Stephen Page

Last updated
Stephen Page (AO)
Born1965 (age 5556)
  • Artistic director
  • dancer
  • choreographer
  • film director
Known forinvolvement in Bangarra Dance Theatre
Notable work
Relatives David Page (brother)

Stephen George Page AO (born 1965) is the Artistic Director of the Bangarra Dance Theatre, an Indigenous Australian dance company. He is descended from the Nunukul people and the Munaldjali of the Yugambeh people from southeast Queensland, Australia. In 2015 his directorial debut film Spear was shown at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. [2]



Page was educated at the Cavendish Road State High School, Brisbane. In his honour, Cavendish Road State High School has named one of its school houses "Page". The house colour is purple.

Sydney Dance Company/Sydney Theatre Company

Page studied dance at the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA). He graduated in 1983 and then danced with the Sydney Dance Company. In 1991, he choreographed Mooggrah for the company, Trackers of Oxyrhyncus for the Sydney Theatre Company, and a sextet for Opera Australia's Marriage of Figaro. During that time he also toured with the NAISDA associated "Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre".[ citation needed ]

Page danced with the Sydney Dance Company until 1991,

Bangarra Dance Company

when he was appointed artistic director of the Bangarra Dance Theatre. With his works Praying Mantis Dreaming, Ninni, and the seminal 1994 production, Ochres, co-choreographed with then assistant artistic director Bernadette Walong-Sene, Page established a milestone for Australian dance. In 1996, he made his creative debut with The Australian Ballet, choreographing Alchemy. The following year, he brought The Australian Ballet and Bangarra together in Rites, set to Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring . The following year he choreographed Fish for Bangarra, with its world premiere taking place at the Edinburgh International Festival.[ citation needed ]

Page choreographed the flag handover ceremony for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and co-directed segments of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. He also created the ceremony that opened the Olympic Arts Festival. He choreographed Skin, which premiered at the festival and won the coveted Helpmann Award for Best New Australian Work and Best Dance Work. His triple bill Corroboree toured internationally, with a sell-out tour of the US including appearances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York and the Kennedy Centre in Washington. The work earned Page a Helpmann Award for Best Choreography. The following year, he was honoured with a Matilda Award for his contribution to the arts in Queensland. In the same year, he choreographed Totem for The Australian Ballet's principal dancer, Stephen Heathcote. 2002 also saw the world premiere of Bangarra's double bill, Walkabout, which Page co-choreographed with Frances Rings.

Page and Rings later co-choreographed Bush for Bangarra, which sold out on its Australian tour as well as its 2004 tour to the United States. Also in 2004, Bangarra returned to the Sydney Opera House with another sell-out production co-choreographed by Page and Rings, Clan. The following year Page choreographed Boomerang, which had a sell-out Australian tour.

As artistic director of the 2004 Adelaide Festival of the Arts, Page was praised for reinvigorating the event with an impressive and highly successful world-class program. His film and theatre credits include the contemporary operatic film Black River , numerous music video clips, and directing his own brother David Page in the highly acclaimed one-man show Page 8, which toured the UK.

In 2006, Page and The Australian Ballet created Gathering, a double bill consisting of a reworked Rites and Amalgamate. Also in 2006, Queensland Art Gallery director asked him to create a new dance work for the opening of the Gallery of Modern Art. Along with his son and nephews, he created Kin, a special project that opened Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.

In 2007, Page directed a spectacular traditional smoking ceremony in honour of the historic celebration marking the 75th anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Later in the year, during Bangarra's True Stories season, he directed Victorian Opera's Orphée et Eurydice in Melbourne and presented another sell-out season of Kin at the Malthouse Theatre.


In 2008, Page was named New South Wales Australian of the Year, receiving the award from Deputy Premier John Watkins at ceremony at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.


In 2008 he created a new, full-length work for Bangarra, entitled Mathinna, which won a Helpmann Award in 2009 for Best Dance Work and Best Choreography. He then took Rites to London and Paris with The Australian Ballet, and Bangarra's Awakenings to Washington, New York and Ottawa. Later in 2008, he went to Broome, Western Australia, as choreographer for the film adaptation of Bran Nue Dae .

