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

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.

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.

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

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 21, 2013

Dancers’ Blog: On A Creative Journey

Four women have plunged themselves into a realm of storytelling, and we are almost a month into the creative development process of Dance Clan 3, a company work that will present its season as a part of Sydney’s first Corroboree festival in November. Myself, Yolande Brown, Tara Gower and Deborah Brown are contributing to the new work, with four stories hailing from all over the country. The Torres Strait, the Central Desert, the Kimberly and our home base of Sydney all have rich history, and hidden stories to reveal. Our goal is to share these stories from each of these places, and take the audience on a diverse journey. So far we are all finding our way through the choreographic process, discovering how we work with the dancers in the studio, and what kind of choreographers we may be. This process is a personal journey of discovery, and will no doubt uncover the hidden gems each one of us possess in our creative inner worlds. I am finding parts of my mind are awakening with inspiration, and the challenge is to switch off and stop thinking about what I would like to experiment with the very next day. I feel privileged to have been given this opportunity from the nurturing platform of our home at Bangarra, to find my choreographic self, and also blessed to tell this story through the incredibly talented dancers that I share the stage with. More to come…

Jasmin Sheppard

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.

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 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 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

November 28, 2012

Dancers’ Blog: on Wiradjuri land

Photo 5-11-12 3 14 28 PM

Here we are on Wiradjuri country at last, bringing Riley home and sharing our work with the mob out here. How special it is to be tracing the trails of song lines through places like Bathurst, Orange, Albury and now Wagga Wagga. So far I’ve learnt the correct pronunciation of Bangarra from a woman who speaks Wiradjuri fluently, and have listened to stories that trace Wiradjuri song lines right through New South Wales and connect with other tribal groups right down as far as Nowra. The company are waiting to exhale with four remaining performances for the year. Not because we dislike what we do, but because our bodies are holding on by a thread. I recently heard that Bangarra may have done more performances this year than any dance company as small as us, and our bodies are feeling it! My back has begun to succumb to the weight of carrying our giant Cooloomun prop, a sign that the end of the year is drawing near and a rest for my body is just what I, and the whole company (crew included!) need.  However, my minor back problem did lead me to a nurturing acupuncturist who not only gave my back some much needed TLC, but also put me on the road to other ways to take care of my body as a whole. When your body is your livelihood, it is important to take care and respect the whole thing….the insides and the outside. So in this sense, a negative has led me to a positive! So onward we go, gaining strength from our art, and of course from the beautiful Elders that welcome us onto their land with incredible warmth! 

Jasmin Sheppard

July 31, 2012

Dancers’ Blog: settling in at the Opera House and a new tour!

2.TERRAIN-Bangarra- dressing-room-male ensemble-photo-greg-barrett

We are well into the swing of things at the Opera House, and now that opening night of TERRAIN is done, I feel like I can relax into the show and begin to play around with my stories and dynamics within the pieces I’m in, to make my performance really grow. Back at the Wharf, as we dancers basked in the lights of stage, our team were confirming a quick tour to Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar. So it’s official. We are heading to Mongolia, a country I have wanted to visit since primary school, and we’ll be dancing there! As exciting as this all is, this means we have to get busy. Barely two days out from our hectic production week and our schedule is jam packed with rehearsals for Mongolia. We come in early, warm up then switch our muscle memories on to bring back our work Spirit. Some pieces are as simple as letting the music play whilst we let our physical bodies take over, relaying the movement as precisely as if we had performed it yesterday. Now that’s quite an unusual experience. We push through the week like a train with a heavy load. We are tired, and need to do our best not to let TERRAIN suffer as a result of our extra rehearsals. We regain energy and spirit for each performance by stepping into another existence once we’ve painted up and put our costumes on. This is the important part of a busy day; telling our story to the public. Here we go again! Chookas all round for another show! 

Jasmin Sheppard

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