At 30-years-old Ian RT Colless is regarded as one of Australia’s most innovative early career choreographers. Ian is the great, great, great grandson of Billy Lynch (“who knew Katoomba before there was a building on it”) and the grandson of the late Aunty Dawn Colless. A mixture of Aboriginal and Irish heritages, he is a descendent of the Dharabuladh (Therabluat) clan of the Gundungurra Nation that encompasses the Blue Mountains (Australia) region where he was raised – a site now listed as a World Heritage Area by UNESCO.
Currently working at the NAISDA Dance College, Sydney Dance Company Pre-Professional Year & The University of Technology Sydney. Ian sits on the Australia Community Committee (NYC) and has been a member of assessment panels with state & national arts advisory bodies’.
Based in Sydney he has maintained strong links to his community in Australia while establishing an international career and profile conducting creative fieldwork in Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, Portugal, Uganda, France, Canada and USA.
While running the Untitled|Collective Ian has obtained funds from: the Canada Council for the Arts, the Australia Council for the Arts, The American Australian Association, the Australian Consulate (NYC), Broadway, La MaMa Moves (NYC), The Australian Embassy (DC), Summer Stage Central Park (NYC), National Dance Week (NYC), Brisbane Festival (QLD), Ars Musica Australis, AusDance (NSW) & The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia).
Since 2008, he has initiated the Collective’s domestic and global partnerships with: Gundungurra Aboriginal Heritage Association (NSW), Gundungurra Tribal Council (NSW), Blue Mountains Cultural Centre (NSW), Blue Mountains City Council (NSW), The Dame Joan Sutherland Centre of Performing Arts (NSW), Dirtyfeet (NSW), Aboriginal Centre of Performing Arts (QLD), Leigh Warren & Dancers (SA), Opera Queensland (QLD), Lara Kramer Danse (Montreal), Alberta Aboriginal Arts (Canada) and Insight Dance Company (NYC).
A graduate of Newtown High School of the Performing Arts; Ian holds a BFA in Dance from Queensland University of Technology, (Brisbane) and a BA Honors from Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts, (Perth). In 2012 he was awarded The Roberta Sykes Scholarship from the Roberta Sykes Indigenous Education Foundation to study at New York University (NYU) Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development where he earned his Masters in Dance Education.
In 2012 he became the first modern choreographer commissioned by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, (NYC). Ian has worked for the Aboriginal Center for the Performing Arts (Brisbane), WAAPA Aboriginal Theater Course (Perth) & NYU. At NYU Ian completed an Independent Study & developed a personal ballet curriculum, through full-time study, coursework & participation with the American Ballet Theatre (America's National Ballet Company) & observation of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, NYC.
In 2013 he contacted field study in East Africa as part of NYU's 'Community Building Through Teaching, Creating, Performing: Dance Education in Uganda'. Having the rare opportunity to research, choreograph & worked with hundreds of orphans, traveling around East Africa, learning diverse dances, songs & teaching methods.
As a professional dancer he has worked with; Douglas Dunn & Dancers (NYC), Battery Dance Company (NYC), C. Eule Dance Company (NYC), Leigh Warren & Dancers (Australia) etc.