March 19, 2015

Five Questions For … Kaine Sultan-Babij

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Tell us a little bit about where you’re from and your totem/dreaming.

I‘m from a place called Whyalla, it’s on the East Coast of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. It’s a special place, where the land meets the sea, the sky and the stars all at once, arid land, but during winter when we get some rain, the desert blooms and it’s beautiful. My mob are Arrernte, from Harts Range, Central Desert in the N.T. Our totem is the Caterpillar – Yipirinya dreaming. I also share Afghan and Croatian heritage.

 How do you feel when you’re dancing?

I didn’t know dance would be my career until I began full-time performing arts studies at the age of 17! At first, dance was an outlet. All us cousins were scattered over town and the only time we could connect was at school during recess and lunch, so we’d sign out that old stereo from the sports shed, chuck in our mix tapes and dance! That was our catch up. Later on, I found that this was my something, something I could put my energy into. Now it continues to be what I wake up excited about, what I see when I hear a piece of music. Dance is how I feel, how I communicate. It seems it’s been that way for long time. 

Do you have a pre-show ritual?

They change from season to season. At a time it was brushing my teeth before going on stage, a cup of hot green tea, doing some yoga or meditation. Other times we may not have the luxury of a flash dressing room, a quiet moment or running water, especially on remote tours where we perform for communities on local basketball courts or football ovals. All that matters is sharing a performance that we hope will inspire someone to follow or to find their passion like we have ours. 

Other than dance, my secret passion is …

Not sure that it’s a secret, but yoga! It feels good for my body and mind, inside and out. 

My ideal Sunday is…

Sleeping in! Although a sleep in for me is 8am. I’ll wake up early and be active, heading to my local yoga studio, Jivamukti in Newtown before heading out for breakfast and coffee at a beautiful little place on Enmore Road called Merica. Then I’ll head out to Coogee for a swim.

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

January 27, 2015

Bangarra is seeking an Office & Youth Program Administrator – APPLICATIONS CLOSED

Bangarra is currently seeking an Office & Youth Program Administrator. This is a permanent full time position.

The Office & Youth Program Administrator will be responsible for general office administration as well as assisting the Youth Program and Community Engagement departments.

Applications are closed.

December 11, 2014

Bangarra is currently seeking a Development Coordinator – APPLICATIONS CLOSED

Australia’s most exciting and dynamic arts company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, seeks an energetic Development Coordinator to work in a small team based in Sydney.

The Development Coordinator is responsible for the day-to-day running of Bangarra Dance Theatre’s philanthropic program.  This includes coordination of the annual giving campaign, event management, processing of donations in Tessitura, and donor communications. The role reports to the Development Director.

The ideal candidate likes both people and processes, has an eye for detail, can coordinate engaging and exciting events, and has an interest in the arts, indigenous cultures and philanthropy.

Applications close Sunday 11 January 2015.  Please email your application to the Development Director at rebecca@bangarra.com.au.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL DESCRIPTION HERE

September 10, 2014

Bangarra embarks on its largest regional tour in 2014

In September 2014, Bangarra Dance Theatre will commence its largest ever regional tour of Australia as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations. Read more.

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

August 1, 2014

Rekindling Youth Program 2014

Bangarra’s Rekindling Youth Program 2014 has now taken place in the communities of Nowra and Wollongong (NSW) and Theodore, Beaudesert and Cairns (QLD). Final gatherings and community performances are coming up for communities and participants in Coffs Harbour (NSW) and Weipa (QLD) in August.
An exciting development for the program, now in its second year, is that in partnership with Feral Arts, a digital Rekindling App has been built to enable sharing between participants and the Rekindling team using digital media. This is an important step for the Rekindling program to ensure connections and shared learning continues beyond the program’s immediate residency in the communities.
The program has received a high level of positive feedback to date from elders, participants, schools and communities.
Rekindling 2014 Beaudesert QLD participants and Rekindling workshop leader Patrick Thaiday photo by Tiffany Parker

Rekindling 2014 Beaudesert QLD participants and Rekindling workshop leader Patrick Thaiday photo by Tiffany Parker

Rekindling 2014 Beaudesert QLD participants and Rekindling workshop leader Patrick Thaiday photo by Tiffany Parker.

