The Real Descendance Group


Descendance preserves and promotes Australian Aboriginal culture. They represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from many diverse tribes. Descendance has both traditional and contemporary indigenous performance.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Dance Theatre


The Descendance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dance Theatre was born from the mighty Ngaru Aboriginal Dance Company, Sydney's first professional independent traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dance troupe, established in 1993, Ngaru means "shake a leg", a dance style prevalent in the Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland. Ngaru had been one of the longest running professional performing Aboriginal dance troupes in Australia, in 2000 the name was changed to "Descendance" to account for the many artists from diverse tribes living in Sydney and joining the company.

The motto was "One people all fighting a common cause".

Sean Choolburra originally formed Ngaru in Sydney in 1993; Sean was born in Townsville in North Queensland and has a background from three Aboriginal tribes, Girrma from Tully (father's side) Kalkadoon from Mount Isa (mother's side) and Kuku-Yalanji from Cook town (grandfather's side).

In 1998 Ngaru came under the guidance of the late great Aboriginal song woman Imelda Willis and world music pioneer and producer Jose Calarco.

Imelda came down from the sleepy seaside Aboriginal mission of Yarrabah in far North Queensland on the invitation of Sean Choolburra, Imelda took on cultural duties for twelve months before her untimely death in 1999 (may she rest in peace).

Imelda was a gifted songwriter and enhanced the Descendance repertoire with some of her original works to encourage indigenous youths living in the city to make something of their lives and try to make careers in culture.

Imelda's heritage came from two tribes (Kandju/Cape York) and (Yidindji/Cairns), Descendance was born out of her loving memory to create an independent vehicle and indigenous network for artists without support or funding, today her daughter Nicole Willis assumes her legacy.