QPAC to present debut Queensland season of new first nations dance company

Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) will present the debut Queensland season of new First Nations contemporary dance company Karul Projects in February 2020 with a double bill of works, mi:wi and CO_EX_EN.

Karul Projects was established in 2017 by Thomas E.S. Kelly (Bundjalung-Yugambeh, Wiradjuri, Ni-Vanuatu) and Taree Sansbury (Kaurna, Narungga and Ngarrindjeri), and is a Queensland-based company focused on sharing First Nations knowledge and cementing its relevance in Australia’s identity.

mi:wi, choreographed by Taree Sansbury, will weave together past and future in QPAC’s Playhouse Studio 1 from 5 to 8 February.

The dance theatre work refers to the invisible ties we have to our past and future, and people and country, by reconnecting three First Nations women through the practice of Ngarrindjeri weaving.

Looking back and moving forward with a growing sense of urgency, mi:wi also speaks to the impacts of climate change while emphasising the role of future lineages in continuing cultural knowledge.

Choreographed by Thomas E.S. Kelly, CO_EX_EN will also ignite a discussion about past, present and future through dance in QPAC’s Playhouse Studio 1 from 12 to 15 February.

CO_EX_EN is a response to a place of ceremony, that was a gathering site for tribal groups far and wide; where ancestors handed over knowledge, lore and songlines. Today, conversation has been disconnected and commutes have ceased; the site is suspended and no longer activated.

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said Karul Projects’ double bill was an important presentation of contemporary First Nations voices.

“Thomas and Taree are brilliant new voices in the next generation of storytellers, and we are honoured to present this company’s debut Queensland season,” Mr Kotzas said.

“I encourage audiences to see both performances, they are perfectly complementary, and are a potent reminder of the necessity of continuing culture in our collective Australian identity.”

Karul Projects Co-Artistic Directors Thomas E.S. Kelly and Taree Sansbury said they were thrilled to present two of their works at QPAC, following a recent move to Queensland.

“We are excited by the direction that our careers and the company are going in; generating something new from something that’s been here forever and respecting and acknowledging our ancestry and identity as proud First Nations People,” Mr Kelly and Ms Sansbury said.

“We are both very proud of these works and cannot wait to share them for the first time in our new home state of Queensland.”


Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

Peter J Snee

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