Modern primitives leaping and stomping the earth: from ballet to bush doofs

Anna Haebich, Jodie Taylor
2011 Aboriginal History Journal  
In the colonial history of black and white Australia, there are few recorded instances of public performances that draw together the traditions of Aboriginal and settler dance cultures to create mutually constitutive corporeal dialogues. Aboriginal academic Marcia Langton argues in an oft-quoted observation that settler experiences of Aboriginal culture have remained over time primarily visual and distant, both spatially and culturally, rather than embodied and contingent. 1 It is not
more » ... It is not surprising, then, that settler encounters with Aboriginal performance have manifested primarily in spectatorship rather than interaction. In this paper, we explore two uncommon examples of embodied performance by non-Indigenous dancers directly inspired by white imaginings of Aboriginal culture. Exercising concern regarding the motivations and political implications of performance, we first examine the modernist ballet Corroboree (1954) and subsequently the neo-corroborees of contemporary 'bush doof' culture. 2
doi:10.22459/ah.31.2011.05 fatcat:r4rg5wcvc5c3lok7hdr4emd3tm