“The JC Williamson Award is bestowed only on the greatest of the greats of our Live Performance Industry,” said Andrew Kay AM, President of Live Performance Australia. “Stephen Page’s contribution to Australian culture over the last 25 years has been nothing short of extraordinary. His body of work seamlessly crosses genres.”
“He continues to reinvent Indigenous storytelling across those genres. He has directed and or choreographed dance, opera and theatre as well as major events such as the Indigenous Sections of the 2000 Sydney Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies.”
“In this his 25th year at the helm of this great company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, there is no better time to recognise his exceptional contribution to Australia and Australian culture than through this award.”
The announcement was made on the stage of the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House with dancers from Bangarra Dance Theatre in attendance. The Award will be presented to Stephen Page at the 2016 Helpmann Awards Ceremony on Monday 25 July at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.
Celebrating his 25th anniversary as the Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre, Stephen Page has developed a signature body of works that have redefined contemporary dance in Australia and his creative credits span not only dance but theatre, opera and film.
Offstage Stephen has mentored and created opportunities for countless Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and youth, and has been a champion of social justice for Indigenous people. He has recently premiered Nyapanyapa, his 23rd work for Bangarra, inspired by the paintings of Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, as part of the OUR land people stories triple bill.
“I have been fortunate to have worked with so many inspiring communities, artists and creatives during my 25-year tenure as Artistic Director of Bangarra,” said Stephen Page. “It is a truly unique Australian company and I am so proud of everything we have achieved. The stories we share are sacred and I feel privileged to play a role in the vital care taking of these stories, through the intimate weaving of culture and contemporary dance.”
The JC Williamson Award is bestowed on an individual who has made a truly outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Australia’s live performance culture and shaped the future of the industry for the better. Previous recipients of the JC Williamson Award include Paul Kelly, Kylie Minogue OBE, Dr Jimmy Little AO, John Bell AO OBE, Michael Gudinski AM, Barry Humphries AO CBE, Dame Joan Sutherland OM AC DBE, David Williamson AO and Graeme Murphy AM.
The 2016 Helpmann Awards will be presented in Sydney on Monday 25 July. For more information, visit: www.helpmannawards.com.au for details.
Image: Stephen Page – photo by Greg Barrett