Rekindling 2014 Nowra NSW participants and Rekindling workshop leaders photo by Tiffany Parker

Rekindling 2014 Nowra NSW participants and Rekindling workshop leaders photo by Tiffany Parker

Rekindling 2014 Nowra NSW participants and Rekindling workshop leaders photo by Tiffany Parker.

Rekindling-2014-Theodore-Biloela-QLD-participants-photo-by-Tiffany-Parker

Rekindling-2014-Theodore-Biloela-QLD-participants-photo-by-Tiffany-Parker

Rekindling 2014 Theodore (Biloela) QLD participants photo by Tiffany Parker.

June 19, 2014

Patyegarang – extra Sydney shows released!

Due to popular demand and following rave reviews, Bangarra announces six new performances of Patyegarang at the Sydney Opera House, showing until 12 July 2014!

Watch some excerpts of the performance:

'Patyegarang' extra Sydney shows released!

‘Patyegarang’ extra Sydney shows released!

Book tickets for Sydney.

Book tickets for Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne.

May 26, 2014

Dancers’ Blog: Patyegarang

Jasmin Sheppard photo by Jess Bialek

Jasmin Sheppard photo by Jess Bialek

It is indeed that time of year again, with only two more weeks until we move into the Sydney Opera House to breathe life into our new show, Patyegarang.

This new program, about the special relationship shared by such an incredible young Eora woman, (Patye), and Lieutenant William Dawes, is forming a deep spirit of its own as we near the end of our creative period.

It’s also been a while since I’ve blogged, and I’m sure this has a lot to do with the energy of Patyegarang nearing me and taking me on her journey. The immense responsibility of portraying her with honesty is on me and I so very much desire to discover who she was, this young Sydney woman of confidence, proud of her people, knowledgeable in her culture and familiar with the most intricate parts of her homeland, the place we call Sydney.

I feel almost as if she has been leading me through her story, enveloping me with her energy, and revealing new parts of herself as we have delved deeper into the story. All I can say at this point in time is: What a woman! And what an incredible trip through history!

I feel reluctant to reveal too much, and prefer to let Patyegarang do a little more of the leading to bring us right through to opening night.

- Jasmin Sheppard 

May 14, 2014

Bangarra Dance Theatre 2013 Annual Report

We’re pleased to share our 2013 Annual Report with you – now available for viewing and download online HERE.

Experience 2013 as it was for Bangarra in this 8 minute video clip tracking the major events for the Company throughout the year. From Vietnam to Arnhem Land, the Sydney Opera House and Theatre Royal in Tasmania, here is a snapshot.

March 31, 2014

Bangarra is seeking an Assistant to the Executive Director – APPLICATIONS CLOSED

Bangarra Dance Theatre is now seeking to appoint an assistant for our newly appointed Executive Director. This role supports the Executive Director by providing the highest-level of administrative support. This role is responsible for providing professional and confidential administrative support to the Executive Director on matters such as governance, strategic and business planning, policies & procedures.View the full job description and application details HERE.

To join our fantastic and passionate team, please send your CV and a cover letter outlining how your skills meet the criteria of the role to bangarra@bangarra.com.au. Applications close Wednesday 9 April 2014.

 

March 25, 2014

Bangarra is currently seeking a Production Trainee – APPLICATIONS CLOSED

The 12 month Production Traineeship will focus on providing training in all aspects of Bangarra’s production and touring activities and provide the experience necessary for a career in the Indigenous arts industry. Read the full description and application details HERE. Applications close Monday 7 April 2014.

 

 

February 25, 2014

‘Patyegarang’ tickets on sale!

Tickets for our new production Patyegarang choreographed by Stephen Page are now on sale in all venues that are part of the 2014 national tour: Sydney Opera House, Canberra Theatre Centre, State Theatre Centre WA Perth, QPAC Brisbane and Arts Centre Melbourne. Come behind-the-scenes of our studio through this video clip and find out more about Patyegarang.

Image: Jasmin Sheppard & Thomas Greenfield, Patyegarang, photo by Greg Barrett

December 18, 2013

Bangarra is seeking a Community Liaison Coordinator – APPLICATIONS CLOSED

We are seeking an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander for the position of Community Liaison Coordinator with Bangarra Dance Theatre. The key responsibilities of this position are to build and maintain positive relationships with a range of Indigenous organisations, individuals and networks.

