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Firestarter (ATOM Study Guide)

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SKU: SG1791

Firestarter marks Bangarra Dance Theatre’s 30th anniversary. Taking us through Bangarra’s birth and spectacular growth, the film recognises Bangarra’s co-founders Carole Y. Johnson and Cheryl Stone and tells the story of how three young Aboriginal brothers — Stephen, David and Russell Page — turned the newly born dance group into a First Nations cultural powerhouse. But as Firestarter reveals, the company’s (inter)national success – the NY Times called Bangarra ‘a company like no other’ – came at a huge personal cost. As it enters its fourth decade Stephen Page continues to lead the company, finding a way to channel grief and sorrow into the strength to forge ahead, with a new generation of Indigenous dancers relying on his genius to tell their stories. Through the eyes of the brothers and company alumni, Firestarter explores the loss and reclaiming of culture, the burden of intergenerational trauma, and – crucially – the power of art as a messenger for social change and healing.

Curriculum Links:

Firestarter can be linked to the following subject areas within the Australian Curriculum:

  • History
  • English
  • Drama
  • Art/Dance
  • Geography
  • Civics & Citizenship
  • Media Arts
  • Health & Physical Education

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