Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, will present the world premiere of ‘SandSong: Stories From The Great Sandy Desert’ in 2021.
The brand-new contemporary programme has been created by Bangarra Dance Theatre in consultation with Wangkajunga/Walmajarri Elders from the Kimberley and Great Sandy Desert regions and choreographed by Bangarra Artistic Director Stephen Page and Bangarra Associate Artistic Director Frances Rings.
‘SandSong’ tells the unique story of the desert homelands of the Walmajarri, where between the 1920s and 1960s Aboriginal people were removed off their Country and forced into hard labour for no wages and minimal rations. Despite this, the people of the Western Desert have maintained an unbroken connection to their Land.
This is also the Country of Wangkajunga woman Ningali Josie Lawford-Wolf (1967-2019), an acclaimed performer and important cultural consultant and collaborator of Bangarra. ‘SandSong’ honours her and her family’s legacy.
Image © Dan Boud
“In 2020, when we started the research for ‘SandSong’, the world was a different place. Our remote Indigenous communities, once described as ‘lifestyle choices’, became more crucial than ever as they functioned as refuges to protect our most precious resource: our Elders,” Artistic Director Stephen Page says.
“‘SandSong’ is a glimpse into the world of the Walmajarri and Wangkajunga people from the Great Sandy Desert, who survived incredible disadvantage to keep strong a lasting cultural bedrock for future generations,” Associate Artistic Director Frances Rings says.
‘SandSong’ will include immersive soundscapes composed by Steve Francis, stage designs by Jacob Nash, lighting designs by Nick Schlieper and costumes from Jennifer Irwin.
’Sandsong: Stories From The Great Sandy Desert’ 2021 Tour Dates
10 June-10 July – Sydney Opera House 15-17 July – Canberra Theatre Centre 23-24 July – Ulumbarra Theatre (Bendigo) 12-21 August – Queensland Performing Arts Centre 26 August-4 September – Arts Centre Melbourne