Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Bangarra - Blak

I was so blessed yesterday to witness the incredible indigenous dance company, Bangarra. they are currently touring their latest piece, Blak which is about contemporary and historical issues for indigenous people. It connects to idea of identity, culture, tongue, country men's and women's business and coming of age in an indigenous context. The performance was broken into three parts Scar, Yearning and Keepers. Each had its own distinct focus and highlighted the incredible talents of all the dancers.

The male dancers who performed in Scar moved like spirits; they were light and weightless as they traveled across the stage, so light at times that you couldn't hear the least foot-fall. Despite this, they were most certainly human, they had flesh and substance and most of all, depth.
This piece was so powerful and moving, At times I felt physically ill as I witnessed young men in urban environments challenge their world and be challenged by it. The dance was violent and painful and fierce proving that male dances have an inherent strength and masculinity that is undeniable.
On stage, Scar brought its audience issues of masculinity, initiation, ceremony and men's business. They drew us into a world that a female has not been privy to and offered the audience something real and powerful which good contemporary dance should do.

The women of the company performed Yearning; their dance was fluid and womanly without an overt sexuality and yet the contrast between the women and the men was so clearly illustrated. To see them dance as a group the audience could see that their moves were etherial but certainly of this earth, in fact, they drew from every part of the earth and at times the animals of our earth, our Australian earth.
Again, the performance haunted the viewer especially the dance of domestic violence; the audience was rendered even more powerless as this piece was performed simlutaneously on stage and a black and white TV. This sense of remoteness and powerlessness was overwhelming and you simply didn't know where to look as any given time. The female company also dealt with womens business and showed the roles within indgenous culture with great pathos.
This performance is so powerful and so moving, it is contemporary dance at its best.

Please note: These images are the creative work of other very talented people and I do not claim them as my own.
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