Posted by Meredith Benke Bell
2020 wraps up at last! Like everyone, all of us at TK hope for smoother sailing in 2021.
But with the year just behind us, we have also learned some lessons. And one of these is the appreciation of great stuff when it happens.
So for this blog, I reflect on Te Kore: A World Beyond, our 2020 Worn Art Revamped production and some of the elements that made it so special. We are so appreciative that after months of uncertainty, we could connect with so many in our community through a love of the arts and performance.
Dozens of local and intrastate wearable art makers went to great efforts to create unique and beautiful costumes to present in Te Kore. But as our participants and audiences all know, this production is so much more than costumes.
Bangarra dancer and Yawuru woman, Tara Gower, opened each act, grounding us with her striking physical interpretations of time and place.
Broome children and their parents created Anthropocene theropods (read: contemporary-era small meat-eating dinosaurs made from recycled plastic –a mouthful anyway you say it!) with puppet whiz Karen Hethey, through workshops co-hosted by the Broome Library and the Dinosaur Coast Management Group.
Yiramalay Studio School students and staff created costumes focusing on themes of country with visual artist, Jacky Cheng and her partner, Greg Nichols. Students and mentors then came to Broome and threw themselves bravely into rehearsals and performances - as dragonfly or butterfly puppeteers and costume models. Their stunning contributions were noted by many as a highlight of the show.
Dancers from Broome Performing Arts Co-op (BPAC) and circus students from our Act-Belong-Commit Sandfly Circus worked hard to prepare the skills they are well known for – seamless dance execution and dazzling circus feats. BPAC’s X-tension group are local favourites, with the youngest members of this seasoned group, less than 10 years old. Sandfly Circus stilt walkers performed as pterosaurs (winged dinosaurs) while two senior aerialists performed a double silks act.
Our local cultural communities were celebrated through costume and dance, with the overall winning costume award going to Maika Quilisadio’s costume, My Mother Land, which celebrated her Phillipino ancestry.
And these are only some of the rich contributions to Te Kore. If I kept on listing, you would never get to the end of this blog!
With great appreciation for the collective creativity and the shared steering of the big ship we call Worn Art Revamped, we thank our many, many contributors – too many to name. They are costume designers, stagehands, models, choreographers, singers, drummers, puppet makers, bar volunteers, dancers, carpenters, local sponsors, funders and many, many more.
Te Kore was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. Theatre Kimberley also thanks Regional Arts WA, the WA Department of Culture and the Arts, the Tate Family Foundation, CENTURION, and Goolarri Media, for their ongoing support. Yiramalay/Wesley Studio school involvement was made possible by Theatre Kimberley’s Act-Belong-Commit Dragonfly Outreach Program.