Fresh talent for Bangarra
Bangarra Dance Theatre has welcomed two new dancers into the fold.
They are Lillian Banks, a Yawuru woman from Broome, WA, and Brad Smith, a Gumbaynggirr man from Coffs Harbour, NSW. They have joined the company for 12 months of professional experience and training through the Russell Page Graduate Program.
The pair will make their debut in February as part of Bangarra’s seven-city regional tour of the 2016 work OUR land people stories, before travelling to South Australia to perform in the highly-acclaimed Bennelong at Adelaide Festival. In June, they will take to the stage at the Sydney Opera House for Stephen Page’s world premiere of Dark Emu and embark on their first national tour.
Initiated in 2014, the Russell Page Graduate Program is named after the late Russell Page, a founding member of Bangarra and one of its most revered dancers, who passed away in 2002.
Artistic Director, Stephen Page says the program is central to Bangarra’s commitment to building a strong platform for the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists to grow and thrive:"This program is a continuation of the desire I shared with my brothers – Russell and David – to support new talent to flourish under the nurturing mentorship of artists excelling in their craft.”
Both Lillian and Brad are graduates of Australia’s elite Indigenous training college, NAISDA Dance College, where they studied together for four years.