After a hugely successful 25th anniversary season in 2014, Bangarra Dance Theatre returned to the studios this month, ready to tackle a host of new creative projects both on and off the main stage. READ MORE
January 20, 2015
January 20, 2015
September 10, 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 1, 2014
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 Theodore (Biloela) QLD participants photo by Tiffany Parker.
June 19, 2014
May 26, 2014
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 23, 2014
In 2014 Bangarra Dance Theatre celebrates its 25th anniversary. To mark this significant milestone the company will participate for the first time in Vivid Sydney, presenting a free light installation The spirit of Patyegarang, as part of the Vivid Light program, for the duration of the festival.
May 14, 2014
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 20, 2014
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.
February 25, 2014
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.
November 11, 2013
WHEN Saturday 23 November at 6pm
WHERE Corroboree Cinema, Mezzanine Level of Pier 2/3
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.
October 21, 2013
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…
August 27, 2013
August 6, 2013
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 2, 2013
The Sydney Opera House season has come to a close. Over the past three weeks we have been blessed with almost all of our shows sold out, including the twilight 6.30pm shows on a Tuesday. What passionately dedicated audiences we have had! And what encouragement we have felt as a company, that even though the drab, wet and cold weather has not deterred people from braving the elements to enjoy our stories. Blak has been so far described as a breath of fresh air, a moment gone too fast, but a lesson in being in the present moment, a personal journey, a witness to a tightly knit family of dancers and their stories, a passionate experience. From my experience in performing Blak, I feel overwhelmed that our vision and desire to move people through our personal stories has been more than successful. There truly is a lot of ‘us’ in this show. Together with the genius of Stephen Page and Daniel Riley McKinley, I believe we have achieved our goal with the show; to touch people, to give them a glimpse of what it is like for us in our every day lives finding ourselves as men, women, Indigenous people, people of the city, with origins from all over the country (remote places and highly populated places) and the issues that we face in finding our identity through such colourful backgrounds. These stories are just a fragment of what young Indigenous people of this country face, but I do hope they have shed light on us, the next generation of Indigenous youth.
June 27, 2013
June 25, 2013
June 11, 2013
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.
Image: Jasmin Sheppard, Yearning from Blak 2013, photo by Greg Barrett
May 15, 2013
April 19, 2013
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!
Image: Stephen Page and artists rehearsing Blak, photo Greg Barrett
February 28, 2013
June 15, 2012
Stephen Page has worked closely with cinematographer Bonnie Elliot and editor Rochelle Oshlack to create a Bangarra digital experience.
“Playing with a moving camera and eight of our wonderful dancers one Saturday, I looked for the essence within each individual – their special movement quality that reflects each personality and their own creative journey”. Stephen Page.
Bangarra’s new work TERRAIN premieres in Melbourne on June 29 and then continues nationally in 2012
March 12, 2012
The 10th annual Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) was hosted in Adelaide from 26 February to 1 March where Stephen Page delivered the keynote address to an audience of over 600 Australian and International delegates, artists and programmers. APAM presents Australia and New Zealand’s best new performing arts with over 30 excerpts and full length performances ready to tour nationally and internationally. Stephen spoke about how Art is Medicine and discussed his own personal experiences of working in the Australian Arts industry.