Tuesday, 25 April 2017
True Stories | Bangarra Dance Theatre
Written by Vanessa Lahey   
Friday, 08 June 2007 08:30
True StoriesThe “True Stories” performance can be simply summed up as a sophisticated, eloquent and articulate expression of Australian indigenous culture. True Stories was crafted by Choreographers, Elma Kris and Francis Rings, and presented in two chapters. The two chapters that characterised and created True Stories were distinct from each other in style and subject matter; each chapter focused on a unique geographical location within Australia and drew from the experiences and customs of the peoples in those areas. 

The first performance entitled ‘Emeret Lu’ which was choreographed by Elma Kris, provided the audience with a profound insight into the customs of indigenous culture. Emeret Lu opened with a dancer’s soliloquy, setting the mood for the duration of the chapter. The dances were ritualistic in feel and echoed ancient voices with the accompanying music adding an ethereal dimension to the dances giving them a tangible spiritual element. The dancers were able to conjure the native landscape from the scantly dressed stage and narrated the story with poise and elegance. Emeret Lu borrowed inspiration from the traditions of the people from the Torres Strait Islands and used an understated bamboo prop to provide a sense of intimacy with each story illustrated. The cave that was created from the bamboo prop gave the story a location and also a sense of its mystery and uniqueness which added to the majesty of the dance. The choreography was quintessentially veracious, providing an insight into a tradition that is not lost but celebrated, as it was in the performance, in contemporary Australian society.

The second chapter in True Stories opened with ‘X300’, a performance choreographed by Francis Rings. X300 provided an exciting contrast Emeret Lu, removing the reverie residual from Emeret Lu’s graceful tone. In this next chapter, X300 was composed of a series of vignettes that were presented as a timeline through Australian history specific to the people of the Maralinga region and the events that have literally shaped its land and its people. The individual dances provided social commentary, previously not heard in mainstream culture, from an indigenous perspective. The dances provided social comment that communicated an uncensored yet sensitive collective voice via the language of movement. The contrast of both dance and costume style throughout X300 was bound together by the use of a masterful frenetic soundtrack that created a sense of unrest, with the music resonating from above ‘falling out’ of the sky and onto the stage. The dancers created a literary view into the past, present and future implications of events taken from reality and turned into prose artfully executed on stage with a silent tenacity. The choreography gave a sense of a lost attachment between the environment and the individual and the abstract use of lighting was able to portray a literal division between the performers and the stage. X300 was an enigmatic performance that successfully fused the spirit of dreamtime with modern musings of an indigenous culture and the events that belong to its heritage.

Bangarra Dance Theatre presents

Playhouse, QPAC
Thursday 7 June, Friday 8 June, Saturday 9 June, Wednesday 13 June and Thursday 14 June @ 7.30pm
Friday 15 June @ 8pm;
Saturday 16 June @ 2pm and 7.30pm
(incl. fees) $26 to $55
136 246 or www.qtix.com.au

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