Visitors enter through a pitch-black tunnel, flanked by red lights that flicker like tiny campfires, before stepping into a cavernous space.

The objects on display – including props, costumes and recordings – tell how Bangarra’s shows come to life.

A model corrugated iron shack, complete with a fishing net draped over the patio railing, transports visitors to north-east Arnhem Land on the tip of the Northern Territory, where dancers travelled to learn sacred stories.

Page’s 2015 feature film, Spear, is projected onto the underside of a broken-down car, in a vivid re-creation of an outback moonlight cinema.

And previously unseen images of the “paint-up room” backstage give an intimate insight into the moments when dancers shed their “everyday urban life” and prepare to step on stage.

Bangarra Head of Design Jacob Nash said that rather than being an exhibition it is an “immersive experience”.

“What you see are really artefacts of us as a contemporary clan and the way we tell stories,” he said.

“There’s power in them and there’s history and they’re connected to place and they’re connected to song and they’re connected to dance … and you get for a moment to stand inside all of that and feel what that’s like and feel the power of the messages we’re sharing.”

A digital platform has also been set up to archive Bangarra’s history.

Knowledge Ground: 30 years of sixty-five thousand is on display at Carriageworks until December 14.



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