Bangarra announces 2018 season

Bangarra Dark Emu Yolanda Lowatta, Rika Hamaguchi, Daniel Riley and Tyrel Dulvarie - photo by Daniel BoudA major new dance work forms the centrepiece of Bangarra Dance Theatre’s 2018 season – that also includes an impressive national touring schedule, performing in seven out of the eight states and territories throughout the year.

Inspired by Bruce Pascoe’s award-winning book of the same name, Bangarra’s new work, Dark Emu will explore the vital life force of flora and fauna in a series of intertwined dance stories.

Stephen Page will direct Dark Emu, collaborating with senior dancer Daniel Riley, Bangarra alumni Yolande Brown, and the company’s richly talented ensemble of dancers. It will be the fourth time Riley has created for the company, and Brown’s second.

“Our dancers have Bangarra embedded in their DNA,” said Page. “Inherent in our creation process is the passing of knowledge, Spirit and our accumulated dance language from one generation to the next.”

“Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu is such an important work in the way it illuminates how Aboriginal people interacted with the land pre-colonisation, and imagines what could have been. I can’t wait to start exploring its rich hunting ground of ideas with Bangarra’s dancers.”

Long-time Bangarra collaborators Steve Francis (music), Jacob Nash (sets) and Jennifer Irwin (costumes) will bring their impeccable aesthetic to the production. Dark Emu will premiere in Sydney in June, before travelling to Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and finishing in Melbourne in September.

A free, Return to Country community performance of Jasmin Sheppard’s explosive work MACQ (2016) will begin the year in South West Sydney at the Campbelltown Arts Centre on Sunday 3 February.

Regional audiences will then have the opportunity to see 2016’s incredible OUR land people stories in a major tour that kicks off in Newcastle in February, and then continuing to Dubbo, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Rockhampton, Mackay, before ending in Alice Springs in March. The Dubbo performance will mark the return of Miyagan to the Wiradjuri community that brought choreographers Daniel Riley and Beau Dean Riley Smith together.

South Australian audiences will finally get to experience Bennelong, in stellar form after its 2017 sold out season – which was widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, when it is presented as part of the Adelaide Festival in March 2018.

The important Return to Country journey will continue when Nyapanaypa is performed in Arnhem Land, the home of Yirrkala artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu who was so instrumental in the development of the piece, and Bangarra’s Youth program Rekindling will be delivered in Charleville (QLD), Darwin (NT) and Thursday Island (QLD) in 2018.

BENNELONG – Adelaide Festival
Dunstan Playhouse – Adelaide Festival Centre: 15 – 18 March 2018

DARK EMU National Tour:
Sydney Opera House (14 June – 14 July); Canberra Theatre Centre (26 – 28 July); State Theatre Centre of Western Australia (2 – 5 August); Queensland Performing Arts Centre (24 August – 1 September); and Arts Centre Melbourne (6 – 15 September).

Newcastle, Dubbo, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Rockhampton, Mackay, Alice Springs – details to be announced soon!

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Yolanda Lowatta, Rika Hamaguchi, Daniel Riley and Tyrel Dulvarie – photo by Daniel Boud