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Review: 'Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra' is a film of national and personal tragedies

Updated: May 12, 2022

The Conversation, 18 February 2021

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article contains names and images of deceased people.

Watching Firestarter is like being immersed in a Knowledge Story. A story that contains deep, secret knowledge at its heart, while sharing an outside, public version. If I had to sum up the outside layer of this story, I would say it is one about energy transformation.

The film gives insight into the emergence of contemporary Indigenous dance in 1970s Australia. It’s a story about embodied activism birthed by founding figures such as Carole Y Johnson and Cheryl Stone through the fusion of contemporary dance forms with ancient living ones.

And it’s the story of three Page brothers — choreographer Stephen, composer David and dancer Russell — who established the iconic style that is Bangarra movement. Read more here

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