Posted by Ramon Martinez
20. Sep, 2011
The first thirty minutes of the stage performance ‘Belong’ represents the different winds of the four seasons in the Torres Strait Islands. Dancers imitate the energy of sand, dust and wind in a piece called ‘About’ (choreography by Elmas Kris). Kris is a descendent of the Wagadagam of the Western and Central Islands of the Torres Strait and her language is Kulkagua.
The second part of the show ‘ID’ was choreographed by Stephen Page. In his own words: ‘it is a personal observation of why we are passionate about celebrating our heritage and culture through dance theatre’. ‘ID’ asks: ‘What is a real Aboriginal?’ by exploring five different aspects: ‘Initiate’, ‘Castle’, ‘Totem’, ‘Discriminate’ and ‘Kinship’.
One unforgettable moment: a group of dancers are sitting on a bench and they are bullying an aboriginal woman (Elma Kris). She feels intimidated by them so she brings a big container of Vegemite to the group and eachof them covers their faces with it. In the end it is not possible to distinguish their faces because they all look the same.
Stephen Page has been the artistic director of Bangarra Dance Theatre for 20 years, coming on board shortly after the company was established in 1989. Since then they have been cultural ambassadors of a true Australian contemporary indigenous theatre. Bangarra has a national and international reputation and have taken their unique company around the world enjoying critical acclaim in cities such as New York and Paris.
Everything from Jacob Nash’s set design to the synergy between dancing, music and lighting makes ‘Belong’ a memorable show. The audience will be left pondering the question: ‘When did we disconnect from our identity?’.
Where: Arts Centre, Melbourne
When: Friday September 16 – Saturday September 24, 8pm
Tuesday September 20, 6.30pm
Matinee: Saturday September 24, 2pm
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