May 30, 2015

EORA Bangarra Vivid Sydney2015 Photo by Tiffany Parker

Each evening when the city lights up for Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge will feature a spectacular projection of contemporary dance and Eora history, thanks to a partnership between Bangarra Dance Theatre and the University of Sydney.

Visitors, along with Sydneysiders can discover Sydney’s Aboriginal history through EORA, a three minute video, visible nightly from 6pm to midnight for the duration of Vivid Sydney which runs until 8 June. Created by Bangarra’s Artistic Director Stephen Page and Head of Design Jacob Nash, EORA stars Bangarra dancers Kaine Sultan-Babij and Nicola Sabatino.

The work was created in celebration and continuation of Eora knowledge. “Following the re-awakening of Patyegarang last year with our first video projection on the pylon, we wanted to reclaim this significant place that is Dawes Point by continuing the sharing and celebration of the Eora. We invite people to cast their mind back to just a few hundreds years ago and re-imagine the place we live on today. We look forward to many more years of celebration of our culture”,
 Stephen Page said.

EORA will also be projected on the University of Sydney’s famous quadrangle facade.

Sandra Tiltman  



April 28, 2014

Bangarra, Patyegarang, Jasmin Sheppard and Thomas Greenfield, photo by Greg Barret 2MBAustralia’s multi award winning dance theatre company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, will present the world premiere national tour of Patyegarang at the Sydney Opera House from June 13 to July 5.

Patyegarang marks the first time that Bangarra has told a specific Sydney story, based on historical events and documents.

This powerful and historically important new work acquaints us with Patyegarang, a young Aboriginal woman of intense and enduring courage, and an inspiration today for the respect of Aboriginal knowledge and language. As the colonial fleet arrived on Eora country in the late 18th Century, Patyegarang befriended Lieutenant William Dawes, gifting him her language in an extraordinary display of trust and friendship, which now inspires our imaginations about ‘first contact’.

This deeply moving production is told through the acclaimed creativity of Stephen Page’s choreography and David Page’s soundscape, in a powerful and meaningful dance theatre experience.

The role of Patyegarang will be played by Bangarra dancer Jasmin Sheppard, who joined the company in 2007 and has performed in eleven productions, both internationally and nationally.

South Australian born physical performer Thomas Greenfield will join Bangarra as a guest artist, performing the role of Lieutenant William Dawes. Greenfield’s performance with the company marks the fourth time in Bangarra’s history that a non-Indigenous dancer has performed with the company.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, 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. Bangarra creates dynamic, moving theatrical experiences and delivers these experiences to audiences across Australia and around the world.

Sandra Tiltman


January 3, 2014

Kinship, Greg Barrett, 5925

Australia’s leading Indigenous performing arts company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, which creates a truly Australian theatrical experience that connects the spirit of traditional culture with contemporary lives, will be performing at the 2014 Holland Dance Festival in the Netherlands from 25 January to 16 February.

Artistic Director of the Festival, Samuel Wuersten, said “We are so excited that Holland Dance Festival is presenting Bangarra Dance Theatre for the first time in the dancing capital of The Netherlands, The Hague”.

Dutch audiences will not only experience an outstanding performance of contemporary dance theatre but also have the opportunity to participate in two workshops presented by the dancers of Bangarra Dance Theatre.

Prior to the Festival opening, Bangarra dancers Deborah Brown and Leonard Mickelo will perform the short work “Moth” in the Festival Gala on 25 January. The full company will then perform “Kinship” on 14 & 15 February as part of the Festival program.

“Kinship” brings together two of Bangarra’s most loved dance works in a theatrical experience by award winning choreographer Stephen Page. The first section features “Brolga”, a creation story inspired by the totemic systems in Australian Aboriginal culture, where every person is assigned a totem related to their clan.  “Brolga” was originally presented as part of the Bangarra production “Corroboree”. The second work “ID” investigates what it means to be Aboriginal in the 21st century and was originally performed in the acclaimed production “Belong”.

