Over the next three years NORPA is developing a new dance theatre work about Bundjalung country, Bundjalung Nghari: The Gathering.
As part of the process, NORPA is hosting a free community event at Lismore City Hall this Friday at 5.30pm.
The Echo had a chat with some of the leading Bundjalung artists involved.
What is your connection to Bundjalung Country?
Rhoda Roberts: I am a Widjubul woman. The other nation that runs through my bloodline is the Gamilaroi on my grandmother’s side.
Djon Mundine: I am Bandjalung – I was born and lived in South Grafton. My father Roy Mundine comes from Baryugil.
David Page: My father is a respected elder of the Munaldjali clan of the Beaudesert region southeast Queensland, just over the QLD–NSW border.
Melissa Lucashenko: My mum’s granny was a Tweed River woman removed to Queensland at eight years of age.
Why are you excited to come to here to make this work?
Rhoda Roberts: I am honoured that NORPA recognises this and proud and delighted that we have this wonderful platform to revisit old stories.
Melissa Lucashenko: Bundjalung Nghari: The Gathering is about all people who live here being able to understand country and what it is to respect our mother, the sacred Earth.
David Page: I love to revisit and reinforce our cultural storytelling history. Those stories make us who we are today.
Djon Mundine: To be part of a specific Bandjalung project in my country is incredibly exciting.
What are some of the inspirations and aspirations for this work?
Rhoda Roberts: What truly excites me is the number of artists, choreographers, composers, musicians, curators, performers and writers who are world-leading experts in their specific fields and internationally acclaimed.
Djon Mundine: In my career I have only rarely been able to express my own identity and ideas from a still largely unacknowledged Bundjalung history and archive of concepts images and stories.
Free Community Event – Friday 5.30–7pm. Meet the artists involved in creating Bundjalung Nghari: The Gathering and join the conversation. Norpa at Lismore City Hall, 1 Bounty St. More info at www.norpa.org.au.