Elizabeth Cameron-Dalman OAM, PhD has been described as the high priestess of Australian Dance – she established the Mirramu Creative Arts Centre near Bungendore 30 years ago, and 50 years ago she founded and was the first Artistic Director of the Australian Dance Theatre, and has been celebrating contemporary dance ever since. Elizabeth tours as an actor/dancer, most recently with Michael Keegan Dolan’s award-winning Swan Lake/Loch na hEala production in Ireland, Denmark, the UK, Germany, Australia, Russia and New York.
I was very fortunate and honoured to catch up with Elizabeth at the 30th birthday of Mirramu and asked her to sit for this Portrait Prize. In her humble, youthful, curious way she agreed.
We are going ahead with the Summer Solstice celebration and performance today. However due to the heat, the smoke and unpredictability of the terrible weather and fire conditions, we are scaling down the event.
We have also made arrangements to hold it indoors if necessary. Please make your own decision about attending or not. Of course, we would love to see you but we also totally understand if you decide not to come, especially when you have to make such a long journey in the heat.
We are hoping to film the performance in situ on Sunday, weather permitting. Let me know if you would like to attend this. And/or we may try to schedule the performance again in 2020. We will let you know if we do this and post advice to this website and Facebook.
Christmas and New Year greetings from Mirramu to all.
Elizabeth invites friends, dance family and followers of Mirramu to celebrate with her at the traditional Summer Solstice party. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate your attendance to this private function.
Mirramu Creative Arts Centre 849 Lake Road Bungendore Saturday 21 December 2019 from 5pm
A performance of SO – in Search of Sophia (in Greek mythology the goddess of Wisdom and Intelligence) by Elizabeth Cameron Dalman and Vivienne Rogis with associate Mirramu dancers and musicians will be held in the amphitheatre.
Please bring your own picnic dinner, a rug and/or chair and enjoy the beauty of Weereewa as the sun sets.There will of course be the usual circle dancing in which everyone is invited to participate.
Elizabeth is celebrating 30 years at Mirramu with a party for friends and associates over the weekend of 26 to 28 April 2019.
The weekend’s festivities will include a welcome to Country by Ngambri Elder Shane Mortimer and a tree planting ceremony – 30 trees, one for each year at Mirramu. In the birthday activities Elizabeth will focus on the beautiful environment and its worldwide fragility and on the many artistic and wholistic responses to Lake Weereewa that her time there has brought.
If you are interested in sharing this joyous occasion at any time over the weekend and have an association with Mirramu please contact Elizabeth by email at email@example.com
It was wonderful to see the fruits of our 2017 film shooting on Weereewa Lake George and in the forest behind Mirramu presented in the gallery in Taipei. There were two films – one by Australian film maker Sue Healey and one by Hsiao-Yin (Grace) Peng. It is exciting that so many people have seen this exhibition, taking the capital region to the world. Showings of Grace’s film will be scheduled in other Asian cities in 2018-2019. We’ll keep you posted for a Canberra screening.
Mirramu gratefully acknowledges funding support from the ACT Government for Stage One of this project.
With a string of sell out, critically acclaimed performances worldwide, Loch na hEala returned to Dublin where Elizabeth joined them for the six shows. There were standing ovations and full houses throughout.
It is always special to perform this work in Ireland where so much of the subtlety in it is rooted. Audiences immediately respond to the Irish nuances and the mystique of the folk lore.
Mirramu Creative Arts Centre partnered with Critical Path to host two creative choreographic workshops in October and November.
The first afforded the opportunity for Indigenous choreographers Carly Sheppard, Eric Avery, Katie Lesley, Joel Bray, Taree Sansbury and Jessica Corse (assistant producer) to spend a week exploring their own practice – without the restraint of having to produce a performance work. This was a time of meditative self-discovery and the artists spent time writing and contemplating about their practice and goals.
The second involved the visit of Taiwanese choreographer, dancer and new media artist Su WenChi with Adelina Larsson, Swedish/Australian choreographer, performer, educator, curator and producer and the founder and artistic director of Strange Attractor. This was a time for the artists to be immersed in nature and to reflect upon their performance practice.
Sharings were held on 3 October and 6 November 2018 respectively with guests including representatives of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Organisation, a Board member of bighART. dancers and local arts practitioners, media and advocates.
Mirramu thanks elder Shane Mortimer for welcoming both groups of artists to country and spending time talking about the Weereewa and surrounding land and heritage.
Funding support is gratefully acknowledged for these residencies from the Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, Blakdance, Creative Victoria, Performing Lines, Performance Space and the Taiwanese government through its arts foundation.
Elizabeth has been involved with the Tsai Jui Yueh Foundation for more than 10 years. This year she was commissioned to make a work on the theme of the global refugee crisis for their 13th festival. Flight for Life – Destroyed was the result, a work dedicated to the refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island and around the world.
There were ten dancers from the Grace Shiau Dance Theatre in this production along with Australian performers Vivienne Rogis and Kenneth Spiteri from Mirramu Dance Company.
Five performances were presented in the TJY International Dance Festival with audiences visibly moved by the issues raised and the work itself. Sensitive and strong performances by all of the dancers created a memorable and significant dance theatre work.
Led by actor, theatre maker and dance dramaturgy Kenneth Spiteri, this workshop is for choreographers, dancers, actors and theatre makers who are interested in exploring different facets of ‘dramaturgy’ in the creation of new physical theatre and dance work.
The work will move between improvisation and discussion around the possibilities for creating meaning and ways in which a dramaturg can help facilitate the process of clarification in the creation of new works.
This work is particularly appropriate for theatre makers interested in developing their own work and who may have material that they would like to explore in a critical yet safe environment.
Spiteri says: Biographies create psychologies and the capacity to understand behaviour. Contemporary dramaturgy is founded in this understanding of storytelling. Theatre did not always function this way. It has shamanic roots, and a history of hosting the Gods. In our current performance cultures, biography is dominant and the Gods are silent. This work seeks to challenge this convention by moving the function of performance from one of biography and narrative to one of vehicle and archetype.
Participants are encouraged to bring a piece of text, song and/or choreographic phrase to explore as material in improvisations.
About Kenneth Spiteri
Kenneth has been working as an actor, dance dramaturg and theatre maker for 25 years. Born in Australia, grew up in Canberra, studied theatre with institutions in Paris (Pantheatre and L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq) and in Germany (WIW Academy).
He has lived in Berlin for the most part of the past 10 years where he has worked with legendary theatre director Peter Zadek and the internationally acclaimed company Familie Flöz. Most recently he has been in Malta working with the national theatre company Teatru Malta as a dramaturg/movement director as well as for Teatru Manoel as an actor in the lead role of the mainstage production of The Crucible.
An invitation from Andreas Dalman and Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM
to the launch of out of silence – Marcel Marceau by Jan Dalman
Published by Dalman Productions
Book Launch and conversation
National Portrait Gallery
Saturday 18 August
2pm to 3.30pm
followed by sales and signings in The Curatoreum Bookshop
Special guest presenter Shane Breynard, Director, Canberra Museum and Gallery.
In the final years of his life, Jan Dalman carefully selected what he felt were the most potent, evocative and expressive photographs he’d taken of Marceau from the wings during performances in Adelaide and Melbourne. His great wish was to have a book published to honour Marcel, who had passed away before him in 2007. out of silence – Marcel Marceau by Jan Dalman is the realisation of this dream.