Bangarra delivered its first major national tour of Canada, presenting an ambitious five-city tour to Brantford, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as an inter-cultural residency at Six Nations of the Grand River; the country’s largest First Nations reserve. The company performed in Chicago for the first time at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, known for its world-class programming and work as a cultural anchor in the United States.
International touring is an essential part of Bangarra’s role as ambassadors for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, underpinning the company’s commitment to sharing the strength and resilience of Australia’s First Peoples on the world stage. Bangarra will stage Spirit; a presentation of the company’s best repertoire in a powerful celebration of culture drawing from its 30-year history. Audiences in Ottawa and Chicago experienced Stephen Page’s Nyapanyapa, where senior dancer Elma Kris will perform as a guest artist in the title role for which she received a Helpmann Award nomination for Best Female Dancer in 2016.
Complementing their on-stage performances, the company delivered some of the largest First Nations community engagement experiences in its 30-year history. Through an immersive cultural residency at Six Nations in Canada, Bangarra took the opportunity to share Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander knowledge, stories, dance, language and song with Indigenous students from numerous local schools. Bangarra engaged in meaningful conversations about First Nations issues through cultural exchange, as well as build its networks and strengthen existing relationships with Indigenous artists and organisations across the country. In sharing the knowledge and insights of their creative processes, Bangarra’s Jacob Nash and Frances Rings facilitated international cultural conversation through a series of talks. Young students also had the opportunity to learn professional skills from Bangarra’s production team, as the company bumped in and prepared for their Brantford performances at the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, located near Six Nations.
Further off the stage highlights include community workshops and master classes, which the company will deliver throughout the tour. In Brantford, Canada, Bangarra’s dancers will seize the chance to learn and collaborate with the Kaha:wi Dance Theatre company, who are celebrated for their thought provoking performances created through Indigenous knowledge, process and methodology. Cultural exchange activities such as this not only serve to share Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture on the global stage, but also allow Bangarra’s artists to learn and gain valuable knowledge to imbue their own creative, artistic practice and strengthen their own voices as cultural leaders.
“As ambassadors for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, we are committed to deepening international engagement and global understanding of Australia’s First Nations People. On completion of this tour, the company will have travelled to over 70 cities in its 30-year history, with inter-cultural dialogue and exchange integral to our practice. This tour will build on Bangarra’s significant work with remote Indigenous communities in India in 2018, and help build awareness and understanding of the rich cultural history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We are excited to deliver such an ambitious international program in our 30th anniversary year, and proud to have been included in the most highly regarded dance series globally, where we will share our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture alongside some of the world’s most respected dance companies,” said Bangarra’s Executive Director Philippe Magid.
Subscription tickets for all of Bangarra’s performances, other than Brantford and Vancouver, are now on sale. For more information and tickets, please visit http://www.bangarra.com.au/whatson/