Bangarra Dance Theatre is thrilled to announce the appointment of two new dancers, who will join the company this month.
Chantelle Lee Lockhart is a proud descendant of the Dharawal Nation as well as the people of the Eora Nation. Growing up on the NSW Central Coast and Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter, Lockhart has been dancing since the age of two, a passion that has led her to pursue all styles of dance and to travel extensively.
Lockhart moved to Newcastle to train at the National College of Dance, graduating in 2016, with a Diploma of Dance (Elite Performance). In 2017, she travelled to Salzburg, Austria, for four years of intensive training as she worked toward a fine arts degree in Dance at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD).
Lockhart said, “I am excited to join a company that has inspired me for so many years. If I can connect, share and inspire others with my dance, it would fill my soul with much energy and life.”
James Boyd will join Bangarra as a Russell Page Graduate. Boyd is a proud Aboriginal man with connections to the Kunja and Muruwari people of south-western Queensland, and Wakka Wakka nation, south-eastern Queensland.
After finishing high school at the Hunter School of Performing Arts in Newcastle in 2017, Boyd studied at NAISDA until early 2022, completing an Advanced Diploma in Dance. In 2021, Boyd performed with the NT Dance Company for its season of Forbidden and with Moogahlin Performing Arts for the season of The Lookout and has made ongoing collaboration with The Dreaming Project, in partnership with Footscray Community Arts.
Boyd has worked with many choreographers including Frances Rings, Sani Townson, Deborah Brown, Gary Lang, Albert David and Joshua Thompson.
He said, “I’m honoured and grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to Bangarra’s work as a Russell Page Graduate, sharing the stories from our great and beautiful Country. I want to inspire the next generation to believe in themselves and feel proud of who they are and where they come from.”
Since 2015, the Russell Page Graduate Program has seen over 20 young artists commence their first professional engagement with Bangarra. Within the current ensemble of dancers, 11 of the 16 dancers have entered the company as Russell Page Graduates.
Bangarra’s Associate Artistic Director Frances Rings said, “Bangarra is proud to promote the training of emerging Indigenous dancers through the Russell Page Graduate Program, a cultivating ground for talented young artists to be trained and nurtured in a professional environment. We are thrilled to welcome James Boyd and Chantelle Lee Lockhart to the Company. They continue an important tradition of bringing the vision and energy of a new generation to Bangarra and the vital role of carrying our stories into the future.”
The Russell Page Graduate Program is supported by the Sherry-Hogan Foundation, The Ross Trust and many generous individual donors.