South West Superstrand showcased at community reveal in Bunbury on Wednesday

Claudette RizziBunbury Herald
Matt Morgan carried the ball of yarn which was unfurled along Victoria Street, and was some 1500m long when the photo was taken. The superstrand is still in the process of being created.
Camera IconMatt Morgan carried the ball of yarn which was unfurled along Victoria Street, and was some 1500m long when the photo was taken. The superstrand is still in the process of being created. Credit: Claudette Rizzi

The Yarning with BREC initiative has been months in the making and was celebrated with a public reveal on Victoria Street on Wednesday.

The much anticipated arrival of the Wayfinder production at BREC on February 10 is just around the corner and set to be a rich contribution to the Bunbury arts scene.

Senior marketing coordinator for BREC Fiona Di Garis said Wayfinder is a sensorial performance that fittingly is about finding one’s way and this sort of community connectedness goes a long way towards being able to do that.

“Yarning with BREC is a wonderful way to bring the meaning within the performance to the fore prior to the dancers even taking the stage,” she said.

“BREC selects certain shows over the year from the curated BREC Presents program that they believe will have the potential for significant community engagement and this is an important element of what they do.”

Ms Di Garis also revealed that the overarching aim for initiatives such as Yarning with BREC is to help people connecting with BREC or attending the show to engage on a deeper level.

“To be a part of the art and feel that connectedness with the performance and their community can have profound impact,” she said.

“Some people will connect just with the engagement activity, some people will come along to the show and some will come to the show because they’ve been a part of the engagement in the lead-up — and that’s all great.

“Initiatives like this demonstrate how connected the Bunbury Geographe community are and how something really simple like finger knitting with complete strangers can become really meaningful and transform someone’s experience.”

The production team for Wayfinder were interested in engaging the audience with the idea of connecting groups to create the yarn for the stage design with colourful recycled materials for an environmentally sustainable set.

BREC wanted to make it a bigger project so set up community workshops for people to learn how to create the yarn and add to it while connecting with each other and the arts scene.

“We just love the idea that Kyle Page, artistic director for Wayfinder, agreed to incorporate the yarn into the stage set,” Ms Di Garis said.

“It’s one the biggest dance productions to be funded for WA.

It’s a beautiful thing getting the staff and community involved.”

BREC Engagement Producer, Michele Laine said: “The Superstrand is 1881m as of this afternoon — with four more Yarning with BREC sessions to go before the handover on the day of the Wayfinder performance to Dancenorth Artistic Director Kyle Page.

“It’s been really engaging across all ages — some participants remembered learning to finger knit as kids, others learned how to finger knit during our sessions so they could help their own kids, some as young as two.

“Then you’ve got our brigade of BREC Vollies aged into their 80s.

We’ve got comments like, “I can’t stop! I’ll be lost when it finishes,” really bringing home how activities can elicit a little joy in folk without spending a fortune — and always helps to have a goal, something to show for it — whether it’s a bracelet for a child or a community contribution to a Superstrand.

“It has been a delight watching strangers chat over their finger-knitting, sharing stories and enjoying new company, also watching parents or grandparents help their children learn this new skill has been great.”

“It’s great to engage with our locals, build relationships and open up opportunities for new experiences here in the South West of WA,” Ms Di Garis said.

A pre-show event on February 10 for participants and the community will be held to view the finished Superstrand.

For more information visit www.bunburyentertainment.com

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