Awakening the spirit : telling the stories

Stock, Cheryl F. & Page , Stephen (2012) Awakening the spirit : telling the stories. In Burridge, Stephanie & Dyson, Julie (Eds.) Shaping the Landscape : Celebrating Dance in Australia. Routledge (Taylor & Francis), New Delhi, pp. 52-68.

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Stephen Page talking with Cheryl Stock

Stephen Page is one of the most significant dance artists working in Australia today, unique in his ability to forge and sustain a company of Indigenous artists through his seminal leadership of Bangarra Dance Theatre, which celebrated its 20 year anniversary in 2009. Together with the many artists who have contributed to the Bangarra vision, Stephen has created a distinctive contemporary Indigenous dance style and approach, celebrated for the stories it tells of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience. Fusing the traditional with the contemporary through a connection to the spirit of the land and its people, Stephen has inspired and influenced a generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance and theatre artists as a choreographer, director and mentor. His down to earth humour, his passion and his sensitivity draw us as audience, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, to his theatrical stories of place and spirit – both ancient and modern – in ways that simultaneously transcend and reaffirm the particular cultural experience which informs them.

This conversation covers the early years of growing up with his 'urban clan', discovering dance and politics and his spiritual awakening at Yirrkala. Stephen then describes moving in and out of different realities as a member of Sydney Dance Company whilst simultaneously exploring his Indigenous dance voice, the transition from dancer to choreographer, creating the Bangarra identity and the intercultural experiment of 'Rites' with the Australian Ballet. The last section looks at his various roles as an artistic director and nurturing the next generation of Indigenous artists.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 46604
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Indigenous , Australian dance , Bangarra Dance Theatre, choreography
ISBN: 9780415564458
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Performing Arts (190401)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Dance (190403)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Routledge (Taylor & Francis)
Deposited On: 24 Oct 2011 21:57
Last Modified: 04 May 2012 02:44

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