On Country

Torres Strait Islands

Zenadh Kes

The Torres Strait Islands is made up of 274 small islands in the waterways at the tip of Australia, between the Cape York Peninsula and Western Province of Papua New Guinea. There a four main languages spoken across the Torres Strait Islands – Kala Lagaw Ya, Kala Kawaw Ya, Meriam Mir and Yumpla Tok (pronounced as Youmpla Tok) - Torres Strait Creole. Torres Strait people refer to the Torres Strait Island region as 'Zenadh Kes'.

Across its thirty year history, Bangarra has collaborated with many alumni with Torres Strait heritage, including founding members Jimmy Gai Gai and Jensen Warusam and alumni Pinau Ghee, Christine Anu, Glenda Aragu, Albert David, Sani Townson, Peggy Misi, Elma Kris, Patrick Thaiday, Deborah Brown and Waangenga Blanco. A number of Bangarra works have been inspired by Island Cultures, people and languages, including Bipotim (Before Time) - Dance Clan, 1999; Turtle (Waru) - 2001; Emeret Lu (Very Old Things) - 2007; About - 2011; Dive (short film) - 2013; I.B.I.S - 2015 and Whistler - 2017.