Park Road Studio – Alexandria Park Community School

Alexandria Park Community School, Alexandria and the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in Redfern from 2014 – 2016.

The program delivered by Carriageworks involves artists covering dance, music, video and visual arts. The artists develop their artform practices while engaging with secondary and primary school students. In 2014, Torres Strait Island dancer and choreographer, Ghenoa Gela was the artist- in-residence.

Torres Strait Islander Dancer, Ghenoa Gela, was in residence at Park Road Studio at the Alexandria Park Community School and established a dedicated dance studio for the development of her practice. Based at the school’s Primary School campus, students could observe Ghenoa’s rehearsals and choreographic development processes in an open door studio. The studio supported Ghenoa to debut her first full length choreography with a dance company of four women, including herself. The new dance work, Winds of Woerr, features stories from her Mother about the Four Winds of the Torres Strait and premiered at the Next Wave Festival in Melbourne in May 2014. .

With a group of twenty Primary School Students at the Alexandria Park Community School Ghenoa created a performance for the School’s NAIDOC Week School Assembly, widely attended by community and family members.

Ghenoa facilitated a series of dance workshops at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) School Holiday Program leading towards a specially rehearsed children’s dance performance for an Elders Luncheon at the NCIE in July 2014.

In term 3 & 4 Ghenoa conducted contemporary dance workshops with Year 9 and 10 students three times a week, with support from teaching staff at the school. Year 10 students and Ghenoa developed a series of dance performances for the School’s end of year presentation for students, parents and families.

At the Sydney Opera House, a group of senior students participated as performers and observers with Ghenoa in the Forum Theatre project involving young people from Redfern. The presentations of this project were held at the Sydney Opera House during the Corroboree Festival in partnership with the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence.

In her ongoing studio practice at the Park Road Studio, Ghenoa worked with Rachael Maza, Artistic Director of Ilbijerri Theatre in Melbourne, to develop a one woman dance performance work. Students at Alexandria Park were able to observe this creative development process, and the work-in-progress which was presented at the School.

Arts organisations involved in and supporting Ghenoa’s 2014 residency at Alexandria Park Community School and Carriageworks were:

Sydney Opera House: presented the Forum Theatre Project with young people from Redfern. Through the Residency at Alexander Park School, a select group of senior students accompanied Ghenoa as performers and observers in this performance.

Corroboree Festival Sydney: The Forum Theatre Project was presented as part of the Corroboree Festival Sydney.

Next Wave Festival, Melbourne: Ghenoa premiered her new dance work Winds of Woerr at Melbourne’s Next Wave Festival. The choreographic development and rehearsal of this dance work was supported by the Park Road Studio and students observed these processes in an open door studio.

Ilbijerri Theatre, Melbourne: During the Residency, Ghenoa commenced working with Rachael Maza, Artistic Director of Ilbijerri Theatre in Melbourne, developing a one woman dance performance work. A work-in-progress of this new performance piece was presented in November at Alexandria Park Community School

Alexandria Park Community School Park Road Studio