Bangarra Dance Theatre – Rekindling

Rekindling participants 2013_photo by Tiffany ParkerA unique opportunity to share stories, songs, dances, connect to Indigenous cultures and create new choreography with six former Bangarra dancers is now available to young people of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander heritage in the regions of New South Wales and Queensland.

Under the Artistic Direction of Stephen Page, Australia’s leading Indigenous performing arts company Bangarra Dance Theatre is committed to inspire and develop the next generation of Indigenous storytellers through the mentoring and training of creative young people.

In 2013, Bangarra Dance Theatre launched its youth program, Rekindling, which uses dance theatre to reconnect Indigenous youth with their culture. Exploring ‘who you are’ and ‘where you come from’, young people will research and gather stories from within their communities with the help and guidance from local elders, and develop performance and creative skills to enable them to produce their own dance theatre works.

Last year, Rekindling brought together young people in the NSW communities of Moree, Wellington, Kempsey and Blacktown. The program was a great success and Bangarra is pleased to announce Rekindling is expanding in 2014 and includes multiple communities in both New South Wales and Queensland.

Applications for the 2014 program are now open. Bangarra invites young Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders based in or nearby the New South Wales communities of Nowra, Wollongong, Lismore and Coffs Harbour, and the Queensland communities of Theodore, Beaudesert, Weipa and Cairns to apply to be part of this intensive youth program. Twenty-four secondary students will be chosen from the audition in each area to be part of the Rekindling program during 2014.

Rekindling is led by one of Bangarra’s most acclaimed artists, Sidney Saltner, who transitioned into a new role of Youth Program Director, after 15 years as a Bangarra performer. Working with Sidney and returning for the 2nd year of this highly successful program are renowned workshop leaders and celebrated former Bangarra dancers: Patrick Thaiday and Chantal Kerr.

Three more former Bangarra dancers return to join the team in 2014: Gina Rings, continuing her esteemed career in the performing arts, events, writing and choreography; Kirk Page, a widely acclaimed artist who has performed in numerous films, dance and theatre productions (ABC’s Redfern Now, Griffin Theatre Company’s Silent Disco, Sydney Theatre Company’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream amongst others) and Barbra Drummond with her extensive experience as an Indigenous traditional and contemporary dancer and teacher.

“The Rekindling team had a very successful and rewarding 2013, connecting with four very different communities in NSW,” says Sidney Saltner.

“Through the sharing of stories, songs and dances we have made many valuable and special friends. In 2014 we are expanding our wings with two teams visiting more communities in NSW and moving into Queensland.”

“We are looking forward to meeting and sharing time with our elders, youth and community members of the chosen communities in 2014 as well as maintaining strong connections with the 2013 Rekindling communities.”

For more information, visit: www.bangarra.com.au for details.

Image: Rekindling participants 2013 – photo by Tiffany Parker

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