Congratulations to NAISDA graduates Jye Uren, Kassidy Waters, Gusta Mara and Kallum Goolagong who have all joined Bangarra Dance Theatre in 2019! This year will see the company celebrate 30 years of sharing and maintaining the culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions.
The new dancers join Bangarra’s current dance ensemble as the company prepares to remount the 2017 landmark production Bennelong. Bennelong will tour to regional Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory as part of a five-stop tour across Australia through February and March.
2018 NAISDA graduates Kallum Goolagong and Gusta Mara are joining Bangarra as Graduate Program recipients of the Russell Page Graduate Program in 2019.
The Graduate Program proudly offers young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists a year of professional development; providing the opportunity to learn Bangarra repertoire, be mentored by senior dancers and artistic staff, and gain professional experience dancing on stages across Australia and overseas.
NAISDA is proud to see many of our graduates go on to work within the company. We send our well wishes onto Jye, Kassidy, Gusta and Kallum as they pursue their passions for dance and performance.
Bangarra was birthed in 1989 from the energy of NAISDA founder Carole J Johnson, along with NAISDA graduates, and Rob Bryant and Cheryl Stone.
Jye is a proud descendent of the Worimi and Dunghutti Tribes and also holds lineage to Portuguese, Irish, and English descent. Jye was born in New Lambton on Awabakal Country and raised in the Port Stephens town of Raymond Terrace on Worimi Country.
Jye began studying Dance in his last two years of schooling before enrolling at NAISDA Dance College in 2014. Since graduating in 2017 with a Diploma of Professional Dance, Jye has worked with one of Aotearoa’s leading contemporary Dance Companies, Atamira Dance Company, with whom he performed at the Commonwealth Games, and at the Q Theatre in Auckland, performing alongside works choreographed by Frances Rings and Louise Potiki Bryant.
Kassidy is a descendant of the Wanaruah People in the Hunter Valley, NSW. Kassidy completed fulltime training with Sydney Dance Company’s Pre Professional Year of 2017 and with NAISDA Dance College, graduating in 2016 with the prestigious Chairman’s Award. Kassidy has worked with choreographers and artistic bodies such as Ausdance for the Big Dance, Craig Bary and Dale Collier for Catapult Choreographic Residency and ERTH Visual and Physical Inc’s ‘The Liminal Hour’.
Matt Cornell’s I learn’t my cultural Dance from YouTube, Jannawi Dance Clan, Lucky Lartey’s Full Circle, the Wagana Aboriginal Dancers and Vicki van Hout. She has also educated and performed locally and internationally at Festivals representing Wagana Aboriginal Dancers at Porirua, The Honolulu Festival in Waikiki and Jannawi Dance Clan at Rainbow Serpent Festival.
Kassidy completed her DirtyFeet Choreographic Lab in 2018 and is a Romana’s Pilates Apprentice at Cynthia Lochard’s Pilates Studio, thanks to being awarded the Joanne Harris Pre Professional Scholarship for 2017.
is a proud Wiradjuri and Darkinjung man from the Galari clan. He also has Mediterranean, Italian and Irish ancestry. Born on the Central Coast, Kallum starting dancing at NAISDA Dance College in 2015. Throughout his 4 years at NAISDA he worked with teachers and choreographers Craig Bary, Frances Rings, Sani Townsend and Raymond D Blanco. In 2018, Kallum graduated from NAISDA with a Certificate in careers in Dance and a Diploma of professional Dance Performance.
Kallum also has a sporting background and before dance was training for the Olympics in athletics as an all-rounder. Kallum is excited to learn more about himself and his culture through his journey with Bangarra.
Gusta was born on Thursday Island and is an Angamudthi, Atembiya, Goba, Argun and Wagadthagum man from the tip of Queensland and the Western islands of the Torres Strait. Gusta first started dancing at the age of 16 at the Graham Academy of Dance.
He auditioned for NAISDA in 2015, and completed his final year of studies in 2018. In Gusta’s short time training and dancing he has worked with many choreographers, including Vikki van Hout, Pamela Williams, Craig Bary, Raymond D. Blanco, Frances Rings, Sani Townson and Jack Grey. He has also performed with Atamira Dance Company at the Tempo Dance Festival in New Zealand.