WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following may contain images, story and voices of deceased, by and about persons. Discretion advised.
17 July 2021 // Bernadette Walong-Sene
Bernadette Walong-Sene is a formidable choreographer, performer, educator and consultant with work internationally in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the UK, US and, in West Africa.
As Bangarra's founding choreographer/assistant artistic director and dancer of Bangarra Dance Theatre Australia, she co-created the lauded seminal work ‘Ochres’ (1994) stamping the company’s unique brand in Australian Dance (featured in the 2000 Sydney Olympics) and its profile internationally. Prior to Ochre, the Bangarra productions were heavily narrative based, but it was credit in part to her influence and vision that the "Bangarra Dance Style" was born.
Bernadette works in dance, theatre, education and dance-film and, was a former academic in Performance at the Western Sydney Unversity. She is the founder of BWSENE !NMOTION AUSTRALIA (2006), an intercultural, intercontinental multidisciplinary performance laboratory.
She danced with Dance North Australia, Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Theatre. She’s made works for numerous companies including the Indonesian physical theatre company, Teater Kita Makassar, Australian Performance Exchange, Snuff Puppets Company, Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Australian Dance Theatre, the Australian Ballet Company, Dance North Australia, Australian Youth Orchestra, Oceania Dance Theatre (Fiji) and the Combinatorial Danza Company (Cuba).
Bernadette’s work in education includes mentoring, teaching and directing for institutions including, Western Sydney University, University of Southern QLD (Toowoomba, Australia), James Cook University, (Townsville, Australia), NAISDA (Australia) Taiwan Institute of the Arts (Taipei) and the Hanoi National Dance School (Vietnam).
Bernadette is featured as a choreographer/performer in award-winning experimental short films including Atom Award winners, ‘River Woman’ (Dir. Michelle Mahrer and ABC TV) and ‘No Surrender’ (Dir. Physical TV Co. and ABC TV). Her collaboration, ‘Moving with the Dreaming’ with Nadine Patterson (HIP Cinema, Philadelphia) won a US National Black Programming Consortium Prized Pieces award. All films have screened globally including in Slovenia, Italy, the UK, US, China, New Zealand and Africa and, in festivals such as Reeldance (Australia/New Zealand), Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, Harlem Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival and the Burkina Faso Film Festival (West Africa).
She’s appeared live and in music-videos for U2, Archie Roach and Christine Anu and created short live works for Australian electronic bands including PNAU (Sydney Opera House) and Think & Thunk Communications in Sydney’s underground club music and dance scene.
Bernadette has performed and been artist in-residence throughout Australia and in Scotland, USA, Cuba, PNG, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, India, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Laos, Holland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Israel.
She has an extensive background in intercultural relations via dance and education (K-12, tertiary) within cultural and linguistically diverse communities including for professional and amateur dancers, actors, students, disability and general communities, children through elderly.
Bernadette is based in Toowoomba, Australia and divides her time between there, Senegal and the Pacific.