The stories of First Nations peoples, and 65,000 years of history and culture, is being told through the latest works from Bangarra Dance Theatre, which opened tonight in Brisbane.
Attending the opening performance of Bangarra: 30 years of sixty five thousand, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the latest production from one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies included a powerful three-part program of dance.
“Bangarra Dance Company is truly one of our artistic national treasures, and is widely acclaimed across Australia and the world, Minister Enoch said.
“In celebrating their landmark 30th anniversary season, Bangarra: 30 years of sixty five thousand presents a collection of dance from the company’s repertoire, along with new work, and includes passionate storytelling that looks into the rich history and strong connections of First Nations peoples.
“It is wonderful that Brisbane is the first to host this amazing production, before it goes to Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart.
“They will then showcase their amazing talents and storytelling overseas, touring to Canada and to the USA in October and November with their productions of Spirit and Nyapanyapa.
“Bangarra – with artistic director Stephen Page at its helm – has helped forge the careers of some of Australia’s leading artists including Jacob Nash (designer), Frances Rings (dancer and choreographer and just announced Bangarra Associate Artistic Director) and Beau Dean Riley Smith (Helpmann Award-winning dancer).”
Minister Enoch said Bangarra’s other outstanding recent works include sold-out seasons of 2017’s Bennelong and 2018’s Dark Emu, international tours and performing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said QPAC had partnered with Bangarra for 21 years, and was honoured to play a part in helping to bring these stories to Queensland.
“To recognise the significant contribution the Company has made to the performing arts locally and nationally, we are presenting a series of special events around Bangarra’s 30th anniversary season at QPAC,” Mr Kotzas said.
“In our Playhouse foyer, we have curated an exhibition looking at the past 30 years of the Company, which will include enlarged reproductions of season posters, a timeline of the company’s history and virtual reality headsets featuring scenes from Bangarra productions. We will also engage First Nations artists to perform in the foyers during interval, responding to Bangarra’s work,” he said.
Minister Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was continuing its support to help QPAC grow its programming and engagement across Queensland, including the telling of more First Nations stories.
“Our Government is providing $8 million to QPAC over four years to support this programming, which helps to celebrate First Nations artists, stories and cultures,” she said.