Vicki Van Hout

Vicki Van Hout

First Collective Residencies Choreographer

Vicki Van Hout is an established Indigenous performance maker and teacher who works in both her Indigenous community and within the contemporary dance, theatre and visual arts sectors. Her raison d’etre is to pioneer and to break boundaries.

In 1987 Vicki was invited to participate in the inaugural Black Playwrights conference as an actor with the likes of legends Bob Maza, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, and Justine Saunders. Vicki was the first Australian Indigenous dancer graduating from Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance NY NYC (1994) before returning to Australia to join Bangarra Dance Theatre for the overseas tour of their seminal work, 'Ochres' (1996).

Vicki has a long-standing association with NAISDA Dance College as a graduate, as course coordinator and as a casual teacher (27yrs), choreographing numerous pieces for the annual end of year productions. In 2007 Vicki was commissioned by NAISDA's CEO Kim Walker to create a Contemporary Indigenous Dance Technique (CIDT). Her CIDT document in progress has been utilised to help shape the current curriculum and has been made available to teaching staff as a delivery guide.

Vicki’s third full length work 'Briwyant' (2010-12) was the first contemporary dance piece to be toured nationally by an Indigenous independent. 'Briwyant' marked her debut as an interdisciplinary maker as she integrated both motion capture technologies and large-scale sculpture in the form of a 16 metre river of playing cards for the performers to dance upon, which also augmented the aural component, which included poetry and spoken word.
In preparation for her work 'Long Grass' Van Hout travelled to and from Darwin to engage with the displaced Indigenous peoples 'living rough' over a period of two and a half years. 'Long Grass' illuminated the disparity in living conditions, also known as 'the gap'. 'Long Grass' featured a roving metal framed woven sculpture, which doubled as a hospital bed, a wall, and a partition between ancestral forces, between the living and the dead.

Began a collaborative arts relationship with digital media artist Marian Abboud which began with 'Behind the zig-zag' in 2007 and included a filmic instillation under the same title which was shown as part of Carriageworks international dance film exhibition titled '24 Frames Per Second' (2015). Marian and I would also collaborate on an installation titled 'Redfern as Refuge', part of an exhibition celebrating the National Black Theatre of Redfern and the 40th anniversary of NAISDA titled 'Naya Wa Yugali' (2016).

For her multi award winning solo performance 'plenty serious TALK TALK' Van Hout used the stage as a platform for discourse surrounding self-determination and appropriation as a contemporary artist drawing upon 'traditional' iconography.

Vicki was the first Indigenous artist awarded Arts NSW (now Create NSW) Mid-Career Dance Fellowship (2014). Recipient of The Australia Council Dance Award in 2019. One of fifty arts workers chosen to contribute to a book celebrating the Sydney Opera House' 50th Anniversary (2023).

Vicki is currently blogger in residence for FORM Dance Projects (2013 - 2023).

We acknowledge the First Nations people as the Traditional Owners of Meanjin (Brisbane).

Australasian Dance Collective acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their deep connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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