Bangarra Dance Theatre: deepening local engagement and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander through inspiring performance
Bangarra, a highly successful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts company known for its distinctive dancing and unique theatrical voice, music and design, joined the Australia now 2017 program in Germany.
Audiences in Berlin saw OUR land people stories, a triple bill of three personal and profound contemporary dance works, showcasing the choreographic talents of the company and the complex stories of Australia's cultural heritage. Daniel Riley and Beau Dean Riley Smith explored the kinship systems of the Wiradjuri country in their performance of Miyagan; Artistic Director Stephen Page brought the extraordinary story of internationally acclaimed visual artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu to life with Nyapanyapa; and Jasmin Sheppard presented an alternative portrayal of former Australian Governor Lachlan Macquarie with Macq.
Sold-out performances in Bonn were presented with Spirit, a contemporary celebration of beauty, ritual and music, and Macq from the OUR land people stories program.
As part of the wider Australia now program, Stephen Page's directorial debut feature film SPEAR was screened in Berlin with Stephen and Production Designer Jacob Nash taking part in a post-screening Q&A with the audience.
Together, these events helped promote a contemporary image of Australia to audiences in Germany, while also showcasing the depth of Indigenous culture, traditions and history.
Bangarra will also feature as a closing highlight of the Australia now 2018 program in Japan.
"We were thrilled to be involved with Australia now Germany 2017. Bangarra strengthened Australia's cultural links with Germany with awe-inspiring performances and a range of activities designed to deepen local engagement and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture during our time in the region. As one of Australia's leading cultural carriers, the promotion of intercultural dialogue and exchange is crucial for Bangarra."
Philippe Magid, Executive Director, Bangarra Dance Theatre