Download the full job description HERE. Applications close 24 January 2014.

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

October 4, 2013

Dancers’ Blog: Regional Tour Reflections

Dancers and crew arrived back onto a sunny wharf last week after having a weeks rest from gallivanting all about Victoria and Tasmania. Our Kinship tour was a great success, with many full houses and inspired feedback from theatregoers. Our last stop was the Theatre Royal in Hobart, one of the oldest and most splendid theatres in the country. In addition to performing in such a grand space, we spent our spare time traversing the pretty town, and driving through Tasmania’s lush countryside. In passing Oyster Cove one day, I was transported back to a few years ago, when we brought the Mathinna story back to country in Hobart. The local community in Hobart were overjoyed to have us back, and the touching memories of connecting with mob were revived when we saw them all again. Every time I go to Tasmania I am inspired by the community. They are a strong, resilient and proud people, fighting for the future of their culture every day. We were blessed to teach a large portion of the kids some workshops, and I very nearly broke into tears after one girl, about 14, welcomed us onto her ancestor’s land with a self written and moving welcome. I heard the pride and the tenderness toward her ancestral country, and throughout the rest of the workshop continued to be awe inspired watching the next generation of Tasmanian Aborigines working hard, staying strong and knowing who they are, where they come from, and excited about their future. The community in Tasmania has a lot to teach us all about perseverance and pride, and holding onto the precious thing that sometimes we can take for granted; Culture.

Jasmin Sheppard

Image: Jasmin Sheppard and Hobart workshop participants 2013, photo by Tiffany Parker

September 3, 2013

Dancers’ Blog: ‘Kinship’ Regional Tour 2013

We are two weeks into our Kinship regional tour of Victoria and Tasmania. On our very first day we were welcomed onto Wathaurong land by the community on the Bellarine Peninsula, Geelong. Acknowledgement by the local mob brings a sense of unity and purpose to our performances and to touring itself. We are more than a dance company, we are a thread of Indigenous people from all across the country, and it is important to recognise where we are and also bring something of ourselves to the communities where we visit. The Wathaurong people are part of the great Kulin Nation, which spans Melbourne, its outer regions and central Victorian districts. The Kulin Nation are protected by their creator, Bunjil the eagle. Bunjil is the God figure of the all the tribes within the Kulin Nation, he is the protector and came to the people in the eagle form. Throughout this tour we spend a great deal of time in Bunjil’s territory. We recently performed in Dandenong, the traditional land of the Wurundjeri, also a tribe of the great Kulin Nation. I myself grew up in Frankston, outer Melbourne, traditional land of the Boon Wurrung people, and I feel like my own childhood and life there by the bay was protected and looked over by the spirit of Bunjil. We will be touring there this a week, and then returning to Wurundjeri land when we perform in Nunawading. Our performances have been successful so far on this regional tour, and I thank the spirit of Bunjil for watching over us as we perform throughout his country, and in addition I thank him for watching over me throughout all my life, up until the point where I left to follow my love of dance in Sydney.

Jasmin Sheppard 

Image: Kathy Balngayngu Marika, Yolande Brown, Leonard Mickelo & Deborah Brown in Brolga from Kinship 2013, photo by Greg Barrett.

August 2, 2013

Dancers’ Blog: Our ‘Blak’ Journey

So our Blak journey has come to a close, for now. We concluded this wonderful season in Brisbane, home city to many of the dancers and our dear Artistic Director, and also home to family and friends of us all. It became quite poignant performing such personal stories to the ones who know us best; family, and this is what makes Bangarra such an important company. A sense of family is a constant thread woven through our expression of culture, the stories we tell, our respect for one another, and our desire to move with our people into the future whilst respecting where we have come from as Indigenous people. This is the strong basis of our dancing, and the driving inspiration to continue to work hard at our technique and to show up every day with the aim to improve and evolve. This strong tie is what gives us the inspiration to push further even though our bodies may feel tired or injured, and even when we would love to have a few extra hours sleep. The response from Brisbane audiences reiterated to us that our personal stories have rich meaning, and when we perform a story from our hearts and personal experience, you can move people, create change, provoke thought and inspire. I think our entire season of Blak achieved this.

