Dancing… With Love
08 Jul 2010
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                                       “Jannawi” is a community based Indigenous Dance Company encompassing modern urban and traditional dance styles.

The name Jannawi means ‘with you, with me’ in the Darug language of NSW and aims to keep an open ear to the voices of our community’s youth.


Jannawi is committed to nurturing a strong cultural identity, following the traces of our ancestor’s footprints. The company does this by remaining strongly connected to the roots of its tradition, and creating a cultural pathway of dance, song and stories, from both past and present.

Peta Strachan, is Artistic Director of this fledgling dance company, and Michelle Blakeney has photographed many Jannawi performances from which all of these images have been sourced.

Michelle has titled this series “Dancing… With Love”, as she found Peta to be a extraordinary woman for whom dance is a great source of passion. Peta is a single mother of 4, and much of Jannawi’s repertoire is drawn from Peta’s need to maintain a cultural core in the life’s of her children - which is why so many of Jannawi dances have traditional beginnings.

The female members of the Jannawi ensemble are the subjects of this particular series. These photos convey beauty, softness and celebrate the intrinsic robust femininity that Michelle sees embodied within Peta’s work.


Michelle Blakeney - Photographer

Michelle Blakeney  has been a photographer for several years- her continuing passion and ambition is to document via photography and video her own people’s unique culture, talent and history; to be presented in the form of storytelling, performance and teaching- revealing a positive image of indigenous Australians.


A resident of Sydney, she continues to work as a photographer. Photography by its very visual nature has a real power- the idea of “a picture saying a thousand words’ has a real resonance for Michelle, and it is within that context that photography itself has become a strong personal and professionally creative force in her life. Within herself, she knows she can offer a unique perspective within the realms of visual arts.


This is Michelle Blakeneys’ first photographic exhibition.


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