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The Other Side of Me

THE NT DANCE Company tour their evocative dance work to Alice Springs, exploring who gets to tell the other side of history.

By Betty Sweetlove

How can art tell unspeakable stories? This is one question that sparked the creation of The Other Side of Me, a powerful dance production telling a real-life story of Australia’s Stolen Generation.

Choreographed by renowned Larrakia artistic director and choreographer Gary Lang, the piece was inspired by letters written by a First Nations man in prison in the UK.

“Two young boys were taken from Katherine and ended up in Alice Springs orphanage in the 60s. A couple, a husband and wife, were looking for children to adopt. Within a week, the children were adopted and taken to a small hamlet in the countryside in England,” Lang says.

The piece follows the oldest brother’s journey as he grapples with his identity. In a powerful duet, two dancers portray his two sides and evoke the ongoing resonances of his story of disconnection.

“You can imagine the anguish of not knowing, and wanting to know, and the frustration and the anger. You see how young kids disengage. What is it that sets them off? What is the true cause that sets them off?,” Lang says.

"The piece is about the conversations, the mental anguish, of his journey.”

While in prison, the young man became pen pals with British writer and academic Dr Laura Fish. Following his death, she searched for years to find the right way to tell his story.

Confirming a partnership with the NT Dance Company, his story could return to the NT and take shape in the hands of a First Nations creative team.

“The story is not meant to make people feel guilty. It’s an Australian story, it’s a First Nations story, it’s our story. This is what’s happened.”

An evocative, mesmerising performance, the 45-minute piece is followed by a Q&A with the creatives.

“Don’t come with preconceived ideas, come for the dance and find your story.”

The Other Side of Me
COST $49 | $43 MEMB | $44 CONC $20 MOB 

Photo: Paz Tassone

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