So now we are back in our studios on the Wharf, where we are rehearsing and turning our focus toward our regional program, Kinship. A culmination of two works, Brolga, and ID, the shift in focus brings us new inspiration as we say goodbye for now to Blak, and the fantastic journey that it took us on.

Jasmin Sheppard

Image: Jasmin Sheppard 2013, photo by: Greg Barrett

June 11, 2013

Dancers’ Blog: ‘Blak’ in Sydney

The Bangarra dancers have just emerged from two weeks back home in our little creative cave, the studios on the wharf, where we have had the much needed time to pay attention to our bodies, regaining strength and energy, and resting those parts of the body affected by repetitive strain. We also had the pleasure of changing our focus to the regional tour program Kinship, rehearsing Brolga undergoing some sort of metamorphosis, melting into a flock of birds. The process is treasured especially by those of us who have birds as traditional totems, mine is the black cockatoo so to be a bird must be deep within me somewhere!

We spent most mornings running Blak, and I found that running the show repetitively but without performance quality made me focus more on my execution of the movements. In addition, the extra time out of the theatre encouraged most of us to spend extra time strengthening and stretching our bodies, giving that never ending reach for perfection in technique a little attention. I must say that Robert Curran, with his wealth of ballet knowledge, and general understanding of the body, has prompted a physical change in all of us – we are on the road to a better understanding of our dancing bodies!

The focus shifted last week, however, as we prepared for the Sydney opening night last Friday. We are back at the Opera House and the familiarity is wonderful. We settle in, and sink back into our Opera House routine. It is very special to perform to Sydney city, the town that has been home to the company since its birth. So it’s heads down tails up as we work hard to make Blak a beautiful soul experience for our audiences at the Drama Theatre.

Jasmin Sheppard 

Image: Jasmin Sheppard, Yearning from Blak 2013, photo by Greg Barrett

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

May 20, 2013

Dancers’ Blog: ‘Blak’ from Melbourne to Wollongong

Blak was entirely fresh and raw when we opened in Melbourne, but although we felt incredibly nervous, our audience was more than supportive and encouraging.

When we finally perform the premier of any show, it’s akin to an enormous exhale after holding one’s breath for weeks on end. The night before had a little more comfort to offer us in our state of anxiety; Koorie Community Night in Melbourne!! The familiar faces and unconditional love of our mob gave us the extra push to get us through till the last dance on opening night. And the show is definitely up and running now! Like a baby it grows, evolves, changes, and feels more settled into life on the stage after birth. We have a lengthy season ahead of us, and thus I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to see where I can go within this work.

Deep in thought the other day I pondered on the time when I performed in smaller scale productions and only had one or two week long seasons. It was the ultimate ideal (and still is) to have the show at its very best from the first performance. Though we strive for that now, I get a chance to discover what is possible for Blak. We have just arrived in Wollongong and here is our new chance to grow along with Blak. Time to hone in on rehabilitation for bodies that are now rested and recovering from injuries, and time to give to the wonderful crowds here in the ‘Gong…always a pleasure to be at IPAC!

                                                                                                                 Jasmin Sheppard

Image: Jasmin Sheppard in Yearning from Blak 2013, photo by Greg Barrett

 

May 20, 2013

Dancers’ Blog: Opening Night Nerves

I sat sweltering in the oddly summery Sydney weather as the sun’s rays were magnified through the floor to ceiling windows of Qantas domestic airport. I had shed a few layers of clothing to cope with the heat, but knew that when I disembarked in Melbourne I’d have to replace the layers and brave the crispy southern wind that blows right to your bones. I am a Melbournite by origin so I packed my woollies and my good spirits for the week, and the premiere of Blak at the Arts Centre.

A week before leaving for Melbourne our stress levels were through the roof. We had so much yet to choreograph, and my brainpower was beginning to wilt. By the last Saturday however, we had finished choreographing the last parts of the show and, with little if not any hiccups, we satisfied our worries by doing a complete run of the show. So much can change with a few days! I had been losing sleep with anxiety, trying to hold on to that faith and trust in my choreographers that I spoke of in my last entry, but it was fading with my own doubts and my failing mental capacity to retain choreography! After our first full run, I was filled with a renewed positive outlook. I should have taken my own advice – trusted that is would all come together in the end, because it did.

