17 January - 12 February 2022 | Sydney Festival, Roslyn Packer Theatre | BOOK NOW
18 - 19 February 2022 | Theatre Royal, Hobart | BOOK NOW

15 - 18 March 2022 | Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Festival Centre | BOOK NOW


Credits

Director
  • Stephen Page
Choreography
  • Stephen Page
  • Bangarra Dancers
Writers
  • Stephen Page
  • Alana Valentine
Composer
  • Steve Francis
Set Designer
  • Jacob Nash
Costume Designer
  • Jennifer Irwin
Lighting Designer
  • Nick Schlieper
Dramaturg
  • Alana Valentine
Music Director
  • Alan John
Assistant Director
  • Kate Dunn
Associate Music Director
  • Véronique Serret
Rehearsal Director
  • Daniel Roberts
Language Consultant
  • Donna Page

In the deep darkness just before dawn, workmen find bones while excavating for a dam. Among them is a Yugambeh man, Bilin, who convinces his colleagues to let him keep the ancestral bones. This ancestor is Wudjang, who longs to be reburied the proper way. With her young companion spirit, Gurai, she dances and teaches and sings of the past, of the earth, of songlines. With grace and authentic power, a new generation is taught how to listen, learn and carry their ancestral energy into the future. Wudjang: Not the Past follows the journey to honour Wudjang with a traditional resting place on Country.

We're thrilled to join forces with Sydney Theatre Company to present the world premiere of Wudjang: Not the Past, an epic-scale contemporary corroboree. This new work brings together 17 dancers, four musicians and five actors for our largest stage production to date.

Directed and choreographed by Bangarra’s Artistic Director Stephen Page and co-written with award-winning playwright Alana Valentine (Bangarra’s Bennelong, Barbara and the Camp Dogs), Wudjang: Not the Past is deeply rooted in Page’s own Yugambeh Country, in a story with branches spreading across our continent’s past and troubled present. 

Combining poetry, spoken storytelling and live music with our unique dance language, this profoundly evocative piece of First Nations performance promises to be a benchmark Australian production.

Featuring Bangarra Dance Theatre Dancers, Elaine Crombie, Elma Kris, Jess Hitchcock, Justin Smith, Kirk Page and musicians Amaru Derwent, Brendon Boney, Tessa Nuku and Véronique Serret.

VISITOR SAFETY INFORMATION

Roslyn Packer Theatre is a COVID Safe venue. 

  • All eligible patrons must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with an approved vaccine, at the time of attendance to enter the venue. Customers will be required to carry proof of vaccination and the vaccination status of all visitors will be sighted on arrival as part of the Service NSW QR Check In process. 
  • Face masks are mandatory: Audience members 12+ are required to wear a well fitted mask at all times during the performance. It is also highly recommended that any audience members 11 years of age or younger wear a mask at all times. We ask that you also wear masks in our venue foyers and walkways unless eating or drinking. Please bring a fitted face mask with you. 
  • Theatre Capacity: Wudjang: Not the Past will be performed at 100% audience capacity. 
  • Please don’t visit if you feel unwell, have experienced any cold or flu like symptoms in the past 14 days, are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. Please contact us to update your booking in line with our Terms & Conditions.
  • Everyone must check-in using the Service NSW QR Code. Please check the most up-to-date Visitor Safety Measures prior to your visit. 
TICKETING TERMS & CONDITIONS

Wudjang: Not the Past is produced by Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company in association with Sydney Festival and will be presented at Roslyn Packer Theatre. For more information on Bangarra's ticketing terms and conditions, visit our Ticketing FAQ. For information on Sydney Theatre Company Terms of Sale visit this page

SHOW WARNING

Wudjang: Not the Past is recommended for audiences aged 12 and over. This production contains political and social themes, including violence and sexual assault, which may cause distress. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this production contains voices of people who have passed away.

Reviews

 

 

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc, commissioned by Sydney Festival, Perth Festival and Adelaide Festival, and co-produced by Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company.

Supported through the Australian Government's Indigenous Languages and Arts program.

 

Photo: Daniel Boud