Ian RT Colless
Dancer and choreography, Ian RT Colless, is a descendant of the Dharabuladh (Therabulat) clan of the Gundungurra Aboriginal Nation and has Irish, Welsh and Aboriginal ancestry. As a Roberta Sykes Scholar, he graduated from New York University in late 2013 from the Master of Arts Program - Dance Education: Teaching Dance in the Professions, from the Steinhardt School for Culture, Education and Human Development. At NYU, Ian completed an Independent Study and designed a curriculum, through full-time study, coursework and participation with the American Ballet Theatre (America's National Ballet Company) and observation of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (NYC).
After graduating from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts in Sydney, Ian earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Queensland University of Technology's Creative Industries and a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours from Edith Cowan University's Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts (WAAPA).
Ian has been an artist in residence at the prestigious Banff Centre (Canada) and the Performing Arts Forum (France). Ian was the first modern choreographer to create a work for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Internationally, he has performed, choreographed and produced throughout Australia and also in China, Netherlands, Uganda, France, Germany, Japan, Canada and Portugal.
Ian is a First Nations Project Officer, Capacity Building with the Australian Council for the Arts. He is also the Artistic Director, Chief Choreographer and Producer for the United Collective and Teacher and Choreographer at NAISDA Dance College.
Ian RT Colless, Australia Council of the Arts
Evolving First Nations Custodianships by questioning Western paradigms, ArtsHub, March 2020
A brief history on Indigenous Contemporary Dance, December 2015
It has been very rewarding to gain new cultural views on my dance form in the context of a Western institution. I know that these skills developed will only assist in evolving my choreographic movement stile and unique Indigenous perspective. I feel honoured to have the opportunity to represent my people at NYU.