Bangarra Dance Theatre
Friday 26th July The Playhouse QPAC
Last night I was enthralled by Bangarra Dance Theatre and their performance of Blak. Created in three parts that begins 'SCAR' with the 7 male dancers in an urban setting as the young men struggle for identity and then in ÝEARNING' the 7 women explore the hardships of life separated from their culture. As all dancers come together in 'KEEPERS' they find the comfort of tradition and pride as the evening came to a positive end and exploded in beauty and a crescendo of rock, smoke and the final spectacular curtain of falling sand. A wonderfully brilliant night.
Dancers of amazing energy, strength and beauty stunned the audience. The creativity of combining traditional movement with modern dance and executed by highly trained and exquisite dancers was almost exhausting as we watched such high energy for the non stop 75 minutes. There were moments of great drama and emotion as well as danger and joy. The whole evening was just so sexy you could hardly breathe. People cheered whistled and clapped!
Bangarra is now over 23 years old (formed 1989) and one of the leading dance troupes in Australia. Founded by Artistic Director and Choreographer Stephen Page (below left) and with multi award winning brother David Page (below right) who creates the brilliant music, Bangarra tours nationally and internationally. Stephen was born in 1965 and I first saw him dance in the early 80's with the Sydney Dance Company. The large Page family (12 kids) grew up a few blocks from where I lived as a child. The talented boys have won numerous Awards. I read this great comment in Samesame about a 2009 solo show "In this solo act performance, David Page (with the help of playwright Louis Nowra) does a brilliant job of explaining himself to the uninitiated: he’s an Aboriginal, a homosexual, a singer, dancer, son, brother – and surely the deadliest drag queen this side of Uluru!"
Blak was a co choreographed production between Stephen Page and dancer Daniel Riley McKinly. The music was the work of David Page with the cooperation of electro-pop singer, songwriter, producer etc.Paul Mac. The following night when I went to the brilliant Barefoot Divas and met the awesome Ursula Yovich, she told me David Page had her sing on the soundtrack for Blak. That makes three times I have been inspired by her in the last few months.
Below is guest artist Hunter Page-Lochard who took a central role in several sequences. He is a rising star and has made many film and television appearances including two great films I own - Bran Nue Dae and The Sapphires as well as several roles in Stephen Page's Ballets. David Page has been on my facebook friends list since I saw him in Mother Courage a few months back and within a half hour of arriving home I can now count Hunter as a facebook friend as well. I expect to see his career blossom.
Below is local (Ipswich) dancer and cover boy Leonard Mickelo who is tall, beautiful, elegant and truly stunning to watch.
The evocative and awesome finale.