/movement/AC1710H002S00.

[41] Jacqueline Shea Murphy, The People Have Never Stopped Dancing: Native American Modern Dance Histories (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007).

[42] Interview with Ghenoa Gela

Luke Forbes is a Ph.D. researcher at Monash University. His research focuses on Australian and Indigenous Australian contemporary dance in Western theatrical contexts, which he...


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