For the white explorers, it was the ultimate defeat - there was no inland sea. For modern day tourists, especially twitcher tourists, it's the ultimate destination - when the water comes, from a thousand miles away, to Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, the birds arrive. Watch the drama in this AWC video.
You can see it from space. Lake Eyre is the white, dry, salt spot at the heart of our continent. And you can watch it change as water comes, in 'the ancient rhythms of our red centre': Follow the flood from space in the moving portrait ABC put together here.
But you see this amazing place differently in Terrain, a 2012 production by Bangarra Dance. Terrain transports us to Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre not from above but from within.
In the words of their website, Terrain explores 'the fundamental connection between Aboriginal people and land - how our land looks after us, how we connect with its spirit, and how we regard its future.'
Bangarra takes its educational role seriously, and the Teacher's Notes on the website provide a simple statement of their goals with this production. 'Terrain is an homage to Country, inspired by the power of natural forces and the vulnerability of ecosystems within a landscape that has existed and evolved over many millennia. Terrain illustrates the fundamental connection between People and Land – how we treat our land, how we understand its spirit, and how we regard its future. Terrain presents the vastness and the diversity of a landscape like no other. It’s about the power of natural forces and the vulnerability of ecosystems within a landscape that has existed and evolved as long as the Earth itself – a landscape from which human beings draw life and express meaning to that life.'
How this is done involves artistry of costume, lighting, scenery as well as dance movement. The work has nine parts, described vividly in this review. Find more and read detailed notes on each aspect of the production here.
There are nine sections in the production. We'll screen the whole, pausing between sections.
Red Brick - Looking beyond urban-scape to hear an ancestral Calling to Country Shields - Reﬂecting on the struggle for Land Rights and Recognition that continue to affect Indigenous people today Reborn - Land is passed down through the lineage, along with knowledge and customs Spinifex - Inspired by the trees in and around Lake Eyre that resemble the gatherings of spirit women waiting, suspended in time Salt - Beyond the white salt vastness lies an abstract landscape that resonates with an ancient power Scar - The impact of man's actions scar and disrupt the delicate balance between people and environment Landform - Through each evolution, the land regenerates and heals, awakening the cultural ties that connect people to place Reflect - Traversing the horizon to glimpse the sacred realm where earth and sky meet Deluge - Waters begin their journey towards Lake Eyre bringing with it transformation and ensuring the life cycle continues
'When our dancers take to the stage they embody the story and take the audience to Country.
They understand the visceral connection Indigenous people have to Country no matter if you live in the City or elsewhere. It’s our second skin and our Belonging.' Interview with Terrain's