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

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.

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

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