OUR land people stories
In 2016, Bangarra brings you a remarkable triple bill. OUR land people stories is a new contemporary dance work showcasing the endless choreographic talents of the company and the infinite stories of Australia's cultural heritage.
Artistic Director Stephen Page tells the story of internationally acclaimed visual artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu from North East Arnhem Land. This piece draws inspiration from her incredible life story and paintings.
Jasmin Sheppard's Macq (first performed in 2013 during Dance Clan 3) is brought to the main stage, exploring the 1816 March of Macquarie – a historical chapter that decimated Sydney's Aboriginal community.
Daniel Riley and Beau Dean Riley Smith create Miyagan, a poignant dance story mapping their cultural heritage in a discovery of their family background on Wiradjuri country in New South Wales.
The dancers' artistry, athleticism and authenticity drive the company's reputation as one of Australia's most loved ensembles. Join them in 2016 as they pass their message stick on to you.
View the OUR land people stories print program >
"a brilliant new triple bill" The Guardian
Beau Dean Riley Smith
The 2016 national tour of OUR land people stories is dedicated to David Page.
Free 'In Conversation' Discussion
OUR land people stories ticket holders are invited to attend a FREE In Conversation led by Australian author, presenter and commentator Dr Anita Heiss with the four choreographers of the work, including Bangarra Artistic Director Stephen Page, from 8.20pm on Tuesday 16 August 2016.
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Presented by QPAC and Bangarra Dance Theatre
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In Conversation with the choreographers of Bangarra’s OUR land people stories
Gain a deeper understanding of the inspiration behind the creative process of OUR land people stories by attending a FREE In Conversation with the work’s four choreographers led by Australian author, presenter and commentator Dr Anita Heiss.
OUR land people stories is a new triple bill that tells three significant, yet very different, stories of Australia’s cultural heritage. At this In Conversation, gain inside knowledge about how internationally acclaimed visual artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu came to inspire Bangarra Artistic Director Stephen Page to tell her incredible life story through her paintings the company’s dance language. Hear how the devastation of the 1816 March of Macquarie in Sydney impacted Jasmin Sheppard so deeply she was compelled to share the reality of its impact on Aboriginal people past and present in Macq. Finally, learn of the astonishing discovery Beau Dean Riley Smith and Daniel Riley made about their shared Wiradjuri family background when meeting at Bangarra for the first time, which inspired their work Miyagan.
All OUR land people stories ticket holders are invited to attend the In Conversation which will take place immediately following the 6.30pm performance on Tuesday 16 August 2016 at 8.20pm.
Moderator: Dr Anita Heiss
Dr Anita Heiss is a creative disruptor. She is the internationally published author of non-fiction, historical fiction, poetry and social commentary, and travels internationally performing her work and lecturing on Aboriginal literature. Anita has four Deadly Awards for her Outstanding Contribution to Literature and her most widely read titles include Who Am I? The diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937, Avoiding Mr Right, and Am I Black Enough for You? Anita is a Lifetime Ambassador of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central NSW. Anita is an Adjunct Professor with Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS and an Ambassador of Worawa Aboriginal College. Anita was a finalist in the 2012 Human Rights Awards and the 2013 Australian of the Year Awards. Anita currently manages the Epic Good Foundation from Brisbane and her latest book is Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms.
Guest: Choreographer of Nyapanyapa, Bangarra Artistic Director Stephen Page
Born in Brisbane, Stephen is a descendant of the Nunukul people and the Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh Nation from South East Queensland. This year he celebrates 25 years as Artistic Director of Bangarra. Nyapanyapa is his 23rdwork for the company. Stephen continues to reinvent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytelling both within Bangarra and through collaborations with other performing arts companies; most notably directing the Indigenous sections for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as Artistic Director of the 2004 Adelaide Festival of the Arts and writing and directing Bloodland with Wayne Blair and Kathy Balngayngu Marika for Sydney Theatre Company in association with Bangarra. In film, Stephen directed the chapter "Sand" in 2012’s The Turning and was Artistic Associate for Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Secret River as part of the Sydney Festival. He choreographed the feature films Bran Nue Dae (2009) and The Sapphires (2011). In 2015 he made his full-length directorial debut with Spear, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Among his many awards and nominations, Stephen was NSW Australian of the Year in 2008, acknowledged for his Services to Dance by the Australian Dance Awards in 2010 and was NAIDOC Artist of the Year in 2012. In 2015, Stephen was awarded a Honorary Doctorate of Creative Arts by the University of Technology Sydney for his contribution to the arts and Indigenous culture. In 2016 Stephen Page receives the 2016 NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Live Performance Australia’s JC Williamson Award®.
