Katina Olsen

Kat - headshot - Peter Plozza

Sydney-based independent artist, Katina Olsen has been awarded a JUMP Mentorship to work alongside the Creative Director of Dance Integrated Australia, Philip Channells. They met at Bundanon Trust where they were both working on Bundanon Local Projects, Transmit and No Time Like Now. They will travel together to Trondheim/Sør-Trøndelag, Norway in March 2014 to develop a new community dance performance project called Perfect (im)Perfections for the biannual Multiplié Dansefestival.

An Australia Council for the Arts initiative, the JUMP Mentoring program aims to make a positive impact on the early stages of a creative practitioner’s career, help them gain networks, be inspired and exchange ideas while working on an applied mentorship with a mentor who helps them jump to the next level.

Perfect (im)Perfections is a collaboration between Philip Channells (creative director) and musicians Arnfinn Killingtveit and Trond Wiger with dancers from the Danseteateret 55+ and the Danselaboratoriet. The work will be presented by DansiT – Senter for Dansekunst i Sør-Trøndelag at the MultiPlié Dansefestival 2 – 6 April 2014.

Through this work in Norway Katina will develop her understanding of Community Cultural Development practice with particular focus in devising original choreographic language in various community settings. On return to Australia, Channells will assist her to devise, test and deliver her own creative practice in leading movement and choreographic workshops in culturally diverse communities.

…knowing that Katina shares Norwegian heritage with her Indigenous roots, this journey will be a special experience for her traveling to the home country of her Great-grandfather connecting Australia to Norway. Kim Walker, NAISDA

The JUMP mentorship project offers Katina an opportunity to work collaboratively with a broad range of artists from across different disciplines and cultural backgrounds. It will challenge her to step outside her norm, yet through these challenges she will gain the most skills to enable her to integrate learnt techniques from Philip and embed them into her future choreographic practice and community work.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to be mentored by Philip in community development practice not only internationally but from a place of my Great Grandfathers country. It will be a very special to be able to bring the skills and experience I’ve gained from this project in Norway home to Australia to then share with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities with or without disability in Queensland and New South Wales.” Katina Olsen

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.


Katina Olsen (B.1986 Rockhampton) is choreographer and dancer who draws upon western, indigenous and experimental dance practices currently based in Sydney, Australia. She is a descendant from the Wakka Wakka and Kombumerri people in Queensland and also has Norwegian, German and English Ancestry. She holds a BFA (Dance) from Queensland University of Technology and a Diploma in Dance from Queensland Dance School of Excellence.

Highlights in Olsen’s career to date have included:

  • Dance Makers Collective’s Big Dance in Small Chunks – choreographer and performer Riverside Theatres (2013)
  • Force Majeure’s Cultivate (2013)
  • Critical Path development with Vicki Van Hout for Long Grass (2013)
  • Erth’s MURDER – with Kate Champion for Sydney Festival, Adelaide Festival, Ten Days on the Island and Melbourne Festival (2013) and Erth’s Dinosaur Petting Zoo, WA Maritime Museum (2012)
  • I Am Eora, Sydney Festival (2012)
  • NO COLD FEET – Tess de Quincey (2011)
  • Australian danceWEB scholarship recipient at ImPulsTanz: The Vienna International Dance Festival (2011)
  • Forseen – Frances Rings and Narelle Benjamin at Riverside Theatre Parramatta and Bangarra Studios (2011)
  • Bangarra’s Clan, (2007) True Stories: X300 and Emeret Lu (2007), Mathinna (2008), Rites of Spring collaboration with the Australian Ballet (2008), Awakenings (2008), Fire – A Retrospective: 20th Year Anniversary (2009) and Of Earth & Sky (2010)
  • Frances Rings’ Happy Place at the Hong Kong International Dance Festival (2006) Performing for the Bollywood New Years’ Eve celebrations with ID Studio at the JW Marriott, Mumbai, India (2006)

Olsen has also been appointed by Arts Central as a 2012/2013 Digital Futures mentor and collaborated with Australian new media artist Ella Barclay in her work Ebb, Tin Sheds Gallery (2012).

Click here for Katina’s JUMP profile.

Photo: Peter Plozza