Culture Cruise in Canberra

All aboard Canberra’s ‘Culture Cruise’ a one of a kind experience hosted by The Australian Dance Party (ADP) and informed by Ngunnawal Consultants Aunty Caroline Hughes and Tara Hughes.

ADP is a collective of contemporary dance artists who use the human body to connect to the ordinary and extraordinary spaces around us. Their Culture Cruise is an exclusive half day art immersion from 10:30am – 3:00pm connecting destinations and revealing stories here on the beautiful ancient lands of the Ngunnawal people, Canberra. The tour is by boat and involves some walking as you experience visual art and architecture, live dance, amazing music, theatrical tour guides and award winning local food and wine.

Beginning at the National Museum of Australia in response to the Great Southern Land exhibition the participants will travel Lake Burley Griffin in the iconic “Gull” electric boat and enjoy aspects of the National Portrait Gallery and take inspiration from exhibition Who are You? with ADP’s live performance, intellectual and sensory delights along the way.

We spoke to Australian Dance Party Leader/Director Alison Plevey about what viewers can look forward to on the Culture Cruise.

How do dance, music, the senses hit different when it comes to relaying place and history?
Art innately engages the sensory realms of our humanity. Through the dance and theatrical elements we invite audiences to feel a kinaesthetic empathy, and physical connection to the places the performers and audience share.

Each piece we have crafted for the tour has been created on site, with deep connection to the site. The physicality of movement has a power to bring to life architectural and natural landscapes, drawing us into its detail, beauty and character, where usually we would walk right on by.

How have Canberran audiences reacted so far?
Audiences have been very positive and excited by their experience. I think because it has enabled them a relaxing, entertaining, creatively rich experience, even if they live in Canberra and know these places well, the cruise integrates and connects these cultural gems we have in Canberra in such a unique way.

The food and wine aspect, a two-course lunch at 1 hat restaurant, Waters Edge as well as wine by Mount Majura Vineyard aboard the boat, gives the experience an indulgent and special feel, perfect for a gift, to share Canberra with a visitor or special occasion.

Canberra is known as a planned and orderly place, what does your approach unlock in people or what do you feel they take away from the experience?
I think and hope that Culture Cruise invites audiences to be present moment to moment and asks them to imagine changes in this place across time, its significance and beauty. It is also rare reflective time for the self, to be and feel, activating all of their senses and to share a special experience with a companion and the small fellow tour group.

This work has been so wonderful and different in that we have holistically crafted an experience that is more than just dance, it is a creative journey. I hope some of your readers may be enticed to join us!

Performances will comprise up to 28 guests and there are five more cruises planned for the summer; Sat 25th Feb, Sat 4th March, Sat 11th March, Sat 18th March and Sat 25th March. Get your tickets here.