May 14, 2015

Five Questions for … Deborah Brown

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Thanks to everyone who submitted a question for senior dancer and lore choreographer Deborah Brown via social media! Below are her answers.

What are your pre-show rituals?

After company warm up, I pre-set costumes and water side stage for quick changes. I have my little aromatherapy diffuser switched on in my dressing room and have a cup of green tea beside me while I do my make up and hair. I always aim to sit in 5 mins of meditation and do a 3 minute plank – this combination helps settle the butterflies in my tummy.

What is your favourite Bangarra work to dance in and why?

Fire, A Retrospective will always be my favourite and a highlight of my career. Here we visited some of Bangarra’s best repertoire. It was a two hour show and and one of my busiest. The elation I felt after performing this show is indescribable. I could do it all again.

What are your must-haves in your dressing room?

I lay out a colourful sarong on my dressing table to make it feel a little less sterile. My aromatherapy diffuser, often filled with Perfect Potions Allure Oil. Water. And my little speaker to jam out some music post show!

How different has it been working as a choreographer rather than a dancer?

The weight of responsibility is different. Choreography goes beyond collaborating with dancers. It’s also collaborating with a set designer, composer, lighting designer, costume designer and a production team. I’m no longer just one colour in a palette, I now have the opportunity to paint with many colours. 

Who inspires you?

My family. When my mother and father got married, my mother wasn’t considered a citizen of Australia. She had no right to vote. I am eternally proud of both of them for being colour blind on the surface and taking the vows to be together despite how others may have judged. Whatever conflict comes their way, neither have lost their sense of humour and know how to have a good laugh!

March 18, 2015

MEDIA RELEASE – lore: Frances Rings, Waangenga Blanco and Deborah Brown premiere two unmissable new works in 2015

Deeply moving performances, incredible dancing and authentic storytelling are the trademarks of any Bangarra Dance Theatre season, and none more so than the company’s new double bill, lore.

This world premiere season opens at the Sydney Opera House on 11 June, before travelling to Canberra, Wollongong, Brisbane and Melbourne. The company are in peak form after their 25th anniversary season in 2014, which received widespread praise from both audiences and critics.

Read the full media release HERE

August 13, 2014

Bangarra Australian Dance Award Nominees 2014

Bangarra artists Deborah Brown and Waangenga Blanco have both been shortlisted for an Australian Dance Award! Deborah has been nominated in the category ‘Outstanding Performance by a  Female Dancer’ for Brolga and Waangenga has been nominated in the category ‘Outstanding Performance by a  Male Dancer’ for Blak. See the full list of nominees on the Ausdance NSW website HERE.

Deborah Brown & Waangenga Blanco, Australian Dance Award nominees 2014

Deborah Brown & Waangenga Blanco, Australian Dance Award nominees 2014

March 20, 2014

Acclaimed dancer Deborah Brown departs Bangarra

After over ten years of outstanding achievements with Bangarra, acclaimed dancer Deborah Brown has decided to leave the company. Deborah says of her departure, ‘My time with Bangarra is one of the greatest love affairs I’ve had, artistically and culturally. The presence there is indescribable and I will forever have the company’s medicine in my veins.’ We wish Deb all the best – she will be greatly missed. Read more.

November 14, 2013

Dancers Blog: From Dancer to Choreographer

We are here: tech week in our snug theatrette at Bangarra studios on the Wharf. The last 6 or so weeks have been a journey down an entirely new path for myself, Tara Gower, Yolande Brown and Deborah Brown. Our initiation into the role of choreographer has filled our beings with fresh challenges. Each one of us has taken on a unique way to create, finding what makes us peculiar in the rehearsal room whilst working with our peers on our own stories. Although we may have created works in the past, working on Dance Clan 3 is something special in an entirely different way. We are so lucky to have dancers such as our company members to create on and watch our imaginations come to life. I treasure each one all the more after this process, and it is all the more inspiring to walk into the studio and be greeted with an eager desire to help tell your story, realise your vision and work hard to achieve the best result. Expelling the story from my own brain to the dancers helps me relieve my own creative anxiety. Some times it feels as though every spare corner of my brain is being utilised, information pressed into every nook and cranny. Thank goodness I’ve had the chance to just relax and also work to realise the vision of Yolande and Deborah by just being able to step back into the role of a dancer.

I can’t believe we are here already. I am nervous and excited to see the unfolding of the completion of my first work, ‘Macq’, but untill opening night, the journey continues on, tweaking and refining our works, the constant process of evolution!

