The Indigenous Traditional Dance Program (ITDP) is an arts and cultural community development initiative that has been delivered across the NT in various locations for the past eight years. Currently located in the remote community of Borroloola, on the Gulf of Carpentaria – approximately 950 kilometres South-East of Darwin, ITDP promotes cultural maintenance and exchange through the mediums of traditional dance and song.
ITDP has two key objectives:
- To provide a platform for local Indigenous knowledge keepers to meet, exchange and maintain their cultural practices as well as gain professional development experience as paid performers. To allow local cultural leaders to pass down cultural knowledge relating to traditional dance to younger generations, ensuring that critical knowledge is maintained into the future, and
- To showcase traditional Indigenous dance to a mainstream audience in order to foster broader understanding of Indigenous cultural values and spirituality. ITDP culminates in an annual cultural showcase event, Malandarri Festival (previously named DanceSite).
ITDP, DanceSite and regional support forums move to a new hosting community – usually a major regional centre in the NT – every three years. Over the three year period, the program transitions towards complete community ownership.
Over this period the program acts to:
- engage, inspire and mobilise the local community and region
- consolidate community participation and ownership, and
- mentor the community in the delivery of its own traditional dance event while putting into place more formal training pathways.