"The Rekindling experience was life-changing for Rosa... it was like learning a language that she somehow had always sort of known."

Kate, parent, Kelvin Grove State College, Queensland


In 2013, Bangarra launched a new initiative for youth: Rekindling. 

Rekindling's vision is to inspire pride, kinship and a sense of strength in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through a series of dance residencies with secondary school-aged students. 

Participants research and gather stories with guidance from Elders within their communities, developing skills to produce thought provoking performances and community events. 

Since inception, Rekindling has been delivered in 25 communities across five states with almost 460 students completing the program. 

Rekindling is led by Sidney Saltner, one of Bangarra’s most acclaimed artists, who became Youth Program Director after 25 years as a performer. He is supported by Youth Program Leaders and former Bangarra dancers Chantal Kerr and Patrick Thaiday.


In acknowledging World Teachers Day*, Bangarra Dance Theatre would like to celebrate the extraordinary contribution our Rekindling team. Led by three of our former senior dancers, Sidney Saltner, Patrick Thaiday and Chantal Kerr work with secondary school students in regional and remote areas researching and gathering stories with guidance from Elders within their communities, and developing skills in translating those stories into dance theatre performances.

As teaching artists they bring their many years of experience as creative exponents of the world’s oldest living culture, instilling in the young people they work with, the power of culture in their lives and their communities.

Rekindling restores knowledge cycles and song lines, leaving a lasting and sustainable legacy with communities. Time and again we hear of participants continuing to workshop and perform at local community events, using the knowledge they have garnered from their participation in the program to further their engagement with contemporary Aboriginal dance as an art form.

The constant feedback we receive is that Rekindling leaves a lasting and sustainable legacy by building the capacity of young people and communities to create an inter-generational connection. Confidence grows, shame is reduced, strength is built with the pride that comes in showcasing personal stories of ‘who I am’ and ‘where do I come from’.  

“Being a part of the Rekindling program changed the way I saw myself. People talk about a defining moment in their lives and for me so far this is it. I could feel in my mind and my body that it was important but once I knew that I didn’t want to ever forget”. Rosa, Rekindling participant, 2015.

* World Teachers’ Day is co-convened in partnership with UNICEF, UNDP, the International Labour Organization, and Education International.



2019 Registrations

2019 registrations opening soon. Stay tuned. 

Youth Program Contact

  02 9251 5333
  Bangarra Youth Program

2019 Registrations

Opening Soon

Bangarra's Rekindling program is generously supported by
The Colonial Foundation
Linnell/Hughes Trust
The Marian and E.H. Flack Trust
Patterson Pearce Foundation
Tim Fairfax Family Foundation
Bangarra's amazing family of indivdual donors

Bring Rekindling to your Community

Communities are chosen based on their interest in supporting the program as well as assessment of need. The Rekindling team work closely with community leaders and Elders to cultivate the sharing of local stories, songs and dance. 

If you are a community leader and are interested in bringing the Rekindling program to your area, please read the Expression of Interest PDF, and complete the Expression of Interest form below.

Rekindling - Expression of Interest

Participated in Rekindling 2018?

If you are a student, teacher, Elder, or community member who has participated in Rekindling this year, please complete the relevant survey below.



Elder/Community Member