Jasmin Sheppard

Image: Jasmin Sheppard, Dance Clan 3 rehearsals 2013, photo by Anna Warr

November 11, 2013

Dance Clan 3 Q&A with Stephen Page and the Choreographers

WHEN Saturday 23 November at 6pm
WHERE Corroboree Cinema, Mezzanine Level of Pier 2/3
REGISTER HERE

Join us behind-the-scenes on 23 November at 6pm in a Q&A session with Artistic Director Stephen Page and Dance Clan 3 choreographers Deborah Borwn, Yolande Brown, Tara Gower and Jasmin Sheppard. Bangarra’s artists will discuss their creative inspirations and answer your questions about their choreographic processes and connections to traditional culture.


August 6, 2013

BANGARRA’S YEAR OF ACHIEVEMENTS RECOGNISED IN A WEEK OF AWARDS

MEDIA RELEASE

Over the past week, the Australian arts industry has recognised the outstanding artistic achievements of Bangarra Dance Theatre and its artists, with four awards across the Helpmanns, Australian Arts in Asia Awards and last night’s Australian Dance Awards.

On Monday July 29 2013, Bangarra Dance Theatre received two Helpmann Awards at the prestigious Sydney Opera House ceremony. Dancer Deborah Brown was awarded the Helpmann for Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre work for her performance in the 2012 work Terrain. Terrain also received the Helpmann Award for Best Ballet or Dance Work. Artist-in-residence David Page was also nominated for Best Original Score for Terrain.

On Thursday August 1 2013, the inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Awards took place at Luna Park in Sydney, recognising Australian artists who have engaged with Asia and who have contributed to strengthening cultural links between Australia and Asia. Bangarra Dance Theatre performed at the ceremony and received the inaugural Australian Art in Asia Award in the Dance category for their production Spirit and its recent tours to Mongolia, Thailand and Vietnam. Bangarra shared this award with Annalouise Paul for Game On.

Bangarra’s Artistic Director Stephen Page said, “These awards are a wonderful affirmation for the company that we are achieving artistic excellence while we pursue the equally important role of building connections. Whether Bangarra is performing on stage at the Sydney Opera House or a theatre in regional Victoria, running an indigenous youth workshop in remote New South Wales or presenting a performance for brand new audiences in Vietnam, the high quality of our work is what helps create meaningful engagement. During our recent South Asian tour of Spirit, audiences were fascinated by Bangarra’s fusion of traditional culture with modern dance theatre. There was an instant connection with the spiritual, grounded nature of Bangarra’s work and they understood the story-telling that strongly influences our productions.’

Last night the annual Australian Dance Awards took place in Canberra. Shane Carroll one of Australia’s most outstanding contributors to dance received the Services to Dance Award. Over the last two years Shane Carroll has overseen the development and implementation of Bangarra’s new youth program Rekindling, designed to connect Aboriginal young people with their culture through story-telling and dance. Rekindling has been successfully established in four communities across New South Wales during 2013 and planning is underway for further communities in New South Wales as well as Queensland next year. Ms Carroll’s expertise has also been felt by independent Aboriginal artists working with an important sector capacity building program supported by Bangarra and the NSW Government Birrang – expanding Aboriginal dance horizons in NSW.

CEO Catherine Baldwin says, “Bangarra recognises the valuable insights and knowledge Ms Carroll brings to these innovative initiatives, working with artists to deliver significant benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Both Birrang and Rekindling programs provide opportunities for dancers to build resilience that supports their professional career development.”

Bangarra Dance Theatre is Australia’s premier national Indigenous performing arts company. Under the brilliant and inspirational artistic direction of Stephen Page, Bangarra has strived to maintain the cultural integrity and spirit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tradition, combining it with contemporary expressions of stories, dance and music to create unique theatrical experiences, and to deliver these experiences to audiences across Australia and around the world.

July 31, 2013

2013 Helpmann Awards

Congratulations to everyone who was recognised at the 2013 Helpmann Awards, especially Bangarra artist Deborah Brown for winning Best Female Dancer in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production for Terrain and choreographer Frances Rings, the Terrain creative team and the Bangarra ensemble for winning the award for Best Ballet or Dance Work.

Read the full list of 2013 Helpmann Award recipients HERE.

Congratulations also goes to composer David Page for his nomination for Best Original Score for Terrain, Frances Rings for her nomination for Best Choreography in a Dance or Physical Theatre Production for Terrain and to the Bangarra ensemble for their nomination for Best Regional Touring Production for of earth & sky.

Read the full list of 2013 Helpmann Award nominees HERE.

May 28, 2013

Bangarra at the World Indigenous Network Conference 2013

This stunning image of Bangarra artists Daniel Riley McKinley, Waangenga Blanco, Luke Currie-Richardson and Beau Dean Riley Smith rehearsing for the World Indigenous Network Conference, Darwin over the weekend was captured by Dancer Deborah Brown. You can check out more great images of the Bangarra family and follow us on our Instagram page here: instagram.com/bangarradancetheatre

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