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Daniel Riley announced as the first Indigenous artistic director to lead non-Indigenous dance company

Though Daniel Riley to start with started dancing at 9 decades previous, his like affair with the accomplishing artwork kind was sparked when he was invited to a youth dance workshop at age 12.

“I instantly felt like I was with like-minded people, I felt like I was with a community, and from there, it just type of took off,” he reported.

The Wiradjuri gentleman is best recognised for his 12 years doing work with Indigenous contemporary dance company Bangarra Dance Theatre, wherever he developed a amount of main award-profitable performances.

“I’ve been capable to frequently examine my cultural id and my heritage, and you know, dance is a significant component of storytelling. It doesn’t matter what tradition or language you converse,” Mr Riley claimed. 

“By dance, I just observed my voice.”

Dancers Daniel Riley and Beau Dean Riley Smith
Daniel Riley performs for Bangarra Dance Theatre with his cousin, Beau Dean Riley Smith.(

Equipped: Edward Mulvihill


Now, obtaining proven himself as a person of the nation’s leading dancers and choreographers, he will be getting on a new function as the creative director for the Australian Dance Theatre (ADT).

It is really a whole-circle moment of types, as the particular person who invited Mr Riley to the youth dance workshop when he was 12 was the founder of ADT, Elizabeth Cameron Dalman.

A man in a suit smiles at the camera
Australian Dance Theatre government director, Nick Hays.(

ABC Information: Mahalia Carter


The South Australian-primarily based team is Australia’s oldest present-day dance business, founded in 1965.

Executive director Nick Hays stated Mr Riley’s appointment is a “substantial instant in Australian cultural history”.

“There have been other Initially Nations artists or creatives who have led mainstream, or kind of much larger arts organisations, but Daniel is the first First Nations artist to operate a corporation like ADT,” Mr Hays stated.

Mr Riley is hoping to attract on his comprehensive practical experience, as very well as his cultural id, to encourage the future era of dancers.

“Creating absolutely sure that they have pathways, that they sense emboldened and they sense like their voices are listened to,” was essential, he explained.

“I believe for younger people to be it, they need to have to be able to see — you know, you are not able to be what you won’t be able to see.

“And I assume it requirements to be spoken generally … young artists can aspiration big, and we can achieve something, no matter their cultural heritage.”

Mr Riley will be just the sixth person in the job, taking over at the stop of the calendar year from Garry Stewart, who will finish his 22-calendar year tenure.

“It will come to feel various, it will glance different — that’s a very good matter much too, because our up to date arts require to maintain shifting and shifting.”

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