14 January - 12 February 2022 | Roslyn Packer Theatre
Tickets on sale Tuesday 26 October. Sign up to our waiting list.
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, Trevor Jamieson, and musicians Amaru Derwent, Brendon Boney, Tessa Nuku and Véronique Serret.
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.
This production will be presented in compliance with the NSW Public Health Orders in place at the time of performance as well as the safety requirements of the venue. Roslyn Packer Theatre is COVID Safe. This is an evolving situation and safety measures may change before your performance. Please check the most up-to-date Visitor Safety Measures prior to your visit. Theatre capacity is currently limited to 75%. This means 25% of seats remain off sale, spread evenly through the auditorium. Please note that you may be seated alongside others.
Wudjang: Not the Past is recommended for audiences aged 12 and over. This production contains political and social themes, including aspects and depictions related to traumatic events suffered by First Nations Peoples.
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