Tara and her family’s lineage can be traced back to the Logan river region of the Munaldjali people. She is a direct descendent, and strongly identifies with her Indigenous history. She also acknowledges the rich tapestry that makes up her identity, the mix of first Australians and her Scottish, Irish mix.
Tara was born and raised in Darwin, starting her journey into dance at a young age. Whilst growing up, Tara had the opportunity to be involved in a performing arts environment, both professional and amateur. Notable engagements were, working with Juniper Tree dance collective with Joanna Noonan and Julia Quinn; Gary Lang NT Dance Company starting the beginning of her exploration into her roots, deepening her understanding of culture, performing in works such as Entrapment and the lead in Goose Lagoon; TRACKS dance company being a part of the first mainstream youth initiative, the work FAST and continuing to work with TRACKS on other projects.
Being involved with the dance community in Darwin led to rich exchanges with the Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. Participating in residencies and teaching and leading workshops, enabled Tara to gain invaluable insight to living culture in the northern part of Australia.
Tara completed a Bachelor of Dance Performance in 2007 at Adelaide Centre of the Arts. Her time here awakened her curiosity and depth of passion for Dance. Her incredible teachers, Lisa Heaven, Peter Sheedy and Sally Collard-Gentle imprinted on her early on in her studies and Tara continues to carry this knowledge with her. Whilst at ACArts, Tara worked with nationally and internationally respected artists including Leanne Ringlestein, Troy Mundy, Aiden Kane-Munn, Lina Limusani
Tara explored Independent projects post-study –
- choreographing a work in development for Imoves 2010
- A dance film project What Remainsby Jason Lam, which travelled overseas
- A section of the ZEBRA films in Berlin
- Youth leader in the project at Kurruru Arts
- Reel Dance 2010 Darwin
- Fringe at the Bank 2009
- Working with Betchay Mondragon on a project to empower the long grass community through art performance.
Tara joined Bangarra in 2011. She dove into the company, exploring culture and deepening her roots while sharing Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander stories on stage, in Communities and on Country. Tara felt able to address and have a voice in current social and political issues, empowering both the community and herself as an artist.
For Tara, it has been an honour and a great responsibility to be able to continue our First Nation stories and bring them to the main stage and our communities.During her time with Bangarra, Tara worked with Stephen Page, Francis Rings and other company dancers/Choreographers in the creative process for the new productions each year. She enjoyed this creative process and has put those experiences into her own personal dilly bag of knowledge to access when she is exploring choreography.
Tara's performance highlights include
- the 2011 extensive European tour of Spirit, ID2011 and BLAK 2013
- Being nominated in the Dance Australia’s critic’s survey 2014 as outstanding dancer for her lead role in Brolga, where she also got to return home to Darwin and perform that same role
- The remounting of the major iconic Ochres- a high note in that season was remounting and performing the Obsession Duetwith Luke Currie-Richardson
- The International tours of Spirit, especially for the Holland Dance Festival, Bonn, Berlin, Copehnhagen
- Ochrestour to Paris, which was also had a live feed across the nation
Tara would like to acknowledge two important Rehearsal Directors that enriched her dancing and changed the way she approached movement and class, essentially her artistic practice. Catherine Goss was Tara’s first rehearsal director that helped shape her in her beginning days of company life. Anton most notably in her latter years, bringing his cultivated insight into artistic process, artistic expression, providing opportunities to challenge her pathways of moving and mentoring her into teaching practises that led her to devising and teaching company class regularly.
Since leaving the company at the end of 2018, Tara has had the opportunity to progress her teaching practice further through the Pre-Professional year at Sydney Dance Company, Brent Street, Dance Central and Methodist Ladies College. Tara is currently furthering her artistic practice through participating in the One Body, One Career Intensive in Countertechnique founded by Anouk Van Dijk. She is also examining her own dance practice, “hoping to strip away the layers to reveal a truer, ‘authentic self’ and new integrity for movement pathways.” She aims to generate a dance language that is unique to herself and her heritage.