Bangarra celebrates 25 years
With its creative seeds sown 25 years ago, Bangarra Dance Theatre has grown to become Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts organisation.
With humble beginnings in a tiny office, Bangarra now houses a beautiful venue, commanding stunning views of Sydney Harbour.
“It’s beautiful being on country here, being on the water and it’s just great to have a foundation that’s survived this long,” says Stephen Page, Artistic Director with Bangarra.
Bangarra has toured the world with their stories and, one in particular, took them to New York three weeks after 9/11.
“We felt like it was culturally and spiritually a story that could help cleanse. It was like our gift or our blessing to the people there,” says Stephen.
“There was a whole group of us that felt that we wanted to do a bit of a ceremony in Union Square. So all the dancers went down and Djakapurra sang.”
Stephen also speaks about the loss of dancer and choreographer Russell Page.
“There was a point there were we thought look, you know, let’s just give this up and go back to our own country and heal and grieve,” says Stephen.
“But the beautiful thing about the arts; it’s just a great medium to grieve through, and I think we put all our energy into something that he loved doing and that was telling dance stories on stage.”
Bangarra’s latest production tells the story of Patyegarang, a young Aboriginal woman who befriends Lieutenant William Dawes during early Sydney settlement.
The performance will be travelling to capital cities all around Australia throughout June, July and August. Tickets are on sale now for the five locations which include; the Sydney Opera House, the Canberra Theatre Centre, the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Arts Centre Melbourne.