Created and performed by students of the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA), ‘Spirit Of The Lore’ is a modern investigation of timely themes.

“Girls were not supposed to know about the lore. For men, they know what it is. Also, our Elders … would understand what the lores were. My nan hasn’t told me anything about it yet. We’re still learning,” explains performer and ACPA student Jakaya Dixon.

The term 'lore' refers to the traditional customs and stories of indigenous Australians. ‘Lore’ was learned from the Dreamtime, and was passed down through generations via songs, dance and stories.

Born in Armidale, New South Wales, Jakaya has worked with the likes of Lee Purcell, Penny Mullen and Marcus Hughes. She has also worked with Wesley Enoch as Assistant Stage Manager for Roger Bennett's production 'Up The Ladder'. With such a diverse range of experiences, Jakaya was excited to be part of 'Spirit Of The Lore' which is a contemporary exploration of the 'challenges and responsibilities faced by today's Indigenous youth, left to their own devices without the guidance of Elders'.

"The performance is mainly acting", but also uses traditional mediums of music and dance to tell the story. With the help of ACPA staff, the performers wrote the script and some songs, and choreographed the dances.

“Yes, we did almost everything! The boys went away and they came up with all of their dances. And the girls went away and … we've created our own dances for this play. We've got a women's dance and we've called it 'Healing' … it was designed to help one of the characters that has been bashed and raped. The dance calls on all the good spirits, taking bad spirits out of her. 'Healing' calls to our ancestors to help the character,” Jakaya states.

Jacqueline Schofield, production designer for the show, describes the performance.

“This brand new work focuses in on a group of 12 men and women who find themselves in a foreign space; a place that promotes the intersection of conflicting world views, personal values and learnt rules of behaviour. It's about 12 individuals sharing one common goal; survival.

"The idea is that we're a community … the lores that we had to break down were things such as when young girls got hurt, what would we do about it? When there was fighting, who is in charge and who isn't in charge? And there was no one in charge, that's the message we're trying to portray — you can't be in charge, you have to do it as one."

Jakaya plays the vital role of 'Justice'. "I'm kind of Mother Earth, or mother to the 12 individuals —a strong woman that knows my knowledge and tries to keep them knowing the knowledge of their culture."

'Spirit Of The Lore' makes its world premiere at Qpac from Sept 11 To 19.

Published in Theatre


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