The spirit of Patyegarang | Vivid Sydney

  • Sydney
  • Stories, Songs & Language, Highlights, Concept

The spirit of Patyegarang commemorates the young Eora girl who befriended First Fleet astronomer, Lieutenant William Dawes, when he was observing the skies from the promontory that now bears his name, Dawes Point.

Created by Bangarra Dance Theatre, this video installation was the first indigenous contribution to the Vivid Light Walk and commemorated one of the first ‘collaborations’ between the original custodians of the land and the new settlers.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014, Bangarra tells the story of Patyegarang, the inspirational journey of an Indigenous spirit alive in Australia’s past and present.

Projected ontothe Southern Pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The spirit of Patyegarang included specially choreographed dance sequence featuring the two main characters from the company's production Patyegarang, Jasmin Sheppard (as Patyegarang) and Thomas Greenfield (as Dawes).

As the colonial fleet arrived on Eora country in the late 18th Century, Patyegarang befriended the colony’s timekeeper, Lieutenant William Dawes, gifting him her language in an extraordinary display of trust and friendship, which now inspires our imaginations about ‘first contact’. In this powerful and moving story, Bangarra honours the Eora, celebrating the significance of this place and its first peoples.