Deeply moving performances, incredible dancing and authentic storytelling are the trademarks of any Bangarra Dance Theatre season, and none more so than the company’s new production, Lore.
This August, the award winning Bangarra Dance Theatre will bring their new double bill Lore to the Playhouse at QPAC.
From the deeply rooted inland trees in Australia to the enigmatic waters of the Torres Strait Islands, Lore draws a realistic portrayal of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, exploring themes of identity, inequality, climate change and sustainability with a hopeful and positive outlook for the future.
Curated by Bangarra Artistic Director, Stephen Page the show features two brand new works Sheoak and I.B.I.S.
Sheoak, put together by choreographer Frances Rings, is a testimony to the challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities today.
And, I.B.I.S created by Bangarra dancers Waangenga (pronounced Wawn-nee-ga) Blanco and Deborah Brown, is a celebration of the resilience and optimism of Torres Strait Islander people, as sixteen of the dancers have Torres Strait Islander heritage.
Bangarra dancer Yolanda Lowatta says she is very excited to be part of the show.
“Sheoak is about the Casuarina tree which in our culture is related to knowledge and wisdom,” she says.
“I.B.I.S is about a shop called I.B.I.S in the Torres Strait. It’s all about the life of an elder based around I.B.I.S (the shop).
“I’m really excited to be performing in a show with such a great story.”
Yolanda was born on Thursday Island and grew up in Mackay, but says she originally started her dancing career in Brisbane.
“I grew up in Mackay, but moved to Brisbane to study at the Aboriginal Centre of Performing Arts,” she says.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do after school. I remember going to a careers day and the performing arts groups was there.”
Later, she auditioned for the group and got accepted in as an actor.
“In my third and fourth years I started doing classes with Bangarra,” she says.
“I thought dancing was just a hobby, but it’s great to turn it into a career because it’s something I love.”
Yolanda’s relatively new to Bangarra, only having joined the company as a trainee this year. She says being a dancer is hard work and requires a lot of discipline.
“You have to be disciplined to be in the arts — you really need to know when to have fun and when to work,” she affirms.
“It’s a tough industry; you really have to put yourself out there, be confident and teach yourself not to be shy.”
Yolanda says that although she is used to performing on stage, she still gets very nervous.
“I’m always nervous,” she admits. “When I get a moment to think, especially if I have a solo, I get nervous.
“But dancing lets me express myself and I love it.”
Yolanda is looking forward to coming back to Brisbane for the show.
“It will be great to come back to Brisbane and see my friends and family. I know Brisbane appreciate the arts!”
Lore is on from 7 to 15 August at the Playhouse, QPAC.
For more information visit www.qpac.com.au