• North East Arnhem Land

Stephen Page's spellbinding work Bush is inspired by the Dreamtime creation stories of Arnhem Land.



From the last breath of sunset to the first finger-light of dawn, the audience enters a mysterious and secret space – reptilian creatures slither from dark caves, a moth emerges from its cocoon, the land erupts pushing up mountains and carving waterholes – the world is being born.

Bush is a lush and hypnotic celebration of dance, ritual and music. It’s inspiration comes from Stephen Page’s relationship over many years with Arnhem Land and his traditional mothers like Kathy Balngayngu Marika.

This production features the First Nations' language Yolngu Matha (Yirritja language group - North East Arnhem Land).

Sections of Bush

  • Creation (Wirrkul Manda) - "They sang the songs and danced over the land ... Created all living things" (Two Sisters, Wirrkul Manda)
  • Two Sisters (Wirrkul Manda)
  • Goanna (Djanda) - Each goanna (male totem) is given his sense of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch.
  • Slither - Every one hundred years a sacred creature emerges from its journey through the Earth. The women are chosen as keepers of the knowledge.
Life Cycle - Metamorphosis, rejuvenation and the passing on of knowledge
  • Life Cycle (Leaf/ Caterpillar/ Cocoon/Moth)
  • Leaf (Man'tjarr)
  • Caterpillar (Dapal)
  • Cocoon
  • Moth (Dhumar)
  • Stick (Nanook) - Nganuk or Mimi spirits appear as spiritual messengers - they can come as good or bad signs.
  • Bush Pearl - A celebration of female sensuality
  • Wind (Traditional)
  • Feather - Preparing the spirit and body for its journey into the next life cycle.
Ceremony - The cycle of rituals in the celebration of death and rebirth.
  • Gapu/Passing
  • The Gift
  • Ceremony (Clan)

Duration: 78 Minutes





Premiere Season: National Tour | 2003
Bush Program 2003

International Tour | 2004
Bush: Program and Cast Sheet 2004 International Tour

    • United States of America
    • The Hawaii Theatre
      8 October - 9 October
    • Kahilu Theatre
      12 October 10:30am/8pm
    • Maui Arts and Cultural Centre
      14 October
    • BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Harvey Theatre
      19 October - 23 October
    • Stewart Theatre
      27 October - 28 October
    • The American Theatre
      29 October - 30 October
    • Eisenhower Theater, The Kennedy Center
      5 November - 6 November

Adelaide Botanic Garden Outdoor Performance | 2005
Bush: Adelaide Botanic Garden Outdoor Performance Program and Cast Sheet | 2005

    • Outdoor Performance | Adelaide Botanic Gardens
      12 March

International Tour New Zealand & Japan | 2005
Bush Program | Auckland Festival | 2005

    • Edge Theatre
      1-5 March
    • Aichi Expo 2005 - Nagoya, Japan
      21 April

International Tour | 2006
Bush: Program and Cast Sheet International Tour 2006

    • England
    • Sadler's Wells Theatre
      14 September - 16 September
    • The Lowry Theatre
      19 September - 20 September
    • Snape Maltings
      23 September - 24 September