Contemporary dance and Indigenous culture intertwine in a powerful performance

Purchase tickets to both mi:wi and CO_EX_EN and receive both tickets for $50*! Book package here.

As Mother Nature’s fate hangs by a thread, we find ourselves scrambling for a lifeline. Though sometimes tangled, does the connection to our ancestry reveal a way forward?

mi:wi (pronunciation: mee-weerefers to the invisible ties we have to our past and future, people and country. In this dance theatre work, choreographer and performer Taree Sansbury thoughtfully re-connects three Indigenous women through the practice of Ngarrindjeri weaving.

Looking back and moving forward with growing sense of urgency, mi:wi speaks to the impacts of climate change while emphasising future lineages’ passage in continuing cultural knowledge. With one eye on the future and the other on the past, Sansbury interweaves time and bodies in an attempt to reveal the messenger bird’s warning cry in the present.

A note from Choreographer Taree Sansbury:

In the early 2000s there was a considerably prolonged drought in South Australia that significantly diminished the rushes used for Ngarrindjeri weaving. My nana told me this story and it stuck with me. What if these plants couldn’t survive another five years? My whole cultural history tied to our care for our country. It made perfect sense.

mi:wi is inspired by my maternal grandmother Phyllis Williams and my Ngarrindjeri culture. My nana is a Ngarrindjeri weaver and a language teacher we worked together a lot for this project, and in a way this is where the real work of mi:wi happened. Learning from our elders and ancestors and using that knowledge to redefine and add to tomorrow. This in its essence is the basis of mi:wi.

The word ‘mi:wi’ translates to stomach, inner spirit. Old medicine people could meditate on their ‘mi:wi’ to gain future visions and any impending danger. The urgency I feel for the future of my country and people highlights the need to look to our past and remember.

“mi:wi proves that you don’t need a big performance to fill a big space, you only need a big idea.” David Collins, Arts Review
“mi:wi is a weaving together of past and present not just as an expression of identity but as a means of survival into the future.”  Michael Brindley, Stage Whispers

This work is a part of Karul Projects’ double bill of Taree Sansbury’s mi:wi and Thomas E.S. Kelly’s CO_EX_EN.


Cultural Consultant Phyllis Williams (Ngarrindjeri elder)
Choreography Taree Sansbury
Performers Katina Olsen, Keia Mcgrady, Taree Sansbury
Sound Design Alyx Dennison
Lighting Design Cheryn Frost
Costume Design Peta Strachan
Mentor Vicki Van Hout

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mi:wi was originally commissioned by NEXT WAVE Festival with support from Australia Council for the Arts, Darebin Arts' Speakeasy, Create NSW and Kurruru Culture and Arts Hub.

Presented by QPAC

Pricing Guide

Admission Adult $35 Concession^ $25

^Pensioners, Senior card holders and Full-time students

A transaction fee of $7.20 applies per transaction. Selected ticket delivery methods may incur an additional charge. The minimum price listed may be available for selected performances only. Please see the event calendar when booking for the available date(s) and time(s) of this performance.


  • First Nations Weaving Workshop

    As part of the season of Taree Sansbury’s mi:wi, we invite those attending the performances on 1pm or 7pm Saturday, 8 February to participate in a First Nations weaving workshop. Learn from Aunty Sonja Carmichael and daughter Elisa Carmichael and create a woven piece of your very own.

    Sonja Carmichael is a Quandamooka woman from Moreton Island/Moorgumpin and North Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah, Queensland. She is a descendant of the Ngugi people, one of three clans who are the traditional custodians of Quandamooka, also known as Yoolooburrabee – people of the sand and sea. Sonja works mainly in fibre basketry and woven sculptures, reflecting her family’s cultural connections with the land and seas of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). Weaving is central to Sonja’s deep-rooted connectedness to Country. She draws inspiration from the Quandamooka traditional woven bags. Sonja also explores contemporary materials and techniques, incorporating discarded items that wash up on Minjerribah – particularly ‘ghostnets’ and fishing lines – which she integrates into new forms. Sonja’s work is represented in the QAGOMA collection and she is undertaking a Master of Philosophy in Art History at the University of Queensland.

    Elisa Carmichael is a Ngugi woman from Quandamooka Country (Moreton Island/Mulgumpin and Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah, Queensland). Her practice honours her cultural heritage by incorporating materials collected from Country, utilising traditional techniques and expressing contemporary adaptations, through the mediums of painting, weaving and textiles. Elisa comes from a family of artists and curators, and works closely with her female kin to revive, nurture and preserve knowledge and cultural practices. Elisa is very passionate about nurturing and preserving her strong connection to the sand and sea, Yoolooburrabee. Her practice visually explores the beauty of nature and surrounding environment, drawing inspiration from her cultural identity and heritage.

    Date: Saturday 8 February 2020
    Time: 2:15pm to 4:15pm
    Venue: Playhouse lounge, QPAC

    To apply: If you would like to participate in the weaving workshop, send an email to with details of the mi:wi performance you are attending (Matinee or Evening).

    Applicants must have purchased a ticket to either the 1pm or 7pm performance of mi:wi on Saturday 8 February to be eligible. The workshop is strictly limited to 25 participants and confirmation of your place in the workshop will be sent via reply email by Wednesday, 5 February.

  • CO_EX_EN

    This work is a part of Karul Projects’ double bill with Thomas E.S. Kelly’s CO_EX_EN.

    This riveting new First Nations contemporary dance creation by Thomas E.S. Kelly explores a sacred site where the physical and spiritual meet. Using wit, humour and a choreographic style that is all his own, Kelly ignites a conversation about our past, present and future.

    Purchase tickets to both mi:wi and CO_EX_EN and receive both tickets for $50*!