Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra
New York Premiere
Nel Minchin, Wayne Blair, 2020, Australia, 96m
Firestarter marks Bangarra Dance Theatre’s 30th anniversary. Taking us through Bangarra’s birth and spectacular growth, it tells the story of how three young Aboriginal brothers—Stephen, David, and Russell Page—turned the newly born Australian dance group into a First Nations cultural powerhouse. But, as Firestarter reveals, the company’s international success–The New York Times called Bangarra “a company like no other”–came at a huge personal cost. As it enters its fourth decade, Stephen must lead the company alone, finding a way to channel grief and sorrow into the strength to forge ahead, with a new generation of Indigenous dancers relying on his genius to tell their stories. Through the eyes of the brothers and company alumni, Firestarter explores the loss and reclaiming of culture, the burden of intergenerational trauma, and, crucially, the power of art as a messenger for social change and healing.

Preceded by 

Folds of Wind (طيات الريح)
North American Premiere
Samir T. Radwan, 2021, Egypt, 3m
The mirroring of nature to the human condition physically and emotionally is almost tangible. The desert is carved and shaped by differential weathering and the human being is moved by emotions. This affinity is portrayed by a contemporary performance in the middle of the white desert of Egypt, showcasing the complementary behavior of both the human and the desert. The four stages presented in this film can be understood as irritation, anger, flow, and acceptance, which in this work are connected with the white desert that is also in constant progression because of the wind.