In 2009, after returning from a highly successful tour of Germany, Hungary and Austria with True Stories, Page and the dancers spent 10 days in Arnhem Land on a cultural exchange. He celebrated Bangarra's 20th Anniversary with Fire – A Retrospective, which won an Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Company.


In 2011, Page was honoured with the Services to Dance award at the Australian Dance Awards, and received a Helpmann Award for Best Choreography for Fire, Bangarra's 20-year retrospective work. Bangarra received a further two Helpmann Awards: Best Ballet/Dance Work for Fire and Best Regional Touring Production for True Stories.

In 2016, the NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award went to Page for his work as Director of the Bangarra Dance Theatre. [3] [4] From February to August 2016, Martin Portus (former Director of Marketing and Communication at the Australia Council for the Arts) conducted a number of interviews with Australian choreographers, including Page. Page discussed significant periods in the history of the Bangarra Dance Theatre, beginning with the nature of his access to traditional cultures, especially in north-east Arnhem Land, and his works staging those stories as contemporary dance. He also talked about his later, darker works about urban dislocation, and the contribution of his late brother, the dancer Russell Page. The interviews also covered his choreographic signature, and his works drawing on stories, communities and design motifs from different parts of Australia and, finally, his recent works featuring stories drawn from both white and black historical experience. [5]


Related Research Articles

Robert Helpmann Australian dancer, actor, theatre director and choreographer

Sir Robert Murray Helpmann, CBE was an Australian ballet dancer, actor, director and choreographer. After early work in Australia he moved to Britain in 1932, where he joined the Vic-Wells Ballet under its creator, Ninette de Valois. He became one of the company's leading men, partnering Alicia Markova and later Margot Fonteyn. When Frederick Ashton, the company's chief choreographer, was called up for military service in the Second World War Helpmann took over from him while continuing as a principal dancer.

Matthew Bourne

Sir Matthew Christopher Bourne is an English choreographer. His work includes contemporary dance and dance theatre. He has received multiple awards and award nominations, including the Laurence Olivier Award, Tony Award and Drama Desk Award, and he has also received several Honorary Doctorates of Arts from UK universities. Bourne was knighted in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to dance.

Bangarra Dance Theatre Indigenous Australian dance company

Bangarra Dance Theatre is an Indigenous Australian contemporary dance company.

Ross Stretton was an Australian ballet dancer and artistic director. As a dancer, he performed with the Australian Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre. He was later Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet (1997–2001) and the Royal Ballet (2001–2002).

The Helpmann Awards are accolades for live entertainment and performing arts in Australia, presented by industry group Live Performance Australia.

Frances Rings is an Indigenous Australian dancer, choreographer and television presenter. She was born in Adelaide, South Australia and is a descendant of the Kokatha people. She is a member of the Dance Board of the Australia Council

Australian Dance Theatre

Australian Dance Theatre (ADT), known as Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Theatre 1993–1999, is a contemporary dance company based in Adelaide, South Australia, established in 1965 by Dr. Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM. The ADT was the first modern dance company in Australia and drew on the techniques of Martha Graham for its inspiration. Eleo Pomare was an early collaborator and the songs of Peter, Paul and Mary featured strongly in their early works, such as This Train.

Ceremonial dancing has a very important place in the Indigenous cultures of Australia. They vary from place to place, but most ceremonies combine dance, song, rituals and often elaborate body decorations and costumes. The different body paintings indicate the type of ceremony being performed. They play an important role in marriage ceremonies, in the education of Indigenous children, as well as story telling and oral history. The term corroboree is commonly used to refer to Australian Aboriginal dances, although this term has its origins among the people of the Sydney region. In some places, Aboriginal people perform corroborees for tourists. In the latter part of the 20th century the influence of Indigenous Australian dance traditions has been seen with the development of concert dance, with the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA) providing training in contemporary dance.

