We’re delighted to announce Nathan Leslie as our First Nations Resident for 2024.

The Residency will support Nathan with dedicated studio time at Carriageworks in Sydney and LGI’s home in North Melbourne, WXYZ Studios, production support and a fee.

Nathan Leslie is a proud descendant of the Gamilaroi, Mandandanji, Wiradjuri, Awabakal tribes and peoples. He studied at ACPA under the artistic direction of Michael Leslie. Nathan went on to further his studies in dance at QUT and graduated from WAAPA (Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts). Nathan has worked with choreographers and directors including Csaba Buday, Evan Jones, Keith Hawley, Graham Watson, Jeffery Tan, Rhoda Roberts, Gina Rings, Frances Rings and Leigh Warren. He has trained with Australian Dance Theatre, Leigh Warren and Dancers, Netherlands Dance Theatre, Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Dance Company and has performed at most major festivals and venues around the country.

About the opportunity Nathan said, “I will use this residency to investigate movements, writings, traditional language and dance, and spoken word/dialogue—exploring different creative methods and researching ideas. I’m hoping to sprout the beginnings of a new work, and also develop workshops/programs and an engagement process to connect and share my process and ideas with communities. Opportunities like this give artists like me a platform to keep creating and testing ideas and concepts, and better our working practices—not only here in Australia but in a bigger arts collective (worldwide) / human collective as well. Many thanks to LGI, BlakDance, and Carriageworks—I’m really looking forward to what can be created from this residency.”

The Residency was created in 2021 through a multi-year partnership between BlakDance, the national industry and producing organisation for First Nation contemporary dance based on Turrbal and Yuggera Country in Meanjin (Brisbane, Queensland) and Lucy Guerin Inc, the critically acclaimed contemporary dance company located on the lands of the Kulin Nation in Naarm (Melbourne, Victoria). Carriageworks, Australia’s largest multi-art centre based on Gadigal Country (Sydney, NSW) joined the partnership in 2022 to further support the program and expand its reach.

This partnership between LGI, BlakDance, and Carriageworks reflects the organisations’ shared goal to support Senior First Nations artists at various career stages and redress the historical lack of support in non-Indigenous organisations for First Nations dance artists. This opportunity is designed to both celebrate and support by providing a space for the development of new work or ongoing research into their artistic practice. The program is important to LGI and their contribution to improve representation, opportunities, and career pathways for First Nations artists in contemporary dance.

Previous Residents include Jacob Boehme, Peta Strachan, and Rachael Wallis. The program will continue to develop with artistic self-determination at its core.


This program has been generously supported by the Australian Government’s Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund.

Lucy Guerin Inc is supported by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body; by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; and by the City of Melbourne.

BlakDance is assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body.

Carriageworks is supported by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body; and by the NSW Government through Create NSW.