Bangarra’s Executive Director, Catherine Baldwin said “The Company was very pleased to receive an invitation for Bangarra to perform at the prestigious Holland Dance Festival. We are excited about bringing a truly Australian Indigenous theatrical experience to such a diverse new audience, alongside the world’s most exciting dance companies”.

Sandra Tiltman 

Picture Credit: Greg Barrett


August 16, 2013

Spirit-Kathy-Marika. Photo credit Danielle Lyonne

Australia’s premier national Indigenous performing arts company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, under the inspirational artistic direction of Stephen Page, has been recognised by the Australian arts industry with four awards for their outstanding artistic achievements.

July 29 saw Bangarra receive two Helpmann Awards at the 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.  Frances Rings, who choreographed Terrain, also received the Helpmann Award for Best Ballet or Dance Work.  Artist in residence, David Page, was nominated for Best Original Score for Terrain.

On August 1, Bangarra performed at the inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Awards which recognise Australian artists who have engaged with Asia and who have contributed to strengthening cultural links between Australia and Asia.  Bangarra received an award in the Dance category for their production Spirit and its recent tours to Mongolia, Thailand and Vietnam.  They shared this award with Annalouise Paul for Game On.

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.”

Lastly, at the annual Australian Dance Awards in Canberra, Shane Carroll 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.

Sandra Tiltman 

Picture Credit:   Kathy Marika in Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Spirit – Photographer Danielle Lyonne.


June 11, 2013

1. Bangarra Blak-Kaine Sultan Babij-Photo Greg Barrett

Australia’s premier national Indigenous performing arts company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, brought the audience to a standing ovation at the opening performance of Blak in the Drama Theatre at Sydney Opera House on Friday night.

The Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO was in the audience along with Minister for the Arts, George Souris and Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Linda Burney.

Scar -male ensemble. Photographer Greg BarrettStephen Page, Bangarra’s Artistic Director, along with Choreographer/Dancer Daniel Riley McKinley have presented a physically dynamic work with a modern urban perspective that maintains the cultural integrity and spirit of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tradition, giving contemporary expressions to stories, that create a unique theatrical experience.

David Page’s soundscape, with the electronic mixes of Paul Mac, combined with the mood enhancing lighting of Matt Cox gives the performance its edginess.  Luke Ede’s costumes added to the urban feeling.

As this was my first visit to Bangarra Dance Theatre, I did not know what to expect.  The performance, with no interval to disrupt the mood, was exciting and vibrant, I really enjoyed it.  I am now a huge fan.

Blak is playing at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House until 22 June 2013.     Sandra Tiltman    PHOTOS:Greg Barrett.



May 28, 2013


Blak, an exciting, new and physically dynamic work by Artistic Director Stephen Page and Choreographer/Dancer Daniel Riley McKinley, will be presented by Bangarra Dance Theatre at Sydney Opera House in June.

Blak is drawn from the artists’ urban perspectives, telling the stories of Indigenous Australia in powerful and moving dance theatre.  Exploding with stories about a contemporary clan and the collision of two worlds, the dynamic physicality is accompanied by a fusion of David Page’s soundscape, with the electronic mixes of Paul Mac.

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.

During the Sydney season of Blak, Bangarra will host a series of events to inspire and engage with up to five hundred of Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, particularly young people.

Artistic Director Stephen Page said, “Our dancers are great role models for Indigenous young people. They come from diverse backgrounds, some from remote and others from urban communities.  Each of them are part of the contemporary expression of over 40,000 years of continuous cultural practice.  They help young people to see the value of rekindling their culture and being proud of their identity.”

A Community Night performance of Blak will be held on 6 June at 8 pm with accessible tickets made available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences.  Bangarra Dance Theatre will subsidise this performance with low cost tickets for local Indigenous communities.

A Koori Kids Day performance will also be held on 12 June at 12.30 pm, where Bangarra’s artists in residence will make presentations about their work and the practices they employ to create new dance pieces.  After the performance, the students will have an opportunity to engage with Artistic Director, Stephen Page, and other Blak creative team members during a Q&A session, then meet members of Bangarra in the foyer.

For more information, contact or (02) 9251 5333.   Sandra Tiltman