Born in Brisbane, Stephen Page is a descendant of the Nunukul people and the Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh tribe from southeast Queensland. He was appointed Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre in 1991 and has created 12 new dance theatre works for the company.
Page has developed Bangarra’s distinctive performance style drawing on over 60,000 years of Aboriginal culture and translating the traditional stories, music and dance into a contemporary theatrical experience. Memorable Bangarra works—Ochres, Skin (Best New Australian Work and Best Dance Work, 2001 Helpmann Awards), Bush (Best Dance Work, 2004 Helpmann Awards), and Mathinna (Best Dance Work and Best Choreography, 2009 Helpmann Awards) have become milestones in the Australian performing arts.
Stephen Page choreographed Rites to Stravinsky’s score for The Rite of Spring in a collaboration between Bangarra and the Australian Ballet. He also directed Indigenous sections for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, was Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts in 2004, directed Page 8, the solo performance by his brother David Page for Company B and in 2010 choreographed Rachel Perkins’ film Bran Nue Dae.
In 2010, Stephen Page was also honoured at the prestigious Australian Dance Awards for his Services to Dance and accepted Bangarra Dance Theatre’s award for ‘Outstanding Performance by a Company’ for their 2009 work Fire: A Retrospective, presenting the signature works from Bangarra’s repertoire. He went on to accept the Helpmann Award for Best Choreography (Fire) and a further two awards for the company: Best Ballet/Dance Work (Fire) and Best Regional Touring Production (True Stories).
In 2008 Stephen was named NSW Australian of the Year in recognition of his efforts to bring cultures together through the performing arts and his commitment to mentoring young Indigenous artists. (Text courtesy of Bangarra Dance Theatre.)
works by stephen page
ochres, 1995 (co-choreographer bernadette walong)
clan, 2004 (co-choreographer frances rings)
taking up the fight
karen pearlman, realtime 25, june-july, 1998
bangarra at 20: circle of connection
jeremy eccles, realtime 92, august-september, 2009
articles/reviews: other works by stephen page
the monaco dance forum: everything and more
erin brannigan, realtime 53, february-march, 2003
erin brannigan, realtime 54, april-may, 2003
adelaide festival 2004: triple bill
helen omand, realtime 60, april-may, 2004
moving and shaking
sophie travers, realtime 62, december 2007-january 2008
keith gallasch, realtime 94, december 2009-january 2010
australian stages on the page
keith gallasch, realtime 100, december 2010-january 2011
Thumbnail: Elma Kris, Patrick Thaiday, Mathinna, Bangarra Dance Theatre, photo Jeff Busby