NAISDA Dance College appoints new Head of Dance

NAISDA Deon HastieNAISDA Dance College has announced the appointment of Deon Hastie to the position of Head of Dance. This significant role will oversee the College’s unique and rigorous artistic and cultural training program.

A descendant of the Djabugay people of Far North Queensland, Deon is a former student of NAISDA, graduating in 1998 from the national performing arts training organisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. From 1999 until 2011, Deon was a major artist with the renowned contemporary dance company Leigh Warren Dancers, performing, contributing to their choreographic process and touring nationally and internationally.

Deon also brings to the role his considerable skills and experience as an independent choreographer, teacher and cultural leader. In 2010 he made history as the first Aboriginal choreographer to premiere a dance piece at Melbourne’s exclusive and invitation-only dance event – Dance Creations, performed with NAISDA students. This subsequently became the highlight performance at the NAISDA 2010 end of year production Wildfire.

“Coming back to NAISDA is a full circle journey for me and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences with Developing Artists, whilst upholding NAISDA’s cultural and artistic values,” said Mr Hastie. “I’m looking forward to building a strong future together.”

Deon’s award-winning choreography has enjoyed sell-out box office success at many events and venues including the Children’s Festival in Brisbane, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide’s Spirit Festival, the Commonwealth Games Festival 2018 and, as Artistic Director, South Australia’s Blak Nite Youth Arts Festival.

Passionate about educating and guiding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, Deon was appointed Artistic Director of Adelaide’s Kurruru Youth Performing Arts in 2010 where he developed and delivered their considerable artistic program, created original works which toured nationally, and raised cultural awareness through dance practice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

NAISDA Chief Executive Officer, Kim Walker expressed the College’s delight at welcoming Deon back to NAISDA. “Deon joins NAISDA at a time of exciting expansion with our new Advanced Diploma starting in 2020, as well as plans under way for a bold new direction of capital growth, facilities and courses over the next ten years,” said Mr Walker.

“We are thrilled by the knowledge, achievements and passion that we know Deon will bring to the organisation as mentor, creative innovator, cultural teacher and choreographer.”

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Image: Deon Hastie (supplied)