Stephen Page

Artistic Director:

Stephen Page

Premiered in 1997 at The State Theatre, Victorian Arts Centre as a part of the Melbourne Festival

This landmark production brought together Bangarra Dance Theatre and The Australian Ballet.

Choreographer Stephen Page explored the movements of the two companies and developed a new dance language combining strict classical ballet technique with an Indigenous vein. In Stephen’s own words:

Rites is an exploration of the natural forces which determine our ancient landscape. I have not tried to harness nature’s elemental forces – this human need for control is futile and meaningless. Rather, I have tried to capture the spiritual essence of these elements in 'snapshots' or flashpoints. Each of the elements  - 'Earth', 'Wind', 'Fire', 'Water' – have their own ritual, their own special characteristics. They are complex, ephemeral moments occurring simultaneously in a non-linear time frame. Beginning with Awakening and completed by Dreaming, these elements are part of the great cyclic universal force: our spiritual essence, our Dreaming.”

Few versions of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring have gone so far in transplanting traditional ritual culture on to the ballet stage … extraordinarily powerful

The Guardian UK


  • Stephen Page
  • Igor Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring
Costume Design
  • Jennifer Irwin
Set Design
  • Peter England
Lighting Design
  • Mark Howett

Touring Info

  • 2008 International tour Paris & London
  • 1999 International tour New York, Virginia
  • 1999 National tour NSW, VIC
  • 1997 National tour VIC, NSW