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‘Belong’ media opening

Bangarra Dance Company’s ’Belong’ kicks off with a shining start at Sydney’s Opera House. 

Bangarra Dance Company’s new double-header show Belong kicked off with a shining start last night at Sydney’s Opera House media opening. And what better way to see it than front row, centre?

Belong is made up of two new works: ID by artistic director Stephen Page and About by renowned Bangarra choreographer and dancer Elma Kris. Both performances bring questions of identity, heritage, faith, and natural beauty to the stage to investigate what it means to be Aboriginal in the 21st century.

I’ve previously reviewed a Bangarra production for the Sun-Herald’s S pull out and left the show feeling quite the same: Uplifted and inspired that there’s more to life than this fast, depersonalised rat race.

The dancers are exceptional and so toned that they make me want to bring out my traps and rombs (back muscles) even more! Definitely keep an eye out for the uber talented Leonard Mickelo, Ella Havelka and Travis de Vries dancers whom caught my eye.

Overall, both choreographers have crafted a magical experience for audiences throughout Australia and the world to marvel at the rekindling of cultures. It’s truly a spiritually wonderful escape to watch artistically innovative and technically outstanding theatre that blends contemporary dance with traditional Indigenous accents; Bangarra’s internationally acclaimed signature style.

Bangarra Dance Theatre, based in Sydney’s Walsh Bay arts hub, emerged as Australia’s only national premier Indigenous performing arts company back in 1989 and has been under the artistic direction of Stephen Page since 1991. Every production is naturally fuelled by the spirit, energy and inspiration derived from the culture, values and traditions of Indigenous Australians.

Belong’s five-week Sydney season runs from July 20 to August 20 at the Opera House and will continue to tour around the nation. View the full schedule here.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Busby.