We cry for our Country, we dance up our Country, we care for our Country; We are our Country and our Country is our heart.

Proudly presented by NAISDA Dance College and Carriageworks, NAISDA’s 2019 Sydney season of Ngoenakap (Nga-Na-Kup) was held at Carriageworks from 20-23 November 2019.

Directed by Sani Townson, the production was a powerful exploration of First Nations Peoples’ connection to Country and Kinship.

First Nations contemporary dancers, choreographers and NAISDA Developing Artists presented stories that resonate with First Nations Peoples’ connection to Country and Kinship, with special guests from Wug Village, Mua Island, Torres Strait.

Images by Jamie James.

Ngoenakap means ‘heart’ in my Torres Strait Islander language of Kala Lagaw Ya,” said Director Sani Townson.

“My heart to dance, my heart for homeland and my heart to teach and share.

Ngoenakap for me is the person within community that acts as the glue. The person whose story resonates with you to leave a lasting impression. You find yourself amazed and inspired by their life in a remote community living amongst culture every day,” he added.

For Ngoenakap, Sani has worked with Dujon Niue, NAISDA graduate and Mua Island Cultural Leader, Deon Hastie NAISDA Head of Dance, together with NAISDA Developing Artists, to present a deeply personal celebration and reflection on connection to Torres Strait Islander Country, culture and community.

“Ngoenakap is also about NAISDA Dance College itself,” added Sani.

“For me, and many others who have come through this incredible institution, it is the heartbeat of our creative practice which gave us our professional springboard into the Arts Industry.

“After leaving NAISDA, at some point in our professional careers, there is a 360 degree turning point where we feel the need to give back and share our dance and cultural dialogues. Ngoenakap is my full circle. I am returning to the heart of where it all began.”

Ngoenakap Reviews

Check out some of the reviews of Ngoenakap by clicking the links below:

A sense of joy from start to finish” – Sydney Morning Herald

Ngoenakap looked less like a graduation performance…and more like a professional production with a great sense of coherence in the selection of dance works performed” – Dance Australia

“Ngoenakap was a most exciting programme, full of stylish polish combined with athleticism” – Dance Magazine