Ochres: Dance and Aboriginal Culture

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Bangarra Dance Company
Ochres: Red vs. Black
Culture and its, at times, inconceivable differences is an expression of concern for our society today. Silencing and elapsing of cultures and traditions seems to have escalated immensely. However, for the sake of our future, there is strong importance in the need of these traditions endurance. Therefore, contemporary dance has the aptitude in defying these unjust cultural judgments. We see countless contemporary choreographers, today, merging momentous techniques of contemporary with traditional aspects of cultures; for unerringly that reason.
Widely acclaimed within Australia and internationally, Bangarra Dance Theatre presents the spirit of true Australia. They make traditional culture accessible and enjoyable, providing an enriching experience for the audience. Their works are creative and thought-provoking, contributing to a greater understanding and acceptance of Aboriginal values. The work of Ochres (1995), a Bangarra Dance Theatre production, embraces upon the cultural and spiritual significance of Aboriginal life. Through the four colours of Ochres, each representing an element of Aboriginal culture, Stephen Page integrated contemporary abstraction in exposing symbolic reasoning. A correlation of the inspired traditional forms is distinguishable in both sections ‘Red’ and ‘Black’ of the phenomenal production.
Evidently, through the use of only four male dancers, ‘Black’ conveys the element of men’s business. The storyline perceives an ash storm that has blown over and that the call and pain of initiation can only be viewed from a distance. Traditionally, what’s more stereotypically, men were visualised as the control and workers in Aboriginal culture. As the support providers for their families, men would find themselves endlessly hunting and toiling. Stephen Page successfully fused these aspects of tradition within a contemporary piece; creating such meaning.
Varying movements are performed with strong

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