Bangarra Dance Theatre, Australia’s leading indigenous performing arts company, is bringing a piece of South Australia to the Opera House.

The new work is inspired by Australia’s inland sea Lake Eyre, one of the world’s few untouched waterways. I caught up with lovely and passionate dancer Jasmin Sheppard who is a descendant of the Walangamma tribe in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

“Each section of Terrain is different, a real journey,” she explains. “It’s very visually stunning and audiences are going to get a real sense of the different emotions that arise when you go to a place like Lake Eyre.” Sheppard has been performing with the company for six years and is once again reunited with award-winning Aboriginal choreographer Frances Rings. “Frances has a beautiful feminine energy and works organically. She gives us a feel for where she is heading and then we explore movement ideas together.”

This powerful fusion of contemporary dance and storytelling will transport audiences through drought and deluge and explores a range of pressing issues such as the affect of mining on the land. “Even though mining is great for Australia’s economy, our land can’t take much more or it won’t sustain us,” she continues. “I love the company and believe in what we do; bringing indigenous stories to the wider public, preserving and sharing them and I feel honoured to be a part of that. I really do love my job.”

Published in City News online and in print on Jul 9 , 2012.


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