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Mimi: An Evening with the Aboriginal Dance Theatre (1988)


A documentary filmed during the National Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre’s end of year production.

Curator’s notes

The National Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre (AIDT) celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2005. In 1975, a course initiated by the Urban Theatre Committee of the Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australia Council was held at the Black Theatre in Redfern. The need for Indigenous dance was acknowledged by the Commonwealth Department of Education and allowed Indigenous students to receive financial support. The National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) became an incorporated body in 1988, the year of the documentary’s production. NAISDA has procured Indigenous dance talent from which established companies such as Bangarra Dance Theatre emerged, producing performers such as singer Christine Anu, Stephen Page, Ningali Lawford, and Frances Rings. Many of NAISDA’s alumni continue to participate in the arts, crossing over into film, television and other audiovisual art forms. NAISDA received the support of one of Australia’s most prominent writers when, in his will, Patrick White bequeathed a quarter of his estate to the dance theatre.