2 December 2015 | 4:34 pm | Bianca Healey

"Ochres is a powerful reminder of the dynamism of when traditions meet modernity."

Exactly 21 years ago the newly formed Bangarra Dance Theatre brought Ochres to Sydney, then toured Australia, Indonesia and Switzerland. This year it plays Carriageworks.

Ochres melds contemporary ballet and dance with the complex, spiritual shapes, song and movements of Indigenous tradition. That this tradition is unfamiliar to non-Indigenous Australians is irrelevant — there are stories represented here that reach out beyond the here and now to capture tradition from lands beyond the Eora nation, that now find greater meaning in being shared. Ochre represents a highly significant part of Aboriginal life. It is used for rituals, healing, ceremonies and visual arts. Beneath a chalk coloured sculpture, above a primal mound, the dancers enchant us through each visual story; Yellow: the earth mother, Black: male energy, Red: gendered relationships, and White - the spirit world.

Most captivating is the troupe's reinterpretations of 40,000-year-old dance techniques into contemporary movement. Each pirouette transforms into a thrilling fusion of soft and hard movement, accompanied by a truly breathtaking score by choreographer and composer David Page.

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Ochres is a powerful reminder of the dynamism of when traditions meet modernity, encouraging us to take from the performance out into the world.