Artist Talk & Dance Workshops with Jasmin Sheppard

Photography by Samuel James

Duration: 1.5 hours
Location: In-school
Students: Groups of 5 – 20 students, Years 7 – 12
Cost: Free

Acclaimed contemporary dancer, choreographer and director, Jasmin Sheppard will lead a small number of dance workshops for local high schools in February 2021. These learning programs follow the premier of Jasmin’s new work The Complication of Lyrebirds, 2021 at Campbelltown Arts Centre as part of Sydney Festival. 

Two program options are available:

Program 1: Dance students, Years 10 – 12
This artist-led program will introduce students to the practice of contemporary artist Jasmin Sheppard, with learning around dance appreciation, performance and composition.

Jasmin will provide students with conceptual grounding in Indigenous choreographic processes, explored through both an artist talk and a practical workshop.

This program develops from the choreographic narrative of Sheppard’s new work, The Complication of Lyrebirds which addresses some of the social expectations of what it means to look or sound Aboriginal. Re-contextualizing historical documents, such as ‘The White Australia Policy’ and ‘The Exemption Form’, as choreographic tools, The Complication of Lyrebirds  investigates societal and cultural sources of expectations and pressures, as well as drawing on the artist’s own lived experience.  

Program 2: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, Years 7 – 12
This program is designed to provide inspiration, nurture creative expression and inform career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students with an interest in arts, cultural and creative industries.

Students will work with artist Jasmin Sheppard, gaining insight from her career trajectory and reflections on industry experience. Considerations include freelance versus company life, Indigenous choreographic processes, arts management as well as practical business skills involved in being a Creative for a living.

The program includes a practical dance workshop for students to learn techniques and understanding of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance, but also build confidence in their own creative expression.

Bookings and Enquiries:
Edwina Hill, Education Officer 
[email protected] 
(02) 4645 4298

In-person bookings will be adapted for online learning, should health policies of the day require.

About the artist

Jasmin Sheppard is a contemporary dancer, choreographer and director, a Tagalaka Aboriginal woman with Irish, Chinese and Hungarian ancestry.  

Jasmin spent 12 years with Bangarra Dance Theatre, performing numerous lead roles such as ‘Patyegarang’, in which critics described her performance as “powerfully engaging, fluent dexterity” (Sydney Morning Herald). She choreographed one major work for the company, ‘MACQ’, on the 1816 Appin Massacres under Governor Macquarie which toured Australian capital cities, regional Australia and Germany. Other works include: ‘No Remittance’ for Legs on the Wall and ‘Choice Cut’ for Yirramboi festival, which was presented at Toronto’s Fall For Dance North Festival, 2019. 

Jasmin premiers her first full length work “The Complication of Lyrebirds” in 2021 at Campbelltown Arts Centre as part of Sydney Festival. This work was also supported by The Australia Council for the arts in conjunction with CAC and Native Earth Theatre Company, Toronto.  

Her work is passionate, political and has been described as “surreal and highly evocative” (The Australian).