Who is Mariaa Randall?
I am a Gulibul, Githabul and Yaegl Woman from the Far North Coast of NSW. I traded the country in for the city, so that I could dance because I wanted (still do) to see the world. I am living on Djadjawurrung Country in Bendigo but my work takes me back to Narrm (Melbourne).
What would you do differently to what you do now?
Most of what I know now has come from my life experiences and influences all that I do. So I don’t reckon I would do anything differently but stay with life informing what I do.
Who inspires you and why?
All the women I am named after Margaret Olive, Mona Randall and Annette Maria Olive. All very strong Aboriginal women… That had a family and community behind them for which they were all a part of. Their personalities and presence are forever present in me. I hope that one day I am able to leave something close to what that have left with me.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I believe I have begun to change the world in my living room. My nieces and nephews are the biggest way to contribute to the next generation. I figure if I can travel Australia teaching dance to young indigenous and non-indigenous kids and offer an alternative perspective then I must be the most active with the mob closest to me. Through dance, discussion, access to the arts, conversations and more experiences. I hope this will broaden their views on whatever is put in front of them, allowing them to make an informed decision of a topic instead of the stereotype or usual view.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
Evans Head, NSW. I grew up on its beaches as a young kid and have always returned. Beaches with proper waves. And seeing people that you haven’t seen in ages, in the sun and having fun is a pretty cool place to be on a break.
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
If it was their first time to Melbourne. It wouldn’t be a specific attraction. It would more than likely be a deadly restaurant. A place whose food takes me to another place while offering something I haven’t tried before or they haven’t. Melbourne has a lot of moments in time, in places you least expect. And these are the best place to catch up and yarn.
What are you currently reading?
Jacob Boehme’s Blood on the Dance Floor script.
What are you currently listening to?
Copasetik & Cool by Hil St. Soul
Djadjawurrung sunsets, my nieces laughing, my nephews sense of humour, my dad telling a yarn, dancing just to dance, my mothers infections laugh and his green eyes.
What does the future hold for you?
More possibilities to create dance, opportunities to work with amazing people that continue to redirect my artistic gaze and my moral compass, more time to uncover the links to my culture and time with family.
Mariaa is currently choreographing Jacob Boehme’s Blood on the Dance Floor at Arts House – North Melbourne Town Hall from 1 June 2016. For more information, visit: www.artshouse.com.au for details.
Image: Mariaa Randall