Announcing the 2019 First Nations Emerging Critic: choreographer, dancer and artistic powerhouse Jacob Boehme
We’re thrilled to announce that Jacob Boehme will be the second Witness First Nations Emerging Critic, and will be working with Witness this year. He will be joining Carissa Lee, the inaugural FNEC and now an associate editor, Alison Croggon and Robert Reid as part of the core critical team.
Jacob is a Melbourne born and based artist from the Narangga (Yorke Peninsula) and Kaurna (Adelaide Plains) nations of South Australia. He was most recently founding artistic director of YIRRAMBOI First Nations Arts Festival, where he began the Blak Critics program for Indigenous arts critics.
“As director and initiator of the Blak Critics program, I didn’t personally benefit from the skills development and knowledge exchange that the program transferred to a new generation of Blak arts reviewers,” Jacob says. “I would be most eager now to build my own skills in this area.
“I believe that a mentorship with Witness Performance in the literary craft and delivery of (much needed) critical arts review of the performing arts sector provides me with a platform to develop a unique approach to Australian arts review that honours our unique and ancient performing arts heritage, in and for a modern world.”
Jacob has a 20 year history working in Cultural Maintenance, Research & Revival of traditional dance with Elders and youth from urban to remote Indigenous communities across Australia. His practice combines dance (Diploma in Dance, NAISDA 2000), puppetry (Masters in Puppetry, Victorian College of the Arts 2007), and playwriting (Masters in Writing for Performance, Victorian College of the Arts, 2014) to create multi-disciplinary theatre, dance and ceremony for stage, screen and large-scale public events and festivals.
An original member of Assitej International’s “Next Generation of Youth Theatre Leaders”, Jacob is also a recipient of the Asialink Residency, working with Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust in Delhi, India, in 2010 and Alumni of the 2014 British Council’s ACCELERATE Indigenous Leaders Program. Other International Residencies include teaching traditional and contemporary Aboriginal dance at Teatteri ILMI O in Helsinki, Finland and the Schaxpir Festival Linz, Austria
Jacob’s solo work Blood on the Dance Floor, produced in partnership with ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, is currently touring Canada. He will join Witness in March, when he returns to Australia.