Friday 7th August, 7.30pm
My previous sojourn to QPAC for Bangarra was to review ‘Blak’. I remember that event vividly as it was a turning point for me as a reviewer and art’s lover. It was the night I fell in love with the grace and beauty of indigenous dance. I felt from the outset that Lore was going to be more of the same. In fact, to be honest, I hoped it would be even better even though I set the bar high mentally.
Lore is split into 2 acts. The first I.B.I.S. (Island Board of Industry and Service) and the second Sheoak. Two very different and distinct pieces that equally captivate elements of your soul. IBIS is an uplifting piece centered around a community store. The Torres Strait island culture oozes from the very pores of the dancers and you are transported to their land. The store and the people come to life as they display their connection to the sea and it’s sea life. The dance movement is very different from the mainland indigenous groups. It’s more joyful, upbeat and happy. The music score alone warrants the admission ticket. The music and dance stand on their own but together, combined, they raise the hairs on your arms and neck. Simply breathtaking !!
Honorable mentions to creative choreographers, Deborah Brown and Waangenga Blanco for a piece that will live long in my memory. You both have a strong future as choreographers. It’s wonderful that Stephen Page allows Deborah and Waangenga’s expressive skills to shine.
Sheoak was a very spiritual piece and Frances Rings (choreographer) worked magic on the dancers that performed this piece. The very fact they had to move and interact with swaying branches alone was incredible. I particularly liked how David Page mimicked the sound of cracking timber in his musical score. This shows his true connection to the land. The mighty Sheoak is known as the Grandmother Tree. It impacts the life of it’s people and shares many great things with them. Frances and the dancers gave me an insight into the importance our land plays in their culture. Truly wonderful.
I’m never disappointed when I see a Bangarra production. Every piece has a story to tell, a moment to share, a musical element that triggers an emotional response.
Do yourself a favour and experience one of Australia’s premier dance companies, Bangarra Dance Theatre. It’s definitely a box that needs ticking on your bucket list.
Sheoak lore – Bangarra ensemble – Photo by Jeff Tan