Bangarra brings dance back to bush
LAST week a lucky group of Central Highlands students took part in a two-day workshop run by some of the country's most prestigious and renowned dancers.
Fourteen members of Sydney's Bangarra Dance Theatre - Australia's premier indigenous performing arts company - mentored young students from Emerald State High School and Blackwater State High School as part of the company's annual regional tour.
After six weeks on the road, the dancers wound up the 2011 tour in the Central Highlands by performing alongside eager youngsters keen to show off what they had learned over the two days.
Bangarra sponsorship manager Michael O'Rourke said thanks to BHP Billiton's generous sponsorship, dancers were able to deliver the Outreach workshops for children in remote communities.
The Blackwater workshop was an emotional homecoming for dancer Yolande Brown - a descendant of the Bidjara clan of the Kunja nation in Central Queensland, whose great aunt lived in Blackwater for many years.
"I love the delight that the kids experience, they have to push through a lot of hard work... but when they've pushed through the fatigue levels... they realise that through hard work they can achieve something and that goes through all aspects of life," Yolande said.
As well as regional visits, Bangarra embarks on one international tour every year, which it fits around an annual six-week spot at the Sydney Opera House.