Bangarra Dance Theatre

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Bangarra Dance Theatre – Ochres 1995

Co-Choreographers: Stephen Page and Bernadette Walong
Composer: David Page
Cultural Consultant: Djakapurra Munyarryun
Lighting Design: Joseph Mercurio
Set Designer: Peter England

A Passion for Dance

“For me, I think the importance of going back to the traditional style of dance was that I was able to observe and watch our traditional teachers, not just for the dance steps but to be aware of what environment they came from, what their landscape was like geographically, and to try and understand their kinship and their customs and their values.” - Stephen Page

Being an indigenous artist, Stephen Page’s priorities would be recognized as bringing indigenous culture to the crowds in a creative and respectful manner. Growing up in the town of Mount Gravatt in Brisbane, raised with no association or relationship with the aboriginal race, Page fell in love with the heritage of these people and began educating himself additionally on their beliefs, traditional values and especially dance. As the artistic director of Bangarra Dance Theatre since 1992, Stephen has had plenty of opportunities to discover ways of doing so. Page achieved this through his production of Ochres in 1995, when he astounded critics internationally. By growing up in urban Brisbane, Page can relate quite a bit to the Indigenous and Australian culture, which helps bring them together through his unique style of dance.

‘Ochres’ is distributed into four units; Black, Red, Yellow and White. This particular essay focuses on analysing and discussing the ‘Yellow’ unit of motherhood and earth; portraying the various movements, sounds, lighting and costume choices etc. in which Page has chosen to use and how his choices support the quote stated above. Using various contemporary ideas and many high experienced dancers, Page has choreographed and showcased a remarkable and significant performance to embrace indigenous history.

Ochres are among the...
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