Dance is an Anchor to Identity

Though customs and traditions and beliefs may look different and belong to other people I have also found many similarities which I can relate to my own people. This has broadened my vision of myself and my place in this world.”

The above quote belongs to Aboriginal dancer Ray Kelly, whom as a young boy growing up in Sydney felt detached from both his rich ancestral background on the one side and this new way of living he was supposed to make due with on the other side; he was growing up indigenous in two worlds. The initial disconnect turned into a revelation as he remembers his father speak about dance when he was 5 years old, expressing the importance of togetherness and taking responsibility. He soon found himself on a mission to finding his own identity, using dance as his anchor, recollecting the stories of his uncles stumping the ground like emus with feet like firecracker, raising dust and thumping the earth.

Ray tells this story in his theatre piece Get up and Dance, through the eyes of a boy called Goori. If you want to find out more, you can read his article in The Guardian right here.

Photographs of Australian Aboriginal Indigenous people and places by Aboriginal photographer A,Professor Wayne Quilliam www.aboriginal.photography