The Bangarra Dance Theatre, which has been described as "Australia's most sensual performing arts troupe," strives to fuse modern movements with elements of Australia's native culture.
In Awakenings, which will be performed this fall in Washington, the company examines the symbolism of 40,000 years of Aboriginal life - and how those ancient rituals both collide with and inform modern culture.
The troupe was formed in 1989; it gets its name from the word bangarra, which means "to make fire" in the Wiradjuri language of New South Wales.
Bangarra is possibly the only major dance company in the world to create its works in collaboration with a tribal elder, who bears the title of "cultural consultant." The choreographers' and dancers' painstaking attention to authenticity is apparent in every gesture on stage. When the troupe performed at the Kennedy Center in 2004, The Washington Post described an earlier work, Bu sh, as "a stimulating, rich, and textured portrait of spirituality."
"Awakenings" will be performed at 8 p.m. Oct. 16 and 17 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. N.W., Washington. Tickets cost $22-$65. Call 800-444-1324 or go to kennedy-center.org.