BACK TO COUNTRY: Local women who took part in Norpa’s Kinship collaboration with Boomerang Festival as part of the theatre company’s three-year Bundjalung project.
BACK TO COUNTRY: Local women who took part in Norpa’s Kinship collaboration with Boomerang Festival as part of the theatre company’s three-year Bundjalung project. Jeff Dawson

Norpa builds connection with new cultural project

NORPA is calling for the community to become involved in a new project that will tell the stories of Bundjalung culture.

Bundjalung Nghari: The Gathering is a three-year theatre project that will see Bundjalung culture and stories shared with the community through a series of consultations, workshops and a show that will premiere in 2015.

Norpa's artistic director Julian Louis said The Gathering was a project Norpa had been waiting to do for some time and he encouraged those with a story to tell to become involved in dialogue during the first stage - on Friday.

"It's time to do something closer to our base and we feel we're connected to the community and we've built an audience for this," Mr Louis said.

"We're starting the process of developing a work that expresses ideas, culture and stories unique to this region."

The project's first stage will see Indigenous actor and musician David Page, Boomerang Festival director Rhoda Roberts, Bundjalung author Melissa Lucashenko and dancer and choreographer from Bangarra Dance Theatre Frances Rings at a session where the community can ask questions, offer ideas and discuss the project.

"The first gathering is a chance to talk about the idea of making a work and we've invited very experienced creators and professional artists to lead aspects of the development," Mr Louis said.

He hoped the artists would be inspired by the "terrain of the Northern Rivers" when they moved into creating the show.

David Page said the project was about sharing stories with both the non-Indigenous community and Bundjalung youth.

"We're going back to country with the idea of strengthening the awareness, and doing what we do best; telling the stories," Mr Page said.

Members of the public can engage with Bundjalung Nghari: The Gathering artists on Friday at 5.30pm at Norpa at Lismore City Hall.

The event is free. More information at norpa.org.au.



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