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 song lines. 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.
Bangarra Dance Theatre join forces with Sydney Theatre Company to present the world premiere of Wudjang: Not the Past, an epic-scale contemporary corroboree. This work brings together 17 dancers, four musicians and five actors for our 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.
Combining poetry, spoken storytelling and live music with our unique dance language, this profoundly evocative piece of First Nations performance promises to be a benchmark Australian production.