Daniel Riley to farewell Bangarra

Daniel Riley, photo by Greg Barrett_8560_LRBangarra Dance Theatre has announced that after seven years of outstanding achievements with the company, senior dancer Daniel Riley will be departing to pursue dance opportunities in Europe.

As well as featuring as one of Bangarra’s most acclaimed performers, Riley has also been one of several Bangarra senior dancers who have been nurtured as choreographers by Artistic Director Stephen Page, most recently as co-creator of Blak.

Daniel Riley (formerly Daniel Riley McKinley) joined Bangarra Dance Theatre in 2007 and has since toured nationally and regionally in 10 different Bangarra works: Clan, True Stories, Mathinna, Fire – A Retrospective, of earth & sky, Belong, Terrain, Warumuk – in the dark night, Blak and Kinship. He has also toured extensively overseas with Bangarra in Awakenings, Rites, True Stories, Spirit and Warumuk – in the dark night.

Artistic Director Stephen Page says of Riley’s contribution to the company, “When Daniel joined the company in 2007, he brought a unique and distinctive creative talent. During his time at Bangarra, Daniel connected back to his clan and heritage and became a story teller for his culture through contemporary dance.”

“Supporting the company’s creative vision and my work as Artistic Director, Daniel inspired the artists of Bangarra as a dancer and a choreographer with two highly acclaimed works, Riley and Scar. Following his deep and significant contribution to Bangarra’s songline, I wish Daniel all the best in gaining further experience in Europe.”

In 2010 Riley received two award nominations: Dancer of the Year at the Deadly Awards; and Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer at the Australian Dance Awards for his performance in Fire – A Retrospective. That same year he made his choreographic debut for Bangarra creating Riley, from the double bill of earth & sky.

In 2012 Riley was again nominated for a Deadly Award for Dancer of the Year, and in 2013 he received an AusDance nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer. Last year, Riley continued his choreographic journey, dancing in and co-creating Blak alongside Artistic Director Stephen Page. For this production, Riley choreographed Scar and co-choreographed Keepers.

During his time at Bangarra, Daniel was also a vital role model for indigenous youth as part of Bangarra’s Community Outreach Program for Indigenous Youth.

Daniel Riley says of his departure, “Bangarra will always have a special place in my heart and I will continue to carry the spirit of the company with me. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of such a unique and powerful group of artists, remembering fondly our time in the studios and on tour, but especially ‘on country’ in Arnhem Land with the traditional communities.”

“Stephen Page allowed me to develop a sense of self within my culture and I will treasure the relationship I have with him. I look forward to returning to Australia in the future and bringing back everything I’m about to learn and experience overseas.”

Riley’s bloodline runs through the Riley Clan of the Wiradjuri people, from the Wellington area of Western NSW. Prior to joining Bangarra, Riley performed as a member of Quantum Leap, an initiative of Canberra’s QL2 Centre For Youth Dance from 1998 to 2003, and with Leigh Warren & Dancers in 2005.

He graduated with an Associate Degree in Dance in 2006 from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Daniel Riley will perform for the final time with Bangarra Dance Theatre when the company presents Kinship at the Holland Dance Festival on February 14 and 15 2014.

For more information, visit: www.bangarra.com.au for details.

Image: Daniel Riley by Greg Barrett