Stephen Page, one of the “greatest of the greats” in Australian dance, has been honoured with the prestigious 2016 JC Williamson Award.
Nancia Guivarra

1 Jul 2016 - 11:48 AM  UPDATED 1 Jul 2016 - 8:05 PM

Best known for his 25 years as artistic director of the world-famous Bangarra Dance Theatre, Page has excelled at bringing Indigenous stories to Australian and global audiences.

Before presenting Page with the award in the Drama Theatre at the Sydney Opera House this week, Live Performance Australia’s president Andrew Kay said he was not just admired but “worshipped” for his commitment to Bangarra and involvement in many great productions, including Sydney Theatre Company’s current touring play The Secret River.  

He described him as one of the “greatest of the greats”

Bangarra’s achievements under his direction have made the company one of the Australia’s most award-winning and eminent.

Page credits his large family of support for his achievements, including the work of his siblings in Bangarra.  His strong family foundation includes father Roy and mother Doreen and his 10 siblings (he refers to himself as ‘Page 10’).  

He says family kinship and bringing Indigenous stories to the stage are what drives him, and he passes on those traditions to the full crew of Bangarra, whom he calls his urban family.

He describes Bangarra dancers as clan.

Accepting the award, he acknowledged the Indigenous communities around the nation who have trusted him with their stories.

Page started out dancing with NAISDA (the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association) and after graduating spent 8 years at the Sydney Dance Company before joining Bangarra in 1991.   

He follows in the footsteps of Uncle Jimmy Little who won the award in 2012 and other great Australian Artists including Paul Kelly, John Farnham, Ruth Cracknell and Joan Sutherland.

Live Performance Australia represents 417 members across all arts genres in the performing arts and entertainment industry.  The JC Williamson award will be publicly presented to Page at the Helpmann Awards on July 25 at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney.

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