Indigenous dance history hits the big screen

FIRESTARTER: A free screening of the film Firestarter will be available at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre later this month as part of the Bungarra 30th anniversary.

A FREE screening of one of Australia’s leading performing arts company’s 30th anniversary will be shown at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre this month.

Marking the 30th anniversary of Bangarra, the film Firestarter will take its audience through Bangarra’s birth and growth.

Widely acclaimed nationally and around the world for its powerful dancing, distinctive theatrical voice and unique soundscapes, music and design, Bangarra is led by artistic director Stephen Page and associate artistic director Frances Rings.

The film will recognise Bangarra’s founders and tell the story of how three young Aboriginal brothers turned the newly born dance group into a First Nations cultural powerhouse.

It will also explore the loss and reclamation of culture, the burden of intergenerational trauma and the power of art as a messenger for social change and healing through the eyes of the brothers.

Firestarter will take its audience into the world in which the brothers grew up as youngsters in the 70s and 80s located in Queensland where racism and suppression of Aboriginal identity was still rife.

“It was tough, I was born three years before the referendum that constitutionalised Aboriginal people being respected as humans,” Mr Page said.

The film will be available for viewing at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre on July 21.