Guest: Choreographer of Macq, Jasmin Sheppard
Jasmin is an Aboriginal woman with a mixed heritage of Irish, Chinese, and Russian Jewish ancestry. Her Aboriginal songlines are from the Kurtitjar people, from Normanton and Croydon in Queensland Savannah country. Macq is her first choreographic work for Bangarra and premiered as part of the Dance Clan 3 program in 2013. Jasmin has a Diploma in Musical Theatre from The Dance Factory, Melbourne, and a Diploma in Contemporary dance from NAISDA Dance College. Jasmin has worked with choreographers such as David Atkins (HAIR - The Musical, The Production Company, 2002), Vicki Van Hout (Wiradjourni, 2006), Jason Pitt and Bernadette Walong-Sene. In 2006 Jasmin choreographed, danced and sung in The Migrant Project with Curious Works. Jasmin joined Bangarra in 2007. Her career highlights include performing the title role in 2014’s Patyegarang and collaborating with The Australian Ballet in Rites and Warumuk - In the Dark Night. In addition to performing on some of the world’s most renowned stages, she has performed under the night sky in Australia’s most remote areas. Jasmin’s career reflects her connection to culture, art, and spirit.
Guest: Choreographers of Miyagan, Daniel Riley and Beau Dean Riley Smith
Beau was born in Dubbo and grew up on the South Coast of New South Wales in Culburra Beach on Yuin country. He is an Aboriginal man from the Wiradjuri and Gamilaroi Nation of Central New South Wales. After graduating in 2009 with a Certificate IV in Theatre from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Beau studied dance at the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association Dance College (NAISDA). After graduating he toured nationally with the Vicki Van Hout production of Briwyant in 2011, a production that garnered much critical acclaim. Beau joined Bangarra in 2013, performing nationally and internationally with the company. His career highlights include performing 'Black' from Ochres for the first time in Vietnam, and performing the Wiradjuri solo from ID on the Kinship regional tour on Country in Dubbo. Beau also appeared in visual artist Tony Albert’s 24 Frames exhibition in 2015 in a work choreographed by Stephen Page.
Daniel is an Indigenous man from the Wiradjuri nation, whose bloodlines trace back to Wellington and Dubbo of Western New South Wales. Miyagan is third choreographic work for Bangarra, following Riley (2010), and 'Scar', as part of Blak (2013). Since graduating from Queensland University of Technology in 2006, he has danced for Leigh Warren & Dancers, New Movement Collective (UK) and Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre (UK). He has been nominated for Best Male Dancer at the Australian Dance Awards (2010 & 2013), and for Deadly dancer of the year at The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Deadly Awards (2010, 2012 & 2013). Daniel’s film credits include Dan Sultan: Under Your Skin, and Stephen Page’s Spear, where he made his film debut as well as working as Director’s Attachment. His other choreographic credits include works for QL2 Youth Dance, QUT Graduating year, Canberra Dance Development Centre, Third Row Dance Company (UK), Louisville Ballet (USA) and Sydney Dance Company.
The below Teachers' Notes provide essential information and contextual background for the three Bangarra Dance Theatre dance works in OUR land people stories which include Macq, Miyagan and Nyapanyapa. The resource includes links to the Australian curriculum including; cross-curricula priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories & Culture, and; general capabilities: critical and creative thinking, intercultural understanding and literacy.
Download Teachers' Notes > [PDF 7.77MB]
"An engrossing and moving experience ... vibrant"
By The Sydney Morning Herald
"The 17 dancers are entrancing"
By The Australian
"...mesmerising dance, hypnotic music and stunning staging"
By The Daily Telegraph