Northern Territory

Bangarra Dance Theatre returns to Alice Springs on triumphant regional tour

The Department of Tourism and Cultures Araluen Arts Centre is thrilled to present the opening performance of its 2018 Season: Bangarra Dance Theatres OUR land people stories.

We are excited to have world renowned Bangarra Dance Theatre return to the Araluen Arts Centre to open our theatre program for 2018, Director of the Araluen Cultural Precinct, Dr Mark Crees said.

Bangarra is visiting Alice Springs for two shows as part of their seven-stop tour to regional NSW, QLD and the NT.

OUR land people stories features three personal and profound works created by Artistic Director Stephen Page and dancers Jasmin Sheppard, Beau Dean Riley Smith and Daniel Riley, and presents a multi-layered experience that explores Aboriginal Australias history through contemporary dance, striking costumes, visual art and vibrant soundscapes.

Stephen Page said that OUR land people stories 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.

Page has choreographed Nyapanyapa, inspired by the life story and paintings of internationally acclaimed visual artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu from North East Arnhem Land.

Page has long admired Nyapanyapa’s paintings, “one of her works depicting being attacked by a buffalo won her the 2008 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award and her latest series of artworks depicting dancing girls sparked the idea for this creative exchange.”

Choreographer Jasmin Sheppard created Macq, a work inspired by the one of the lesser known stories about Australia’s colonial past, “a picnic between NSW Governor Lachlan Macquarie, his dignitaries and local Indigenous people that preceded the 1816 ‘March of Macquarie’. After the picnic, Governor Macquarie ordered three regiments to launch an offensive against the local Dharawal people and neighbouring peoples. The work explores the nature of the picnic, its tragic aftermath, and the contested relationship between Aboriginal people and colonial settlers.”

Beau Dean Riley Smith and Daniel Riley created Miyagan (our family, pronounced Me-ya-gun) together, a poignant dance story mapping their cultural heritage from Wiradjuri country in New South Wales. Miyagan explores the Aboriginal kinship system (the complex familial ties between clans) and their meaning to communities and to their own family tree.

Related by a great-great grandfather, the Rileys got to know each other and their family history “ while dancing together at Bangarra.”

Bangarras dance technique is forged from over 65,000 years of culture, embodied with contemporary movement.

The company are internationally acclaimed for their powerful dance language, distinctive theatrical voice and striking soundscapes, music and design.

OUR land people stories will be on stage at the Araluen Arts Centre on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 March at 7.30pm.

Ticket prices are adults for $65.00, concession for $62.00 and Araluen Arts Centre Members $60.00. Tickets are available online at or from the Araluen Box Office on (08) 8951 1122.

Source: NT Government

Image: Bangarra Dance Ensemble in Nyapanyapa from OUR land people stories. Photo by Edward Mulvihill