Picture of a performer on stage to the right dancing with legs bent wide and arms pointing to left. The performer is wearing a long dark grey dress with shoulder length black hair and background is white with wooden stage.

Resilience in Isolation: Yinarr

Amelia Jean O’Leary | Gamilaroi

Yinarr means ‘Aboriginal Woman’ in Gamillaray Langauge. Amelia Jean O’Leary explores the internal vortex of identity, gender and cultures through an external exploration of physical movement which conveys a sense of inner feeling and thought. Amelia created Yinarr as part of Willin’s Fan the Flames during Deadly Fringe in 2019. She created a short film that was projected behind her as she danced. And as a life long journey of discovery, Amelia desires to continue the development of Yinarr as she keeps exploring dance and her identity.

‘What is my purpose? What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to dance? Whilst in my journey I discovered that what I am doing right now is enough. That being able to share, create, learn my art form is very powerful.’ – Amelia Jean O’Leary.

Amelia Jean O’Leary is a Gamilaroi woman from Barraba New South Wales and has lived in Melbourne for ten years. Amelia took part in the Melbourne Theatre Company’s Indigenous Scholarship Program in 2017 and is now a mentor in the program. She began her first year at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2019 studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance. Amelia has performed in Tanderrum in 2019 and created her own works Yinarr and Crunchy in the same year, which has further developed her interest in dance for films and movement exploration.

This work is part of YIRRAMBOI’s Resilience in Isolation program which supports our First Nations creatives to continue their creative practices and development during the isolation.