Gumba, the Birpai word for "tomorrow", connects two important pieces of our shared story together.
It honours the traditional custodians of the land, the Birpai people, and acknowledges the impact of European settlement and the heartache of the Stolen Generation.
It is choreographed by Bangarra Dance Theatre performer Ryan Pearson and is a fitting and moving opening story to the region's bicentenary events program which runs through until April 18.
It will be performed again at 5pm and 6.30pm on Saturday night, April 10, on Town Green.
Ryan said the performance was an opportunity to explore message-making through creative artistry.
He was incredibly proud of his debut as a choreographer and praised the performance of the 25 young dancers from across the Mid North Coast with the assistance of Stacey Morgan and Dance Mid North Coast Association.
"I wanted to create a contemporary dance that was inspired by how I felt about the invasion and survival of Indigenous peoples throughout the time of the settlement," Ryan said.
"I was inspired by several things - the Baiame creation story, the fleets arriving on Hastings River, the Stolen Generation and various protests and marches.
"I also hope to evoke a feeling of learning for all people that come to watch about the history and current issues of indigenous peoples and culture."
Ryan is 24 and grew up on Biripi country in Taree.
He has been dancing with the Bangarra Dance Theatre since 2017.
Gumba features 25 Indigenous and non-Indigenous dancers from the local area.
Bring a picnic rug or folding chair and enjoy the sunset performance of this culturally significant work.
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