Elma Kris, Photo by Edward Mulivihill
Bangarra Dance Theatre is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organization and one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies, widely acclaimed for its powerful dancing, distinctive theatrical voice, and utterly unique soundscapes, music, and design. Led by Artistic Director Stephen Page and Associate Artistic Director Frances Rings, Bangarra features a dance technique forged from over 65,000 years of culture, embodied with contemporary movement. The company’s dancers are dynamic artists who represent the pinnacle of Australian dance. Each has a proud Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background, from various locations across the country. Relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are the heart of Bangarra, with repertoire created on country and stories gathered from respected community Elders. Authentic storytelling, outstanding technique, and deeply moving performances are Bangarra’s unique signature.
Waru- Journey of The Little Turtle
“Waru – Journey of the Little Turtle” will be Bangarra’s first dedicated work for early learning (ages 3-7). A contemporary saltwater Lagaw Kazl (Island Children) story inspired by the Torres Strait Islander totemic system of the green turtle, “Waru – Journey of the Little Turtle” is an opportunity for children to learn about the vitality of the natural world and what it can teach us, through the eyes of one turtle as she undertakes a journey of discovery and survival. The green turtle is an endangered species whose rookeries populate the Mer group of islands in the Torres Strait, currently under threat from climate change. Waru will face many challenges during her life’s journey. From the first moment she hatches and embarks on the epic race to the ocean, to her eventual return to the same beach to complete the cycle and lay her own eggs, the children will join her as she battles ghost nets, engages with hunters, and befriends other sea life including an inquisitive dugong. An interactive and immersive experience, light and sound will evoke the music and rhythm of nature, transforming the stage into the many diverse environments of the Torres Strait Islands and opening a fluid and creative space for imagination and play.