Spirit: a retrospective 2021

Bangarra-Spirit-photo-by-Lisa-TomasettiAfter ten months in hibernation, Bangarra Dance Theatre returns to the stage with Spirit: a retrospective 2021 under the stars at the 2021 Sydney Festival followed by a regional tour across New South Wales.

“Dance is our medicine, a practice which connects the past, present and future through the communication, and passing on, of cultural knowledge,” said Bangarra Artistic Director, Stephen Page.

“In Spirit, we will share the stories of our black experience – uncensored, raw and unapologetic. Stories which powerfully communicate the complexities, diversity and sophistication of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and philosophy.”

Spirit: a retrospective 2021 is a powerful collection of dance stories chosen from Bangarra’s 31-year repertoire. Featuring the full Bangarra ensemble of 18 dancers, Spirit draws from a selection of the company’s most celebrated works, comprising of Brolga (Corroboree), Black (Ochres), Yellow (Ochres), Dingo (Skin), White (Ochres), Moth (Bush), Two Sisters (Bush), The Call (Walkabout), and In her Mind (Nyapanyapa).

Tracing an unbroken songline, the works unravels a sacred world of plants, animals, and ancestral medicine, laid down one step at a time. Set to a haunting score, Spirit invites audiences to connect with stories and songlines drawn from all over Australia, in a celebration of First Nations Peoples’ unbroken connection to the land.

“We are delighted to reconnect with our audiences with a program of works which together speak deeply to the enduring strength and visceral power of human connection and the human spirit,” said Bangarra Associate Artistic Director, Frances Rings.

The works of Spirit are choreographed by Bangarra Artistic Director and multi award-winning choreographer Stephen Page, along with Bangarra Associate Artistic Director Frances Rings, Bernadette Walong-Sene and Djakapurra Munyarryun, and the late Russell Page.

The atmospheric score for Spirit was composed by the late David Page, Bangarra’s long-time music director and prolific composer, and Steve Francis, an award-winning composer for film, television, theatre, and dance.

“We’ve been absent from theatres since March 2020 and are incredibly excited to tour our Sydney Festival program to NSW regional communities,” said Bangarra Executive Director, Lissa Twomey. “The disruption to our national and international touring of the past year has allowed space in our schedule to tour to communities we ordinarily couldn’t get to.”

Spirit: a retrospective 2021
The Headland at Barangaroo Reserve, Hickson Road, Barangaroo (enter via The Cutaway)
Season: 20 – 24 January 2021
Information and Bookings: www.sydneyfestival.org.au

Following its Sydney season, Spirit: a retrospective 2021 will be presented at Griffith Regional Theatre (Saturday 13 February), Orange Civic Centre (Wednesday 17 February), Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre (Saturday 20 February) and The Art House, Wyong (Thursday 24 & Friday 25 February). For more information, visit: www.bangarra.com.au for details.

Image: Bangarra presents Spirit: a retrospective 2021 – photo by Lisa Tomasetti