Bangarra invites community to help celebrate 25 years

In June, Bangarra Dance Theatre will take the stage at Sydney Opera House for the world premiere of Patyegarang, as it celebrates 25 years of surviving and thriving.

Choreographed by Bangarra Artistic Director Stephen Page, Patyegarang is about a young Eora woman who shared her culture and language with one of the first settlers, Lieutenant William Dawes, in what is now Sydney.

Stephen Page and Bangarra Ensemble at Koori Kids Day. Photo by Tiffany Parker.
Stephen Page and Bangarra Ensemble at Koori Kids Day. Photo by Tiffany Parker.

Patyegarang is a Sydney story, and Bangarra is paying homage to the land and people that the company has called home since it began 25 years ago.

The story is based on historical events and documents, As the colonial fleet arrived on Eora country in the late 18th Century, Patyegarang befriended first settler Lieutenant William Dawes, gifting him her language in an extraordinary display of trust and friendship.

During the Sydney season of Patyegarang, Bangarra will host a series of events specifically for Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to honour the Eora nation, celebrating this 25 year milestone.

A Community Night performance of Patyegarang will be held on Wednesday 11 June with discounted tickets made available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences, supported by BHP Billiton.

Bangarra will be also be hosting Koori Kids Day this year at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday 25 June. With thanks to BHP Billiton, Bangarra is able to offer heavily discounted tickets to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander secondary school students from the city and outer metropolitan areas to attend this special event. After the performance, students will have an opportunity to engage with Artistic Director Stephen Page and creative team members during a Q&A session.

Bangarra’s Artistic Director Stephen Page said, “I look forward to sharing with you Patyegarang’s remarkable story.

“Surviving and thriving, strength and resilience, this spirit we share and celebrate every day.”

Bangarra Dance Theatre is Australia’s leading national Indigenous performing arts company. Bangarra has strived to maintain the cultural integrity and spirit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tradition, combining it with contemporary expressions of stories, dance and music to create unique theatrical experiences, and to deliver these experiences to audiences across Australia and around the world.

For more information about Patyegarang and Bangarra’s community events, including ticket bookings, visit

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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