Bangarra Dance Theatre take the lead at Hunter School of the Performing Arts

HUNTER students have revelled in the rare opportunity to attend a masterclass run by one of country’s leading performing arts companies, Bangarra Dance Theatre.

The company has returned to Newcastle after nine years to perform OUR land people stories at the Civic Theatre on February 9 and 10 as part of a seven-stop regional tour.

Dancers Baden Hitchcock, Tara Robertson and Tyrel Dulvarie took time away from rehearsals to visit Hunter School of the Performing Arts on Wednesday and host a class for around 20 students, followed by a community workshop.

“It’s really important to go back to communities – both Indigenous and non Indigenous – and tell our stories to all of Australia,” said Darwin-raised Ms Robertson.

“The regions don’t always get to see these shows regularly and we hope to provide inspiration to these children that they can follow their dreams in dance, art or down any other path.

“We also want to rekindle the spark within their culture.”

The trio said the classes were an opportunity to share what they knew, but also learn from the students’ skills.

“We want to help the next generation to keep this alive,” Mr Dulvarie said. “This could help plant that seed.”

The upcoming show combines three works, Nyapanyapa, Miyagan and Macq, which explores when Major General Lachlan Macquarie ordered three military detachments to “inflict terrible and exemplary punishments” on Aborigines.

“It’s a heavy topic but still relevant today,” Mr Hitchcock said.

“It’s important for people not to be shielded from that but to know what has happened.

“People shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions.”