Bangarra announces 2018 season

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Bangarra's Yolanda Lowatta-and Daniel Riley. Photo: Daniel Boud
Bangarra's Yolanda Lowatta-and Daniel Riley. Photo: Daniel Boud

The centrepiece of Bangarra Dance Theatre’s 2018 season is a major new dance work, Dark Emu.

Inspired by Bruce Pascoe’s award-winning book of the same name, Dark Emu will explore the vital life force of flora and fauna in a series of intertwined dance stories.

Artistic director Stephen Page will direct the work, collaborating with senior dancer Daniel Riley, Bangarra alumni Yolande Brown, and the company’s richly talented ensemble of dancers. It will be the fourth time Riley has created for the company, and Brown’s second.

“Our dancers have Bangarra embedded in their DNA,” Page says. “Inherent in our creation process is the passing of knowledge, Spirit and our accumulated dance language from one generation to the next.

“Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu is such an important work in the way it illuminates how Aboriginal people interacted with the land pre-colonisation, and imagines what could have been. I can’t wait to start exploring its rich hunting ground of ideas with Bangarra’s dancers.”

Long-time Bangarra collaborators Steve Francis (music), Jacob Nash (sets) and Jennifer Irwin (costumes) will bring their impeccable aesthetic to the production.

Dark Emu will premiere in Sydney in June, before travelling to Canberra, Perth, Brisbane and finishing in Melbourne in September.

Bangarra will undertake an impressive touring schedule through the year, performing in seven our of eight states and territories.

A free, Return to Country community performance of Jasmin Sheppard’s explosive work MACQ (2016) will begin the year in South West Sydney at the Campbelltown Arts Centre on 3 February.

Regional audiences will then have the opportunity to see 2016’s incredible OUR land people stories in a major tour through three states and territories. OUR kicks off in Newcastle in February, continuing to Dubbo, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Rockhampton, Mackay, before ending in Alice Springs in March. 

The Dubbo performance will mark the return of Miyagan to the Wiradjuri community that brought choreographers Daniel Riley and Beau Dean Riley Smith together. 

And the important Return to Country journey will continue when Nyapanaypa is performed in Arnhem Land, the home of Yirrkala artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu who was so instrumental in the development of the piece.  

Audiences in South Australia will finally get to experience Bennelong as part of the Adelaide Festival between 15 – 18 March.

Bangarra’s Youth program Rekindling, connecting young people with culture through contemporary dance, is being delivered in Thursday Island (QLD), Darwin (NT) and Charleville (QLD).



Sydney, Sydney Opera House | 14 June – 14 July

Canberra, Canberra Theatre Centre | 26 July – 28 July

Perth, State Theatre Centre of WA | 2 August – 5 August

Brisbane, QPAC | 24 August – 1 September

Melbourne, Arts Centre Melbourne | 6 September – 15 September

Tickets are on sale for Sydney, Perth, Brisbane & Melbourne from 9 November; Canberra from 13 November. Go here.



Adelaide, Dunstan Playhouse | 15 – 18 March



Newcastle, Dubbo, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Rockhampton, Mackay, Alice Springs. ?Full season details announced soon

Now on sale at





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