This world premiere from Bangarra Dance Theatre brilliantly fuses poetry, live music, text and choreography to create a rich story rooted in Yugambeh country.
Wudjang: Not the Past details
Wudjang: Not the Past pictures
Wudjang: Not the Past description
The company is one of the true wonders of Australian culture.
As he approaches Elder status, Stephen Page continues to expand Bangarra’s horizons and push into ever richer and more complex territory.
Even more ambitious than his recent Bennelong, this epic, contemporary corroboree for 17 dancers, five actors and four onstage musicians is deeply rooted in his own Yugambeh country, with its branches spreading widely across our continent’s past and troubled present.
Wudjang is an ancestor whose bones are unearthed during construction for a new dam. She longs to be reburied in the proper way, but needs to lead a Yugambeh workman and his young niece on a spiritual quest to a place of hidden significance and power: to teach a new generation how to listen, learn and carry their ancestral energy into the future.
With deep emotion as well as humour, Stephen and his ensemble create a work of grace, healing and authentic power. Told in Mibinyah poetry and song, English text (in collaboration with award-winning playwright Alana Valentine) and Page’s inimitable fusion of contemporary and traditional choreography, this reunion of a team of Bangarra stalwarts (composition by Steve Francis, set by Jacob Nash, costumes by Jennifer Irwin and lighting by Nick Schlieper) with an extraordinary clan of dancers promises to be a benchmark Australian production.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc, commissioned by Sydney Festival, Perth Festival and Adelaide Festival, and co-produced by Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company.
Event additional information
Director Stephen Page Choreography Stephen Page, Bangarra Dancers Writers Stephen Page, Alana Valentine Composer Steve Francis Set Designer Jacob Nash Costume Designer Jennifer Irwin Lighting Designer Nick Schlieper Dramaturg Alana Valentine Language Consultant Donna Page Music Director Alan John Assistant Director Kate Dunn Rehearsal Director Daniel Roberts Associate Music Director Véronique Serret
Bangarra Dancers Beau Dean Riley Smith, Rikki Mason, Rika Hamaguchi, Glory Tuohy-Daniell, Baden Hitchcock, Ryan Pearson, Lillian Banks, Bradley Smith, Courtney Radford, Kallum Goolagong, Gusta Mara, Kiarn Doyle, Emily Flannery, Maddison Paluch, Daniel Mateo, Janaya Lamb, Jesse Murray
Wudjang Elma Kris Gurai Lillian Banks Bilin Kirk Page Maren/Yugambeh Shearer Elaine Crombie Duggai/Wheeler Justin Smith Nanahng Jess Hitchcock Mibunn/Musician Brendon Boney Yarga/Musician Tessa Nuku Musician/Associate Musical Director Véronique Serret Musician Amaru Derwent Black Sheep/Gujarong Beau Dean Riley Smith Yilgahn Glory Tuohy-Daniell Jahdjam (Child) Baden Hitchcock
Production Manager Cat Studley Stage Manager Stephanie Storr Head Electrician Marshall Bull Head of Wardrobe Jessica Hodgkinson Front of House Sound Operator David Trumpmanis Foldback / Radio Microphone Technician Corey Wiles Rigger and Head Mechanist Katie McDonagh Assistant Stage Managers Rose Jenkins, Vanessa Martin