After 25 years at Bangarra, what is your career highlight?
The growth of the company is my highlight. We started as a small, educational dance company in Redfern in 1999 and now we are internationally known.
Just seeing my dancers grow from story-tellers into performers is a highlight for me, and sharing our stories with our youth.
But if I had to pick one standout it would be taking part in the Sydney Olympics, working with 1000 Indigenous people from all over the country and directing that was huge.
If you had to change something about Bangarra, what would it be?
I wouldn’t want to change a thing.
There’s a really good spirit here at Bangarra that has helped guide its direction and makes everything feel like it’s meant to be. So I’d say I have no regrets at all, I’d do it all again.
What’s been your favourite production?
Our ‘Best Of’ program called 'Spirit' is probably my favourite. It’s always great reflecting on our stories and looking at how we’ve evolved. It’s a killer of a show.
We’re now working on a triple bill which looks at the Wiradjuri, Dharawal and Yolngu culture. I got young choreographers to work with me on it to reflect 40,000 years of black history.
If you could collaborate with any artist on your next production who would it be and why?
I could say someone from pop-culture that everyone knows but then I’d be lying. I just get a buzz going back to communities and working with elders in our own backyard.
I just like working with community and finding those unknown stories of survival.
If you had to pick a different career for the next 25 years what would it be and why?
I’d like to do voluntary aid work, but I guess I’m already working with the community and helping the disadvantaged in my current job.
But I strongly believe that my fate in life is doing this job and there’s nothing else I would do.
Maybe if I had to do something really different I would be a carpenter. I’d like to be able to build my own house and have those kind of handy-man skills.
Stephen Page is celebrating a successful 25 years as Bangarra’s Artistic Director. To celebrate this special milestone, Bangarra will present a new triple bill, Our Land People Stories. The show will premiere in Sydney on June 17 before travelling to Perth, Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne.