From the Wilderness With the Wonders of Contemporary Stage Magic


Informed by modern stagecraft and movement, Australia’s Bangarra Dance Theatre nevertheless draws strength from ancient creation stories, visual art, and ritual songs and dances. The Dreamtime lives in the cells and sinews of these breathtaking dancers, most of whom hail from Aboriginal roots. Bush, the latest production by choreographers Stephen Page, Frances Rings, and Kathy Balngayngu Marika, served as a gift to a lost loved one—the late dancer Russell Page. Lighting and ingenious sets—sometimes inspired by Aboriginal painting, sometimes resembling Andy Goldsworthy sculpture, fragile and ephemeral—shaped worlds within worlds. Composers David Page and Steve Francis brewed bewitching natural, indigenous, and pop currents. This tender, moving work helped us foreigners walk fearlessly among spirits and slithering creatures of the bush—dancers of impressive pliancy and choral harmony—sharing wonder, delight, and most of all reverence for the unbroken, nurturing cycle of life.

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