We had a huge week ahead of us, but the stress of long hours and nervousness I felt for opening night couldn’t swamp my excitement for performing a show that I truly believe in!

                                                                                                                 Jasmin Sheppard

April 19, 2013

Dancers’ Blog: The Creative Journey

                                                                                                      

Men and women reunite! Together again in the one studio, Bangarra are once again an entirety. How lovely it is to be fusing our polar opposite energies and begin to work in a team.

We still haven’t seen the men’s work Scar, and they haven’t seen ours Yearning, and I must say that I really can’t wait to see what they’ve been working on! But there’s plenty of time for that. We are two weeks out from the premiere of Blak in my own hometown of Melbourne.

A tension creeps through the air, a common thought, that, with about two weeks till opening night, and a fair amount to choreograph as of yet, will we get it all done in time? Will we be ready to share this story with confidence to our Melbourne audiences? Though not always shared openly, I know this worry plagues a good majority of us!

Things do however, as the cliché goes, come together in the end, and this point in the creative process comes for all dancers. It’s a time when you must return to that ultimate trust in your choreographer, which I have entirely in Stephen, and in Dan. All throughout the creation of a work, that trust enables me to create and contribute, even when I’m unsure of the direction the work is going in. That trust in a choreographer is why I chose this company to begin with. And why I know we will arrive at completion. So I’m putting the energy out there into the studio…it will all come together in the end!

                                                                                                            Jasmin Sheppard

Image: Stephen Page and artists rehearsing Blak, photo Greg Barrett

April 11, 2013

Dancers’ Blog: ‘Blak’ in Progress

Although it’s Autumn, I’m still sweating such a great deal throughout my day that one would think it is still the depths of Summer. Is it due to the unusually pleasant weather? Or is it that we are plunging all our energy, physical and emotional, into our creative workshopping of Blak? Perhaps a little of option A and B.

We are in the thick of developing the new work. I treasure the creative development process, it is constant food for the mind, and provides new challenges for our muscles.  Men and women have been separated into two different rooms for the creation of the first two parts of Blak. After almost 5 weeks of segregation into a men’s camp and a women’s camp, it seems as though the boys are getting more boyish and the girls are getting girlier. I’m uncertain if that is fact, but it’s definitely feeling as such!

Our strenuous ballet classes bring us altogether under the watchful eye of our dedicated Rehearsal Director, Robert Curran (affectionately known by his full name at work also). His wealth of ballet knowledge is giving us a strong base with which to then thrash about, or languidly melt into our familiar contemporary style. Excitement abounds in the Bangarra studios as we discover more of what Blak is, and will be.

                                                                                                              Jasmin Sheppard

Image: Jasmin Sheppard in Blak rehearsals photo Greg Barrett

March 13, 2013

Dancers’ Blog: From Bremmer Island to Hanoi

It’s a far journey from Northeast Arnhem Land to Vietnam, but within a month we find ourselves here in Hanoi and in a few days, Ho Chi Minh City. From dancing traditional creation stories on the sandy beaches by open fire at Banu Banu (Bremmer Island near Dhalinybuy), our bodies and therefore our spirits find ourselves dancing the same traditional dances for the Vietnamese people. We grew in our cultural knowledge of these dances while spending time with the much loved communities – learning from our cultural tutors, and I felt that the trip enabled us to carry that freshness with us, and truly give to our audiences.

Our days were filled with warm friendliness from the Vietnamese people, during workshops at dance universities in both cities, and also within the theatres during performances. Sharing with other dancers from another culture teaches that communication transcends language alone. We shared the language of dance, and the enthusiasm of creativity. We understood each other in our common passion. Performing for them put the icing on the cake. To witness another dancer from an entirely different culture truly understanding the stories we tell makes it all the more evident that the entire planet is unified, even if we don’t see it sometimes. Spirit truly is a special program, tying together a lot of what makes this company unique, and I feel that it expresses the heart of Bangarra.

One Vietnamese guide shed light on her own experience of attending Spirit in Hanoi, saying that although she has never had the opportunity to visit Australia, she felt that through our performance she was given the chance to see the land, feel the country, its colours, sounds and people.

                                                                                                     Jasmin Sheppard

Image: Female ensemble with Kathy Balngayngu Marika, Spirit, Hanoi Opera House, photo Roger Stonehouse

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