Troupe inspire through actions
Broome dancers working in conjunction with Bangarra, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance company, are inspiring fellow Kimberley dancers to follow their dreams.
The dance group who work with the principles of hard work, passion and support from friends and family, performed their latest production, Terrain, at Geraldton’s Queens Park Theatre on October 26.
For dancer Tara Gower, a Yawuru woman from Broome, all she wanted to do since she was eight was dance.
“We had to choose our subjects in high school and I wanted to make my vocation my vacation, ” she said.
“I wanted to enjoy what I do and follow my passion because there’s no other reason to live.
“If you want something so bad and you really try and do all of your efforts to get to that goal, you can create your own reality with your thoughts and your efforts.”
Also from Broome, dancer Rika Hamaguchi grew up in a large family that loved music and dance. Joining Bangarra in 2015, Hamaguchi said she decided to pursue dance because it was a simple way to communicate with people around the world.
“Not everyone understands language,” she said.
“Dance is such a big part of the indigenous culture; it’s a universal way that everyone understands.
“It’s a really good way for people to connect because a lot of people have never heard of stories we dance about and it’s a different way of educating.”
Kaine Sultan-Babij, who has danced with Bangarra since 2011, said he hoped performing around the country encouraged young people to follow their dreams.
“Hopefully visiting regional centres sparks a little fire in someone’s heart and makes them want to follow their passion,” he said.
“If you have a creative vision or you feel like you need to express your creativity, follow your desire.
“If you think about it every day, it’s important to just follow that dream.”
Sultan-Babij, a descendant of the Arrente people of the Harts Range in the central desert region of the Northern Territory, grew up in Whyalla, the third-largest city in South Australia.
Although at first his parents were unsure about his decision to pursue dance as a full-time job, he said they came around when he was accepted into the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association Dance College.
“It’s something that’s not common in our family or where I’m from,” he said.
Bangarra has been running for 27 years and combines more than 40,000 years of culture with a contemporary dance movement.
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