The Other Side of Me translates into dance the true life story of a young Aboriginal man, born in 1966 in Kalkarindji, Northern Territory, who was adopted by an English family and raised in a remote hamlet in Cornwall, United Kingdom. He was adopted towards the end of the period when Aboriginal children were stolen from their parents. The ease and haste of the process, which took less than a week, is typical of the history of Aboriginal adoption in Australia at that time.
The project draws on a collection of 30 letters and poems written over four years, from 1990 to 1994. It offers insights into the mindset of a man in his mid-to-late twenties re-evaluating his life and trying to come to terms with his First Nations Australian origins. Its title comes from his letters. He wrote:
Memories exist on the other side of me. I have two sides. The side I know. And the side I don’t.
The production will communicate a story of personal trauma that sits at the limits of linguistic expression and that poses questions about relationships between country of origin, identity, adoption, the criminal justice system and psychological health.
Gary Lang, NT Dance Company and Northumbria University will work with Artback NT as a developing partner to tour ‘The Other Side of Me’ nationally and internationally. If you would like to be a part of this journey please contact Artback NT’s Performing Arts Manager, Elizabeth Rogers.