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Bangarra Dance Theatre Comes to Sydney Festival 2021

Performances run from 21 – 24 January.

Bangarra Dance Theatre Comes to Sydney Festival 2021

After ten months of hibernation, Bangarra Dance Theatre has announced its return to the stage. For five nights of extraordinary live performance under the stars, the company will perform for a live audience once again with Spirit: a retrospective 2021 at Barangaroo Headland, from 21 - 24 January as part of Sydney Festival.

Spirit: a retrospective 2021 is a powerful collection of dance stories taken from Bangarra's 31- year repertoire. 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.

Featuring the full Bangarra ensemble, 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, Spirit gives voice to a cosmos of plants, animals, and ancestral medicine, laid down one step at a time.

Bangarra Artistic Director, Stephen Page said "Dance is our medicine, a practice which connects the past, present and future through the communication, and passing on, of cultural knowledge. Over the last 31 years of Bangarra's existence, our work has actively contributed to an Indigenous contemporary dance lexicon that challenges people's perceptions of Indigenous Australia, whilst simultaneously shifting cultural and creative narratives to transform our artistic landscape."

"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. All of the works in Spirit fundamentally underscore the importance of ceremony, connection and transformation as the means through which the spirit is able to be released, the cycle of life is able to continue, and hope is able to prevail."

Bangarra Associate Artistic Director, Frances Rings said "Spirit represents Bangarra's first performance back on stage since COVID-19, during which time the Company has been able to refuel mentally, physically and spiritually. We are excited 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. We hope that Spirit is able to be a moment of healing that energises us all with the strength to continue to walk forward together into this new and changed world."

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.

Tickets for Spirit: a retrospective 2021 are on sale now via the Sydney Festival website.

Dates: 21 - 24 January, 2021
Tickets: $25 + bf

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