“First Nations choreography” (Open Panel Discussion)

Post-colonial process, protocols, and diasporic expression


“There is a deepening connection between First Nations artists in Australia, and across the seas with Aotearoa and Turtle Island. Our Peoples have a common coloniser, shared experience, and importantly, common unbreakable connections to our land and community. As choreographers, our relationships with each other have been growing, as we share our work on international stages.


As part of my program at Critical Path, I’ve seen an exciting opportunity to share and connect in a deeper way with choreographers from each place that extends beyond the presentation of our work.


How do we choreograph as First Nations dancers?


In this panel discussion, I join with magnificent choreographers Vicki Van Hout (Wiradjuri, Australia), Bianca Hyslop (Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi-Ngāti Wāhiao, Pākehā), and Lara Kramer (Anishinaabeg, Turtle Island), to discuss our choreographic processes, how they find their place in the post-colonial timeline of contemporary dance, how we work with First Nations protocols and time, and how living and making work off-country has influenced our work.”


Jasmin Sheppard, Critical Path First Nations Artist Curator

Date: 11/07/2024 (Australia, Aotearoa) 10/07/2024 (Turtle Island)

Time: 9am AEST (Sydney, Australia); 11am (Auckland, Aotearoa); 7pm (Montreal, Turtle Island)

Duration: 2.5 hours, choreographers’ sharing and open discussion with an open platform for audience contribution

Where: online/zoom (the link will be sent 24h prior to the event)

Register your participation by 10am Tuesday 9 July.





  • LARA KRAMER is a performer, choreographer, and multidisciplinary artist of mixed Oji-cree and settler heritage. She lives and works in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal and is a mother of two. Her choreographic work, research and fieldwork over the last fifteen years has been grounded in intergenerational relations, intergenerational knowledge, and the impacts of the Indian Residential Schools of Canada. She is the first generation in her family to not attend the Indian Residential schools. Kramer’s relationship to experiential practice and the creative process of performance, sonic development and visual design is anchored in the embodiment of experiences such as dreams, memories, generational knowledge, and reclamation. Her work brings the audience into the art world, where stillness and silence are knowledge, where the experience of art acts as a mode of transportation into imagining, creation, and possibility. Her artistic creations have taken various forms, including dance, performance, and installation, and have been showcased in numerous locations, spanning Canada and Australia, New Zealand, Martinique, Norway, Vienna, the US and the UK. She has received multiple awards, acknowledgments, and prizes for her work both as an emerging and established artist. In 2018, Lara received the Jacqueline-Lemieux Prize for recognition of artistic excellence and distinguished career achievement in dance. Lara has participated in several residencies including the Indian Residential School Museum of Canada in Portage la Prairie in 2008 and Dancemakers Artist in Residency from 2018-2021. In 2021, Lara joined the MAI as an associate artist and programming curator for the MAI’s 25th anniversary season. Lara Kramer is a Center de Création O Vertigo – CCOV Associate Artist since 2021.
  • BIANCA NATAHIA HYLSOP Natahia Hyslop is a freelance artist, dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She has worked specifically within the Māori Contemporary Dance Sector for over fifteen years, significantly contributing to influential dance projects, including indigenous development, cultural research, and cross-cultural laboratories for interdisciplinary art makers. As a longstanding member of Atamira Dance Company, Ōkāreka Dance Company, and more recently, The New Zealand Dance Company, she has toured nationally and internationally, bringing to life her talents as a versatile performer and collaborator. Bianca also works closely with artist Rowan Pierce who together combine their expertise in Māori contemporary dance and performance design to create work that pushes beyond any one form of performing arts practice. Their work is an immersive performance experience that utilises various forms of storytelling including image, movement, sound, spatial/object design, and beyond. In parallel with her artistic pursuits, Bianca dedicated the past three years to completing ‘Heke Poutuarongo Reo,’ a degree in Te Reo Māori me ōna tikanga from Te Wānanga o Raukawa. Bianca is currently undertaking the choreography of a significant new work for the Atamira Dance Company,. This marks a pivotal moment in her career as she choreographs her inaugural piece for the company that has nurtured, grown, and supported her wholeheartedly throughout her career.
  • VICKI VAN HOUT is a Wiradjuri woman born on the south coast of NSW. An independent choreographer, performance-maker and teacher, Vicki has toured nationally and internationally, most recently with her critically acclaimed solo Plenty Serious Talk Talk. A graduate of NAISDA and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York, Vicki was awarded the 2014 NSW Dance Fellowship – the first Indigenous winner of the Fellowship – and the 2019 Australia Council Award for Dance.


This program is supported by the NSW government through Create NSW.

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