Bangarra's Lore @ The Canberra TheatreShare Event on Facebook Share Event on Twitter Share Event on LinkedIn
The “lore” of Bangarra Dance Theatre is within the company’s shared cultures. Each of them, and those, who have contributed to this unique dance theatre brings a different dimension from the oral traditions of their individual myths and legends, traditions and culture. And as the company has grown in stature so too has their priceless body of work that through them brings us all closer together.
The current production called Lore, is two dances diametrically opposed in style and story; the light and dark or the yin and yang of the storylines complimentary and contrasting but maintaining that intensity of performance that the dancers always rise to on every occasion. In Canberra they are loved and admired, always a favourite on the dance calendar and in NAIDOC week the perfect showcase company of how talent is discovered, nurtured and given wings to excel under the kind of tutelage that is the epitome of excellence and at the heart of Bangarra.
Pre show forums are always an insight into the creative side of Bangarra’s dances and choreographing I.B.I.S. for dancers Deborah Brown and Waangenga Blanco brought together their ‘lore’ from Murray Island in the Torres Strait. They were quick to point out it has nothing to do with the bird of the same name, nor the hotels, but references the Islander Board Industry Services that are the trade stores of much of the Torres Strait. Most are the heart of the community and to create a dance of colour, fun, rhythms, and songs in the store was charming and delightful. When you’ve lived in the tropics the freezer section of the local store is a respite from the relentless heat and sweat, the I.B.I.S. girls exotic dance on the freezer doors enough to make you drop your frozen chook, but what happens at night with the frozen goods let loose is a magic figment of the collaborative imaginations of artistic director Stephen Page and the choreographers.
Frances Rings wears her heart on her sleeve with her choreography. She brings the lore of her land, country and culture to the stage with an intensity that is palpable. And Sheoak, her latest creation is no less a story of connectivity and respect for the tree that we know as a casuarina. Sheoak takes us to the essence of the nurturing, growing and dying phases of the ‘grandmother’ of trees, juxtaposing the contemporary aspects of dance with the ancient lore of indigenous culture. Dancer Kaine Sultan-Babij described Frances Ring’s Terrain as “like dancing in honey”, this time it is perhaps more like dancing with the land.
Elma Kris, the much admired and respected elder of the Bangarra family, is pivotal to the telling of Sheoak, and as a Torres Strait Islander she shines in I.B.I.S. keeping that energetic bunch of dancers in check. She’s now 43, fit, fabulous and an inspiration to this mob. And what a great mob they are.