Choreographer, Artistic Director and Founder of NT Dance Company, Gary Lang is a Larrakia man from Darwin with extended family relationships in Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land. Gary has worked widely throughout Australia and the world. NT Dance Company holds a strong cultural and altruistic focus through its support of youth diversion and rehabilitation programs and dance workshop delivery to disadvantaged youth located in remote communities. Gary creates sensual and evocative works presenting what has been described as ‘Aboriginal Ballet’, embedded in the traditions of an Indigenous Australian tale of spiritual interaction and retribution.
He trained at the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA), graduating in 1990. Since then he has performed, choreographed and travelled globally with some of Australia’s premier dance companies including Bangarra (1995-1999), Dance North, and the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre Company.
In 2010 Gary’s major production, Goose Lagoon premiered at the Darwin Performing Arts Centre. Set against the backdrop of Arnhem Land’s northern flood plains, Goose Lagoon explores the story of the magpie geese of the Top End; the furl of wings in the first light of the wet season, the frenetic struggle against the hunter’s gun and the tender love of a delicate young gosling. The production interspersed Dancer’s movement with the unique magpie geese puppets used to enhance the story.
In 2013 Gary was the recipient of a two-year Dance Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts for 'Professional and creative development through contemporary Indigenous dance company experiences'. ArtBack NT: Arts Development and Touring were instrumental in the securing of the dance fellowship and assisting with the development, production and staging of Mokuy (Spirit) in 2014 through their performing arts program.
Co-produced by the Darwin Entertainment Centre, Inspired premiered at the Garrmalang Festival in May 2016. The creation of Inspired allowed Gary to indulge in an uplifting spiritual experience, exploring the beauty and lightness of movement that the musical score of Tchaikovsky arouses in Gary’s choreography and the dancers’ movements.
Gary’s greatest career highlight to date was the ground-breaking collaboration between NT Dance Company, Deborah Cheetham and the Western Australian Ballet Company in early 2018. Over 18 months in the making, Gary used dance to creatively re-tell his mother’s Yolngu Milky Way story in a production now known as Milinjiya – Milky Way, River of Stars. This powerful, thought-provoking and innovative work featured Dancers from each company, together with traditional Artists from Yirrkala, along with support from the magical voice of Australian Opera singer, Deborah Cheetham AO. Hailed as the ‘hottest ticket in town’ during Perth Festival’s Ballet at the Quarry, this work was performed for three weeks fusing Aboriginal dance and classical ballet at the world premier event.