Miriki Performing Arts is a children’s and young person’s performing arts training organisation based in Cairns, Queensland.
Led by NAISDA alum Pauline Lampton, the organisation predominately works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary and high school students and provides a holistic approach to performing arts with a focus on dance, music and language. The group connects and performs with other mobs and First Nations cultures around the world.
On a recent trip to Sydney, the Miriki Performing Arts group stopped by NAISDA Dance College to tour the campus and check out rehearsals for our 2019 end of year production.
“We travelled down to Sydney to attend the Murama Indigenous Leadership Summit and thought it would be a good opportunity to set up a visit to NAISDA Dance College while we were there,” said Pauline, founder of Miriki Performing Arts.
While at NAISDA, the group was given a tour of the NAISDA studios and campus and heard from NAISDA’s Developing Artists about what it’s like to train at NAISDA.
“The kids got to talk one on one with the NAISDA Developing Artists and learn about career pathways.
“They had the chance to ask questions like ‘what will you do after NAISDA?’ and ‘how do you manage to balance your training schedule and social life?’, giving them a realistic idea about what it’s actually like to attend a place like NAISDA.”
Pauline said that the senior dancers in the group loved the experience, which prompted many of them to return to NAISDA for audition week in early December.
“Some of them may not be fully ready to move away from home yet, but attending the audition week is a good opportunity for them to get an even greater feel of what life is like at NAISDA and see if it’s right for them in the future,” said Pauline.
“It was also a great experience for our little ones – they were all completely mind-blown by the rehearsals! They told me that their visit to NAISDA was the highlight of their trip and they want to dance more.”
NAISDA Developing Artists were not the only ones to perform as part of the visit. The Miriki group treated NAISDA students and staff to a performance piece which focussed on the theme of fire and its many aspects – from destruction to rebirth.
“All of our kids choreograph their own work at Miriki,” said Pauline. “We will usually give them a theme to work with and once they have created something, we will help shape it into something more theatrical.
“The kids really loved receiving feedback from the NAISDA group – it meant a lot to them and made them feel real deadly!”
NAISDA looks forward to strengthening ties with Miriki Performing Arts and working with the organisation to spread the message of dance and culture throughout the Cairns community and beyond.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank the Miriki group for coming to NAISDA and sharing an amazing day with us.