• Rekindling Youth Program participants from Wollongong.
Australia’s leading Indigenous performing arts organisation has launched an intensive youth programs in New South Wales and Queensland.
Tara Callinan

4 Jun 2014 - 11:02 AM  UPDATED 4 Jun 2014 - 12:25 PM

Secondary students from regional communities across New South Wales and Queensland will combine culture with contemporary dance during Bangarra Dance Theatre's Rekindling Youth Program.

Exploring ‘who you are’ and ‘where you come from’, young people will get the opportunity to research and gather stories from elders within their communities.

This cultural knowledge will be used as inspiration for their final dance theatre works.

“We take three gatherings in one community where we hopefully have a connection with the local elders of that area. They come together with the students that we’ve selected throughout what we call the selection process and we do workshops based on contemporary dance as well as cultural knowledge from that area and try to combine them and give students tools to create their own works,” said Youth Leader Chantel Kerr.

“We also try and share with them our knowledge, so our performance knowledge. Part of that is also just getting them confidence,” said Youth Leader Kirk Page.

The program is led by some of Bangarra’s most acclaimed artists, who will develop and inspire Indigenous youth from various dance backgrounds.

“We get a range of abilities. We get ones who’ve never danced a day in their life and ones who have experienced and go to dance classes regularly,” said Miss Kerr.

“So they get the opportunity to be in the theatre and perform. It’s a real buzz,” said Mr Page.

Bangarra is encouraging students to apply for the next Rekindling gathering which will take place in Lismore on June 11.