Forbes-born dancer Emily Flannery has a busy year ahead - and she couldn't be more thrilled.
Emily, a Wiradjuri woman, has been appointed a company dancer with Bangarra Dance Theatre and will make her company debut at the Sydney Opera House next month.
Then later this year, her own first choreographed work will hit the stage.
"It's going to be jam-packed but very exciting," Emily told the Advocate en route to Fitzroy Crossing where the Bangarra team will spend time with Indigenous community members whose stories they are going to share.
"I'm super stoked.
"It seems like everything I have been working for, well forever, is coming to fruition this year."
It seems like everything I have been working for, well forever, is coming to fruition this year.- Emily Flannery
The Advocate last spoke to Emily when she was embarking on a five-month trip to Israel with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company thanks to a Young Regional Artist Scholarship. It's just one of the incredible opportunities the young dancer has had.
"I had such amazing experiences (in Israel) and I found so much personal growth," she said.
Emily began dancing from a young age in Forbes, and pursued her love of dance and her connection to Indigenous culture at NAISDA Dance College, auditioning with sister Amy.
Emily spent in the Yolgnu and Moa Island communities during her studies, and has discovered her passion for sharing culture and spirit through movement.
As a dancer and choreographer Emily works in the contemporary style, which provides her with plenty of scope.
"It's pretty amazing, very accessible," she said.
Since graduating, Emily has performed with Opera Australia, Phunktional Arts, Catapult Choreographic Hub, Ensemble Offspring and Karul Projects, and collaborated with Cloe Fournier, Katina Olsen and Yolande Brown.
She's excited about what's ahead.
"Bangarra is a huge company and to be able to perform with them is so exciting," she said.
SandSong she describes as a very physical work, and one she believes audiences will really enjoy.
"It's definitely challenging, but that's dance," she says.
Some of the stories of Australian history are shocking and saddening, she adds, so performing them can be emotional.
In another exciting development, Emily's own work as a choreographer gained support through the DirtyFeet Choreographic Lab in 2019 and Bulnuruwanha (Taking Flight) will be presented on the Central Coast in October 2021.
It's one of the things she had time to work on last year, when she and sister Amy actually spent some months at home in Forbes after Covid-19 caused the cancellation of 2020 plans.
"It was probably something I really needed, it was very refreshing," Emily said, adding her thanks to her parents Brian and Jacquie Flannery for their ongoing support of the girls pursuing their dreams.