Blue Mountains News

Jo Clancy announced as First Nations Development Resident

By Blue Mountains City Council
Archived 23 Apr 2024 - Posted: 25 Feb 2024
First Nations Development Resident \\ Jo Clancy - Warriwal ~ Milky Way, photo by Maja Baska.
Wiradjuri dancer and choreographer Jo Clancy is the recipient of City of the Arts First Nations Development Residency.

The First Nations Development Residency is coordinated by the Blue Mountains City Council’s Arts and Culture Service, and with generous support from the City of the Arts Trust. This new initiative provides a First Nations artist residing and performing in the Blue Mountains with space and support to create, rehearse and present new work.

Jo will use her residency to rehearse her performance work Warriwal following a creative development supported by the Mawambul project, which was funded through the NSW Government’s Aboriginal Languages Trust. She will then premiere the work on Saturday 13 April at the Blue Mountains Theatre as part of The Festival of New Work, an event to showcase performance-based work originating from the Blue Mountains and developed within Council’s creative residency programs.

Developed by Jo and Dharug and Gubbi Gubbi cultural man Stuart McMinn,Warriwal translates to “Milkyway”. The piece draws on Jo’s love of learning and reigniting her Wiradjuri language.

Jo explains, “Warriwal is a big flowing river in the night sky, an atlas of our ancestral places and home to our ancestral spirits.Warriwal offers a window into our songs and dances that have been kept eternally by our ancestors and shared through the sky, the land, wind and water.Warriwal reignites our languages through powerful dance storytelling led by a full First Nations cast. We invite audiences to witness Warriwal beginning.”

Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said, “Through this new program we have the privilege of supporting a First Natons Artist, whose practice draws on that long tradition, to create new work.

“Blue Mountains City Council recognises the importance of sharing First Nations stories in our institutions, our communities, and our hearts. We are privileged to hold space for those stories here at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.”

Katrina Noorbergen, Acting Manager Arts & Cultural Services for Blue Mountains City Council said, “We are thrilled to have Jo Clancy as our First Nations Development Resident and to welcome her incredible choreographic vision and talented dancers to premiere this important new work at the Blue Mountains Theatre. Jo is an incredible artist who has contributed multitudes to our community, and we eagerly await the presentation of Warriwal.”

The full program for the Festival of New Work will be announced in early March, with tickets available from 6 March at here

Warriwal creative team and cast

Writers / Choreographers / Directors – Jo Clancy and Stuart McMinn

Cast – Stuart McMinn, Jo Clancy, Nardi Simpson, Paul Glass, Tammi Gissell, Casey Natty and Shana O’Brien

Further information about Jo Clancy

Jo commenced her full-time dance training at NAISDA Dance College in 1990 and has a BA in dance from Western Sydney University. Jo was Head of Dance at NAISDA Dance College from 2005-2007 and Head of Cultural Practice from 2020-2023. She founded her dance collective Wagana in the Mountains in 2007.

Jo has spent three decades developing contemporary Aboriginal dance works and education projects across Australia and internationally in festivals and major events. Her work has been presented at the Talking Stick Festival and the Coastal Dance Festival in Vancouver, at major sporting events in Scotland, New Zealand and Australia, at the Honolulu Festival in Hawaii and youth dance summits in Australia, Taiwan and Denmark.

Jo makes dance with and for her community as a legacy for the continuation of NSW Aboriginal dance and storytelling. Her practice draws upon her connection to people and to place.

 
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