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The Other Side of Me

Set to stir audiences at Darwin Festival, the world premiere of The Other Side of Me shares a powerful true story of identity and justice, through the outstanding choreography of NT Dance Company’s Artistic Director and Larrakia man, Gary Lang.

By Jenna Hoare

Based on a true story, this mesmerising dance duet is about a young Aboriginal man who was adopted in the Northern Territory in the 1960s, and grew up in England.

A special creative collaboration between NT Dance Company and Northumbria University, the events that lead to unearthing this man’s experience, brought to life in a sensory performance, adds to the compelling nature of this piece.

Co-creator, writer and dramaturg Dr Laura Fish connected with the man at the centre of The Other Side of Me, who cannot be named, in the UK in an exchange of letters lasting 30 years.

“I used to carry the letters around with me. I became a writer, working for the BBC, and I thought that this is a story I should write about [but] didn’t feel comfortable because of reasons to do with cultural appropriation,” she says.

“He spent a lot of his adult life within the criminal justice system and spent a lot of time in police custody.”

Dr Fish says the story is really about the struggle of this man’s life and the way he perceived himself as having two sides – his English side and his Indigenous Australian side.

Working with NT Dance Company to bring the collection of letters and poems to life, the performance delves into a real personal experience of coming to terms with an unknown cultural identity from the other side of the world.

“It feels right that Gary Lang comes in to tell this story. Gary brings a different perspective because it’s about his soul coming back here [to the Northern Territory]. It’s about movement, space, and confinement. It’s also a universal story."

Also growing up in an adopted family, Dr Fish says the work can resonate with anyone. It’s about separation and loss, and dislocation and identity – themes that are part of the human experience.

For those who haven’t seen Gary Lang's work, it’s a wonderful introduction. For those familiar with his work, it will offer something different.

The Other Side of Me
WHEN WED 9 – FRI 11 AUG | 8PM THU 10 AUG | 11AM SAT 12 AUG | 5PM (Q&A)
COST $40-$45

Images: Photo: Paz Tassone and Elizabeth Rogers

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