Bleak but beautiful Bangarra

Blak (Bangarra Dance Theatre)

QPAC, The Playhouse

July 18 -27

Bangarra Dance Theatre’s “Blak” is, about so much more than just its dance. Simple but interesting set design and lighting combine to powerful effect, notably in a concluding translucent screen of falling sand. Costuming is elegant, and David Page and Paul Mac’s stunning soundtrack is pulsing yet evocative. Indeed, it is an aesthetically rich production.

But with its beauty comes a bleakness. The subject matter is permeated by grim, dark and haunting contemporary issues such as domestic violence and youth suicide, making this an edgy piece of dance theatre. From the power of the male initiation and fight scenes within Scar to the fluid, ethereal flight of the female spirit in Birth and the ceremonial celebration of Keepers, “Blak” richly explores the juxtaposition of beauty and pain as co-existent concepts.

While some productions impress with the synchronicity of their movement, what truly engages is emotion and, it is in this, that the “Blak” dancers are most skilled.  And this is what makes the show so exciting.

bangara 2


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