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Ancient cultures brought together for debut
Simon Cowling Floeur Alder, Anne-Janette Phillips, Justina Truscott and Nicola Sabatino perform in Perth.

A powerful dance production entwining two tales from two ancient cultures made its world premiere in Perth last week, starring a host of talented performers, including two well-known Broome dancers.

Contemporary artists Anne-Janette Phillips and Perun Bonser played important roles in “Diaphanous: seeing through and beyond” at Perth’s State Theatre Centre.

The production was the first of its kind from the emerging Ochre Contemporary Dance Company, showcasing indigenous and non-indigenous creatives working together. Diaphanous features two stories from two ancient cultures, an Aboriginal Wongi Dreaming tale and an ancient Greek myth, coming together and explored through contemporary dance.

The Wongi Seven Sisters story from the Western Desert was choreographed by Tammi Gissell, descended from the Muruwari nation in New South Wales, followed by the Greek Orion story created by well-known Perth choreographer and dance artist Jacob Lehrer.

Both choreographers worked together to compare and contrast themes. Broome-born artistic manager Simon Stewart lent his support for the production.

Ochre Contemporary Dance Company was officially launched in May by Culture and Arts Minister John Day.

The company took six years to come to fruition.

It aims to bring together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal choreographers, dancers and arts professionals to bring stories to life and explore individuals’ heritage, relationship with the land and with each other.