Bangarra's 1994 classic 'Ochres' comes to Carriageworks
In 2015, Bangarra celebrates the 21st Anniversary of Ochres, the work that revealed the company to the world, with a season of nine performances at Australia’s largest contemporary multi-arts centre, Carriageworks.
The season opens on 27 November until 5 December and will be the first time the company has performed at this unique arts venue.
The original staging of Ochres in 1994 represented a watershed moment for Bangarra, bringing the company national and international attention for its ground-breaking blend of traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, fused with contemporary movement.
It led to sold-out performances across Australia and around the world and established Bangarra as an important voice in the country’s cultural landscape.
Bangarra’s Artistic Director Stephen Page said he’s looking forward to revisiting the production.
“Bangarra has grown so much since Ochres was first staged in 1994. An array of artists have worked on this production over the years, and all of them, along with our audiences, have experienced the sacred meaning of this show,” he said. “Our incredible dance artists and creative team, including David Page on the score, Djakapurra Munyarryun as cultural consultant, Jacob Nash on sets and Jennifer Irwin on costumes, will bring a renewed depth to this re-imagining, while honouring the meaning and spirit of the original.”
Carriageworks Director Lisa Havilah said they were thrilled to host Bangarra for this season. “We are delighted to partner with Bangarra for their very first season at Carriageworks," she said. "We pride ourselves on presenting works that are contemporary, ambitious and that reflect our social and cultural diversity. Bringing the 21st Anniversary season of Ochres to Redfern, sacred ground for Aboriginal Australia, is an important moment for Carriageworks and our communities."
Ochres is the story of the relationship between Aboriginal people and the land. In all its forms and colours, ochre is essential to the life of Aboriginal communities. This four-part contemporary dance work – yellow, black, red and white – is a portrayal for each colour of this earthy substance, its myriad of purposes and their spiritual significance to Aboriginal people.
Aboriginal elder, Yolgnu songman and Bangarra’s cultural consultant Djakapurra Munyarryun, makes a welcome return to the stage, joining the 15- member dance ensemble, bringing this seminal work to a new generation of dance fans. In the arresting opening scene, Djakapurra sits alone on stage, dipping his hands into a coolamon of yellow ochre as he paints his face, arms and body.
27 November – 5 December, Carriageworks. Bookings: www.bangarra.com.au/ochres