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1215 Blanshard St. Victoria BC
Open / Operational
Once there were three exuberant, creative, and talented brothers of Aboriginal heritage growing up in Queensland, Australia – carrying with them generations of inherited trauma and their own experiences with racism. Stephen, Russell and David Page turned that pain into cutting edge choreography (Stephen), athletic dance (Russell) and original music (David) as part of the Bangarra Dance Theatre.
Now, 30 years after the group’s founding, Firestarter illustrates how Bangarra has become a beloved part of the arts landscape in Australia, breaking barriers in the perception of what can be successful down under, celebrating indigenous forms of expression heretofore unseen in Australia. Their works are multi-layered, multi-ethnic, stunning productions that push modern dance to new heights and their numerous world tours have cemented their reputation as one of the top dance companies in the world.
Directors Wayne Blair and Nel Minchin thread archival footage from past Bangarra productions and home videos from the family, as well as key interviews with collaborators, illustrating the path from their initial struggles to their great successes as brothers and individuals. The aforementioned inherited trauma, however, is a tall hurdle for the brothers and the film takes on an even more important role as a way for their success to be understood amidst personal tragedies. A remarkable achievement in the burgeoning genre of dance-on-film. — Jane Julian