On Thursday 27 June NAISDA Dance College was thrilled to open the region’s unique, purpose-specific dancing ground and living learning space.
Situated within the grounds of the NAISDA campus at Kariong, the dancing ground, called Nhangara Barayi, was officially opened by Dr Nerida Blair, Chair of NAISDA Board of Studies, as part of a special and intimate ceremony.
NAISDA was pleased to welcome students from Darkinjung Barker College as the first community group to perform in the space, in collaboration with Uncle Gavi Duncan from Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council. The event also saw a performance by NAISDA’s male Developing Artists.
Reflecting on the significance of the new dancing ground and its connection to Darkinjung land, Chief Executive Officer of NAISDA Dance College Kim Walker explained, “NAISDA is Australia’s leading creative and cultural learning organisation and has been embedded on Darkinjung Land for over ten years.
“The words Nhangara Barayi have been respectfully gifted to NAISDA from the Darkinjung language. They are a proud declaration of NAISDA’s connection and belonging to our creative home here on Darkinjung Country.”
As a unique gathering place intrinsically linked to community and storytelling, Nhangara Barayi will foster belongingness and relatedness in a creative, nourishing space.
“It is a place where our young people will come together to learn, share and celebrate the richness of our cultures through the powerful voice of dance, language and song” continued Mr Walker.
Nhangara Barayi will also be the focus for NAISDA’s 2019 NAIDOC community celebrations. A three-day series of fully-booked performances and school workshops is planned in the space.
“Over the last five years, we have established a strong regional presence through our mid-year performances and workshops aligned with NAIDOC week,” said Mr Walker
“For the first time, community can enjoy a cultural performance in a live, outdoor, creative space, designed to increase engagement and authenticity of experience.”
“It will inform the model for future gatherings, helping build ownership as a place of Aboriginal celebration and community congregation,” he added.
Click here to watch NBN New’s coverage of the event.
Please note that the public performance and workshops at Nhangara Barayi during 2019 NAIDOC celebrations are fully booked and entry is by ticket only.