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Wudjang: Not the Past

In what will be Bangarra's largest production to date, a new generation is taught how to listen, learn and carry their ancestral energy into the future.

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Category: Dance
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Wudjang: Not the Past

Date: 12 Oct 2021

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.

In a first-time co-production, Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company join forces to present the world premiere of Wudjang: Not the Past, an epic-scale contemporary corroboree, and Bangarra’s 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.

Told in Mibinyah poetry and song with English text and featuring Bangarra’s inimitable fusion of contemporary and traditional choreography, Wudjang: Not the Past brings together a powerhouse team of collaborators, including beloved actors Elaine Crombie (The 7 Stages of Grieving), Trevor Jamieson (Storm Boy) and Justin Smith with acclaimed musicians Brendon Boney, Amaru Derwent, Jess Hitchcock, Tessa Nuku and Véronique Serret, with Helpmann Award-winning music director Alan John.

Wudjang: Not the Past premieres in Sydney from 14 January to 12 February. Sydney tickets are available from October 26.

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