Bangarra inspires college students
At the invitation of Bangarra Dance Theatre, indigenous students from Wannik Dance Academies took part in a workshop at the Arts Centre, Melbourne, on July 5.
The students were taken on a backstage tour by members of the company and then participated in a workshop with some of the dancers. The workshop concluded with a brief Q & A .
Opened in 2010, Wannik Dance Academies are located at Ballarat, Eaglehawk and Mooroopna Secondary Colleges and are an initiative of the Department Of Education and Early Childhood Development. They aim to provide an educational program based around dance for Years 7 – 10 Koorie students. The Wannik Dance Acadamies offer a specific dance program aligned to the regular school curriculum.
Bangarra’s artistic director Stephen Page said, “Our performers are positive role models for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. The special gift Bangarra can give young people is to show them how to rekindle the stories of the past and express themselves as proud Indigenous people in cool, contemporary forms. Community elders say they would prefer their young people to mimic Bangarra’s style rather than American rap and hip hop!“
The workshop is part of the company’s Community Outreach program and was made possible through the support of BHP Billiton.
The program will continue throughout 2012 with Koori Kids Day matinee at the Sydney Opera House on August 15 and Koori Kids Day matinee at Merrigong Theatre Company, Wollongong on August 24. In September outreach workshops will also be held for Indigenous youth in South Australia at Maree near Olympic Dam.