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Dancing to Happiness

ART HAS AN incredible way of traversing the globe, breaking free from the confines of borders to reach out and impact another, miles away. And when one creative force joins forces with another, somewhere else, magic can happen.

Larrakia man, choreographer, dancer and artistic director Gary Lang is one such creative, dreaming up ways to collaborate with different cultures, art forms and worlds to tell a story.

“I live by the motto that I will work with anyone who wants to tell my story. My dance company uses multicultural dancers, who reflect the ethnic demographic of Darwin to tell my peoples’ stories. The sharing of culture in immersive and creative ways removes ambiguity and inspires knowledge,” Lang says.

“Cross-cultural collaboration allows other Indigenous artists opportunities to come to the Territory, to learn, to grow and to honour their talent and their own culture whilst sharing my stories. It is my dream to one day be able to employ these beautiful, talented artists at NT Dance Company.”

Following recent collaborations in the UK and with the West Australian Ballet Company, Gary Lang’s NT Dance Company premieres its latest creative work, Forbidden, at Darwin Entertainment Centre this month over two moving performances.

This cross-cultural, cross-border collaboration between NT Dance Company, NAISDA Dance College – Australia’s foremost First Nations dance performing arts training organisation – and Miku Performing Arts of East Arnhem Land takes you on one man’s journey through hardship, peer pressure and conformity, as he navigates a world that forbids him from openly expressing his darkest emotions. The journey is that of Gary Lang himself, inspired to create the work to bring about his own healing.

“In 2018, I suffered heartbreak which lead to me landing in a deep dark ugly place filled with helplessness. Forbidden is a reflection of my story, which begins when my life was turned upside down and continues to follow the journey as I slowly began to repair, eventually arriving at the happy place I am today,” he says.

“… I had to be brave sharing such a personal story but I wanted to show the entire community that life does get tough and sometimes you want it all to end, but you know what, you can get better and it was important for me to share how happy I am now – hopefully to help others suffering the same pain I did.

“The mood of Forbidden becomes a happy one, which shows how I feel now about myself and NT Dance Company’s journey four years later.”

Experience the emotional reactions of an uncontrollable spiral of events stemming from Lang’s encounter with hardship, and his journey to peace and happiness.

COST $40 | $35 MEMB/CONC

Thumbnail, header & inset photo: Duane Preston

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