Lore by Bangarra Dance Theatre brings the dance, culture and stories of the Torres Strait Islands to broader Australian audiences at the Sydney Opera House. In this gorgeous and uplifting show, Elma Kris plays the lead and she is just exquisite. Some of the songs are in the Ka La Lagau Ya language. My favourite parts are the beautiful turtle egg sequence as well as “Freezer” with the dancers emerging from the chilly freezer in the supermarket in contrast to the hot air outside.
The first half of the show was about women’s bodily exuberance; the second half, titled Sheoak, was about emotional intensity, loss and resilience. Sheoak addresses the violence of cultural displacement of Indigenous Australians but also the search for new life and equilibrium. The pairing of Kris with Yolanda Lowatta for “Synthetic Seed” was incredibly moving.
Both of the central stories are choregraphed by Indigenous Australian women, Deborah Brown (from the Murray Island in the Torres Strait) and Frances Rings (descendant of the Kokatha Tribe as well as being of German descent), along with Waangenga Blanco (also from the Murray Islands).
[Image: Photoset showing posters and videos of Bangarra dancers at the Sydney Opera House, Australia. Video: Excerpts of Bangarra’s “Lore”]