Bangarra Dance Theatre will visit Charleville in February, April and May.
Bangarra Dance Theatre will visit Charleville in February, April and May. Contributed

Bangarra aims to inspire young people

DANCE: Bangarra Dance Theatre's powerful youth outreach program, Rekindling, will travel to Charleville to inspire pride, kinship and strength in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through intensive dance.

The program will close registrations by the end of Thursday, with the workshop to begin on February 22 and gatherings throughout April and May.

Now in its sixth year, Rekindling aims to reach secondary school-aged students.

Bangarra's Youth Program is a vibrant, physical learning experience, delivered by three Bangarra alumni - Sidney Saltner, Chantal Kerr and Patrick Thaiday.

Youth program director Sidney Saltner said Rekindling's vision was to promote creativity, positive life choices and a sense of custodianship in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

"We look forward to bringing the Rekindling program to new communities, where we will have the opportunity to use this unique way of learning to pass on our knowledge, strengthen connections to culture and create new opportunities for the young participants,” he said.

"The program is an important one for Bangarra, and aims to empower the next generation of cultural leaders to develop a sense of pride and place that will have a lasting imprint.”

Participants and elders are encouraged to share local cultural stories, song and dance through a series of gatherings, which culminate in a community performance of the newly created dances by the youth.

Bangarra returns to each community a year after the performance to deliver additional workshops and invite participants to bring a friend. This element of the program encourages the sharing of skills and is an important tool in maintaining relationships with those who completed the program.

Since its inception in 2013, the program has been delivered in 25 communities across five states with more than 450 young people completing the program.

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