Bangarra Dance Theatre is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation and one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies, widely acclaimed nationally and around the world for their powerful dancing, distinctive theatrical voice and utterly unique soundscapes, music and design.
Waru – journey of the small turtle, Bangarra’s first ever dedicated work for children, was due to be performed in 2021 at their newly renovated home in Walsh Bay. Due to Covid-19 the season has been postponed to September 2022.
A journey of survival and discovery with the heroine Migi the turtle, the contemporary saltwater Lagaw Kazil (Island Children) story is inspired by the totemic system of the green turtle, in an interactive and immersive introduction to Torres Strait Islander culture and dance for three to seven year-olds.
Under the star-illuminated skies of the Torres Strait, a green turtle navigates her way back to the beach where she was born. The season has started, the turtles are returning to nest, and soon the island will welcome a new generation of hatchling – amongst them, a small turtle called Migi.
Created by Bangarra’s Artistic Director and multi award-winning choreographer Stephen Page, together with Hunter Page-Lochard (ABC TV’s Playschool, Spear, ABC TV’s Cleverman), and Bangarra alumni Dancers and Choreographers Sani Townson and Elma Kris, Waru provides teachers, parents and care-givers with a unique opportunity to open up conversations about climate change, caring for the environment and the traditional cultural values of respect and reciprocity. Waru is inspired in part by the highly successful Turtle (Corroboree) 2001, choreographed by Stephen Page, Peggy Misi and Elma Kris.
Waru writer Hunter Page-Lochard said: “I’m thrilled to be able to work with my father on a children’s show, especially now that I have a two year old daughter. Being a part of Playschool has given me an even greater appreciation of the importance of sharing culture with young people in Australia today, and I’m excited to be able to share the culture and stories of fellow creatives Sani and Elma with the youth community”.
The Girgensohn Foundation supports the production of Waru.