Stephen Page creates his 25th work for Bangarra with Dark Emu at the Sydney Opera House. Based on the award-winning non-fiction book of the same name, Dark Emu is an exploration of the way pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians lived.
“Audiences can expect to be taken on a really beautiful and moving experience. We’ve used Uncle Bruce Pascoe’s book as a starting point for inspiration but transformed it with dance,” says Yolanda Brown, a dancer and choreographer for the work.
“Dance is an amazing medium. It’s like a language on its own. It enables us to get to the heart of these stories and instead of focusing on statistics and facts, we’re focusing on the thread of connection between people, land, environment, spirit and the strength of community coming together.”
With an 18-strong ensemble of dancers, Dark Emu connects dances set in four distinct worlds which both mourn the losses experienced by Aboriginal Australians and celebrates their achievements, which have been overlooked in history particularly in relation to the hunter-gatherer myth.
“There is so much strength in reciprocation. When you’re given something, you give back in return,” says Brown. “These are the things that we’ve drawn on in creating the flow of the storyline within the work and I think ultimately when the audience leaves the theatre, they’ll feel like they’ve been on quite an emotional journey of serenity and beauty and tension.”
Until Jul 14. Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney. $51-$109+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.bangarra.com.au
By Emily Shen.