Chantelle Lee Lockhart and James Boyd. Courtesy of @bangarradancetheatre, 2022.
Celebrated Indigenous dance company Bangarra Dance Theatre welcomed two new dancers last month. Young First Nations dancers Chantelle Lee Lockhart and James Boyd both started their dance journeys at a young age in Newcastle, and have grown into incredible dancers through training and performing around Australia and overseas (NIT, 2022).
James Boyd dancing in NT Dance Company Collaboration, ‘The Forbidden.’ Courtesy of NAISDA Dance College, 2021.
James Boyd is a proud Indigenous man with connections to the Kunja and Muruwari people of South West Queensland, as well as the Wakka Wakka nation. Boyd completed high school at the Hunter School of Performing Arts in Newcastle. Graduating in 2017, he went on to study at NAIDSDA, completing an Advanced Diploma in Dance. Boyd continued training, and most recently performed with NT Dance Company for their season of the contemporary dance production ‘The Forbidden’ (Bangarra, 2022).
James Boyd has joined Bangarra as a Russell Page graduate, which is a program run by Bangarra that provides the opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance graduates to develop as professional dancers through training, mentoring and performance. In an interview with NIT (2022), Boyd described his excitement when he learnt he was joining Bangarra “It came like a shock to me but I was very happy and excited to come on this new journey.”
Boyd went on to talk about how he’s always been drawn to cultural dance, and learning about his culture:
“14 and above that’s when I started learning about my culture and getting more into it and I think it helped me to become stronger and understand our lore and kinship and what’s our roles and responsibility to life and to ourselves…My parents and family are so proud and want me to keep pushing forward and find that connection back for us again.”
Chantelle Lee Lockhart
Chantelle Lee Lockhart. Courtesy of Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, 2022.
Chantelle Lee Lockhart is a descendent of the Dharawal people and the people of the Eora Nation. She has been dancing since the age of two, attending a number of local dance schools in her younger years and training at the National College of Dance in Newcastle (NIT, 2022).
Since graduating in 2016 with a Diploma of Dance, Lockhart has travelled extensively, furthering her professional development. In 2017, she travelled to Salzburg in Austria and spent four years training intensively working towards a fine arts degree in Dance at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD). Now back in Australia, Lockhart is joining the company that has inspired her for many years, Bangarra (Bangarra, 2022).
Both Chantelle Lee Lockhart and James Boyd will be dancing in Bangarra Dance Theatre’s upcoming 10th Anniversary Tour of awarding-winning production Terrain. Choreographed by Frances Rings, Terrain is an incredible nine-part performance that explores the spirit of Australia’s largest salt lake, Kati Thanda. Featuring David Page’s captivating score, immersive sets by Jacob Nash and costumes by Jennifer Irwin, this powerful performance is not one to be missed (Bangarra, 2022).
You can learn more about Terrain and book tickets here.
Learn more about Bangarra, and the company’s new Creative Director Frances Rings in our previous post: