Praying Mantis Dreaming tells the story of a young Aboriginal girl on her journey from her traditional homelands to the city. The Spirit of the Praying Mantis Dreaming watches over both worlds, guiding and protecting the Aboriginals inhabitants, and encouraging the girl to seek her cultural heritage.
The inspiration and knowledge for this work comes predominantly from the Yirrkala people of North East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. Praying Mantis Dreaming is based on the dreaming of a woman born to an Aboriginal mother and European father. She inherits the Praying Mantis totem from her mother, the Spirit of the Praying Mantis watches over her and guides her through her journey. She experiences lust, anger and death in the city and then learns of her traditional roots through the Praying Mantis Spirit.
The first full length work created by Stephen Page for Bangarra Dance Theatre with original music composed by his brother David Page, Praying Mantis Dreaming combined three distinctive and different styles of dance – traditional Aboriginal, Torres Strait Island and contemporary dance.