Latest Bangarra News
Jul 2, 2021
FIRED UP: The evolution of the Bangarra Dance Theatre is captured in the documentary Firestarer. Photo: supplied. The Bangarra Dance Theatre was forged in fire, now the birth of the group and its spectacular growth will be the subjective of a film hitting the big screen in the regions. Bangarra is a Wiradjuri word which means "to make fire", and the aptly-titled "Firestarter - The Story of Bangarra" will be coming to Whyalla's Middleback Arts Centre as part of NAIDOC Week. The film will be shown following the NAIDOC Community Day at the Whyalla Hospital on Tuesday, July 6. It tells the story of how three young Aboriginal brothers turned the group into a cultural powerhouse. Through the eyes of the brothers and company alumni, Firestarter explores the loss and reclaiming of culture, the burden of intergenerational trauma, and the power of art as a messenger for social change. Country Arts SA's Arts On Screen will have free screenings of Firestarter in regional South Australia in July, in the lead up to Bangarra's critically-acclaimed theatre performance Ochres in October. Firestarter takes Bangarra's anniversary year as its launch pad but takes the viewers right back to the world in which the Page brothers grew up as youngsters - Queensland in the 70s and 80s. It's a time period when acism and suppression of Aboriginal identity was still rife, with "one law for whites and another for blacks." "It was tough," says Stephen. "I was born three years before the referendum that constitutionalised Aboriginal people being respected as humans." Never before seen home video, shot by David as a child, and rare archive takes us through the boys' younger years, interweaving their story with the late 80s/early 90s rise of black 'artivism' and the start of Bangarra. Country Arts SA Executive Programmer Louisa Norman said the powerful documentary was a great lead in to seeing their Orchres later in the year. "The film is free and we hope everyone in regional SA takes up this great opportunity," she said. Firestarer will be showing at the Middleback Arts Centre on Tuesday July 6 from 7pm. The show is free but tickets must be booked in advance from Country Arts SA.