Bangarra Dance Threatre, Blak.
I went to see this performance in Melbourne a couple of months a go and it was memorising. The story was broken up into three acts about the spiritual journey of Indigenous Australians in urban Sydney. The first act, Scar (music below),focused on young men, alcohol and street violence.
The second act, Yearning, included only the women dancers, exploring the theme of domestic abuse and suicide. This was absolutely heart-breaking, rendered all the more profound by the use of a capella vocals in Indigenous language. This story lingers for me still, and I doubt I’ll ever forget how it made me feel.
The third act, Keepers, involved both the male and female dancers, conveying a story of transition - of Indigenous youth finding their way back to nature, culture and community. Despite the journey through disturbing issues, the performance leads to cathartic elation. The audience leaves feeling with a fervent sense of life-affirmation.
The profound social themes were all the more significant as this was a story about Indigenous struggle told from an Indigenous perspective. Bangarra’s Artistic Director Stephen Page and dancer Daniel Riley worked together on the story and choreography to provide a uniquely Australian story with universal themes of identity, emotional struggle and redemption.
The score was a collaboration between Bangarra’s composer David Page and electro-pop artist Paul Mac. Despite the emotional terrain, the music was phenomenal and made me feel like weeping and crying simultaneously. Listen to this sample.
The next Bangarra performance is Dance Clan 3, choreographed by the Bangarra Women. It’s on from 21 – 30 November at the Bangarra Studio Theatre at Walsh Bay in Sydney.
Read more about Blak on the Bangarra website. If you’re a teacher, download the Bangarra resource.
Source: Bangarra, Blak Creative Journey Part 1. Gifs by Antipodeans.