Mark Howett

Western Australian Mark Howett is a director for theatre, dance, opera and film, having started his career initially as a lighting designer. He studied Theatre Design, specialising in Lighting Design at the School of Drama 1981, Yale University. Since 1979, Mark Howett has worked with many international theatre, film, dance, and opera companies. He was a senior creative on productions such as: Sweeney Todd, Royal Opera at Covent Garden, Cabaret at Savoy Theatre West End, Evita at Dominion Theatre West End, A Country Girl at Apollo Theatre West End, Rites Bangarra and Australian Ballet at Paris Opera House, Cloudstreet Co B Belvoir at Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Secret River Sydney Theatre Co to name a few.

{{short description|Australian dancer and choreographer }

Kate Champion is a director and choreographer with over thirty years of experience in multiple art forms. She was the founding Artistic Director of Force Majeure (2002-2015), a dance theatre company based in at Carriageworks arts centre in Sydney, Australia. Her initial training was in Sydney with Karen Kerkhoven with subsequent formative years spent in Munich with the Iwanson Dance Company and continued with Kai Tai Chan's One Extra Company in Sydney. She was a founding member of Dance North in Townsville and was a dancer with Australian Dance Theatre from 1988 to 1989.

Garry Stewart is an Australian dancer and choreographer. He has been the artistic director of the Australian Dance Theatre since 1999, following Meryl Tankard, and is scheduled to complete his term at the end of 2021.

Gideon Obarzanek is an Australian choreographer, director and performing arts curator. He was Artistic Associate with the Melbourne Festival (2015-2017), co-curator and director of 'XO State' at the inaugural Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts (2015-2017). Obarzanek was appointed Chair of the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2015 and Strategic Cultural Engagement Manager at Chancellery at the University of Melbourne in 2018.

Edward Clug is an international renowned choreographer in the field of contemporary ballet and a director of Maribor Ballet. Clug studied classical ballet in Cluj-Napoca.

<i>The Sunshine Club</i>

The Sunshine Club is an Australian musical with book and lyrics by Wesley Enoch and music by John Rodgers.

Hunter Djali Yumunu Page-Lochard is an Australian actor of both Aboriginal Australian and American descent. Page-Lochard is best known for his roles in The Sapphires (2012), Around the Block (2013) and The Djarn Djarns (2005). As of 2016, he stars as Koen West in ABC's sci-fi drama series, Cleverman.

Roy David Page, known as Dubboo to his close friends, was an Australian composer who was the music director of the Bangarra Dance Theatre. He was descended from the Nunukul people and the Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh people of south-east Queensland, and brother of choreographer Stephen Page and dancer Russell Page. He was also an actor, singer and drag artist.

The 16th Annual Helpmann Awards for live performance in Australia were held on 25 July 2016 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

<i>Tivoli</i> (musical)

Tivoli is an Australian dance musical that pays tribute to the Tivoli variety and revue circuit. It was directed and choreographed by Graeme Murphy from a scenario by Murphy and Kristian Fredrikson, with dialogue by Linda Nagle and Paul Chubb. Music incorporated existing songs from Tivoli productions, original songs by Max Lambert and Linda Nagle, and an original musical score by Graeme Koehne.

Elma Gada Kris is an Australian dancer, choreographer, actor, teacher and NAIDOC award winner. A member of the Bangarra Dance Theatre and descendant of the Wagadagam, Kaurareg, Sipingur, Gebbara and Kai Dangal Buai in the Torres Strait.


  1. or empty |title= (help)
  2. "Spear Review". Variety. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  3. "First Indigenous nurse graduate among winners at the 2016 NAIDOC awards". ABC News. 8 July 2016. Archived from the original on 11 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  4. Smith, Emily (9 July 2016). "Indigenous dancer and director wins lifetime achievement award". Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  5. "File 5: Stephen Page interviewed by Martin Portus, 24 February 2016". State Library of New South Wales Catalogue. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
Preceded by
Sue Nattrass
Director of the Adelaide Festival of Arts
Succeeded by
Brett Sheehy