Experience the Bangarra Dance theatre’s OUR land people stories amazing triple bill from 12 to 20 August at the QPAC Playhouse.

A national tour dedicated to the late David Page will premiere at the Sydney Opera House on 16 June 2016, featuring a trio of Bangarra Dancers and artworks by Stephen Page including his new work Nyapanyapa, to mark his 25th anniversary as the Artistic Director of the Bangarra Dance Theatre. Nyapanyapa  is inspired by the life story and paintings of internationally acclaimed visual artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu from North East Arnhem Land, whose works Page has long admired. Nyapanyapa Yunupingu’s latest series featuring dancing naked girls sparked the idea for this creative exchange. To create a vivid soundscape for his work, Page is collaborating with Steve Francis – a composer who has created scores of eight Bangarra prodcutions.

Page says this program is a true snapshot of what Bangarra stands for.

“It’s so exciting to be on this bill with three artists who have been nurtured right here in our own backyard – they are the next generation of cultural leaders.

“I’ve always said that, along with community relationships, it’s the dancers who inspire our stories, and it’s their heritage, their experience, their families and where they come from that permeate our productions; that’s where the heart and spirit comes into it and why our productions are so unique and moving,” said Page.

While many landmarks in Australia are named after Lachlan Macquarie, but “who was he?” is the question posed by Jasmin Sheppard. Sheppard’s Macq (first performed in 2013 during Dance Clan 3) brought to the main stage will explore the 1816 March of Macquarie on its 200th anniversary; a historical chapter that decimated Sydney’s Aboriginal community. The music for Macq was composed by David Page in 2013, and was the last piece of music he worked on for the company, before his passing in April 2016.

Beau Dean Riley Smith and Daniel Riley create Miyagan (“our family”, pronounced Me-ya-gun), a poignant dance story mapping their cultural heritage from Wiradjuri country in New South Wales. The Rileys who are related through a great-great grandfather, got to know each other – and their family history – while dancing together at Bangarra. Miyagan explores the Aboriginal kinship system (the complex familial ties between clans) and their meaning to communities and to their own family tree. Paul Mac Blak composer, a Helpmann and ARIA Award winner, is creating the music for this work, which is his second for Bangarra.

A passionate and political work, OUR Land people stories will serve as an enlightening history lesson for many who are unaware of this brutal encounter, which The Sydney Morning Herald referred to its debut as “unforgettable.” The dancers’ artistry, athleticism and authenticity drive the company’s reputation as one of Australia’s most loved ensembles. Join them this year as they pass their message stick on to you.


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