Koori Mail, 30 May 2018
Inspired by Bruce Pascoe’s award-winning book of the same name, Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Dark Emu explores the vital life force of flora and fauna and challenges the ‘hunter-gatherer’ myth of pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians.
Last week Bangarra unveiled EORA – Dark Emu, a large scale projection designed especially for the Sydney Harbour Bridge’s Southern Pylon as part of Vivid Sydney. The projection marries Aboriginal history, dance, art and architecture.
Created by Bangarra’s artistic director Stephen Page and head of design Jacob Nash, the work features Bangarra dancers Tara Robertson, Yolanda Lowatta, Rika Hamaguchi and Tyrel Dulvarie and shows the unbreakable connection between earth and sky.
“EORA – Dark Emu was created using abstract moving images of four dancers, evoking the Spirit Emu, who left the earth after its creation to reside as a dark shape in the Milky Way,” Nash said. “The result is ethereal and unlike anything we’ve created before.”
Page also choreographed the dance work with long-time Bangarra dancers and collaborators, Yolande Brown and Daniel Riley, and input from the 18-strong ensemble of dancers.
Bangarra will be holding three community night performances of Dark Emu from next month, in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, thanks to the support of The Balnaves Foundation.
“Community nights are an important way of giving back to the people and communities that inspire our stories, while celebrating and strengthening our culture, which spans tens of thousands of years,” Page said.
Last year, 2,110 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members attended Bangarra performances through the community nights program.