On traditional dance...
I started training in ballet when I was six, but it wasn't until I went to NAISDA Dance College that I began learning trad’ (traditional dance). My first year there we were doing trad' from Elcho Island and from North East Arnhem Land. We did trad' once a week, for a solid three hours, and it was drilled into us, and you would get in trouble if you weren't doing it right.
Trad’ was crazy. My whole mind and everything was open and it was really different from anything else I'd ever learnt. At first, it felt really strange, but then it just felt normal, and really natural. I felt like I had been doing it for ages, especially trad’ from Elcho. I don’t know why, it just was really good… It felt right. We learned Torres Strait Islander traditional dance too; that was really hard for me. It was fun – so fun – because it was my first year.
It gives me a sense of... Maybe pride’s the wrong word for me; that wouldn’t come out of my mouth... I love it. I would always choose trad' over contemporary. It’s just a different feeling of satisfaction — you’re dancing for other people of course, but you’re really just dancing for you.
I wish we did more trad'. Even though we don’t perform it, I wish we did more, even if it was just once a fortnight or something.
Even if it was that little amount; I feel like that would be really nice.
"Like it’s just a different feeling of satisfaction... you’re really just dancing for you."
On the spirit of a work...
I really enjoy the shows we do overseas, because they’re usually older dances, and I really love doing the old dances. Like I love doing it; that’s almost the reason why I came here.
I just love learning the old stuff — there’s something about it. Something really special happens when someone creates a work, and then so many other people perform it; so many different people take on the parts over the years, and the work changes and evolves as it's remounted.
In my first year, we went to Paris, and I got to do the full production of Ochres —that dance is my age. So I was like "Wow, I’m doing a dance that’s the same age as me — that’s crazy — so many other people have done this part."
That just makes me feel — so much.
Memories from Tour…
Regional Tour and Return to Country are my favourite time of year.
When I first joined it was a little bit more regional than what I feel like we’re doing now. As in, it would be two shows a week. And it would be two different places. So we’d go there, do one show, hang out for a day, do a workshop, cruise to the next one. Hang out. And I really liked that. In my first year, I felt like we went to a lot more places. We went to two different states, and maybe five different places in each one, maybe four. I liked going to places that I hadn’t been before, because all of the places on my first Regional Tour, I had never been to any of them. So that was pretty cool.
We did Terrain that year, and being with Fran (Rings) was really cool, because Terrain is about Lake Eyre, which is in South Australia, but the basin for all the water that comes to there is from where I’m from as well; like it’s up that far North, in Queensland. And she was like —
Like she’s so cool, like she just knew —
"Glory, this water, the basin is from where you’re from."
And I was like —
"Wow, I didn’t even know that."
And then I went to Camwell, and there is literally a big poster in the roadhouse ‘the water basin of Lake Eyre’! And I was like —
"Fran, you’re amazing! Okay sis'."
So that felt nice too — I felt really connected to that show. It made me realise that you can still have a connection to a work, even if you weren’t there for the creation process. I feel like I’m not very good at creating works, so to me, it's really special if I can have that sort of connection.
And it was wicked too, because we took the work back to Country, to Maree, and went out to Lake Eyre. That was a good Regional Tour. I don’t know if it was just because I was in my first year or first things, but it was pretty crazy – that was awesome.
"Maybe pride’s the wrong word for me; that wouldn’t come out of my mouth... I love it."
Interview with Glory Tuohy-Daniell, facilitated by Cloudia Elder
Article by Ivana Radix
Dance Artist (Alumni)
Glory is a descendant of Indjalandji Dhidhanu and Alyewarre Aboriginal tribes in North West Queensland, and Scottish, English, Irish, Welsh, Chinese and Spanish heritage. Glory first saw Bangarra in 2011’s Belong, and it has been a long-held goal of hers to join the company. In 2016 she joined the company as part of the Russell Page Graduate Program.Explore profile