Stephen Page honoured with the JC Williamson Award

Rebecca Varidel
5th Jul 2016

Bangarra Artistic Director Stephen Page has been honoured with the JC Williamson Award® by Live Performance Australia. This award is given to an individual who has made a truly outstanding contribution to the enrichment of the Australian live entertainment and performing arts culture and shaped the future of the industry for the better.

Stephen Page honoured with the JC Williamson Award® by Live Performance Australia

The announcement was made last week by Andrew Kay AM, President of Live Performance Australia, on stage at the Sydney Opera House, where Bangarra are currently performing their new triple bill OUR land people stories, featuring Stephen’s 23rd work for the company, entitled Nyapanyapa.

Stephen Page said of the honour: “I have been fortunate to have worked with so many inspiring communities, artists and creatives during my 25-year tenure as Artistic Director of Bangarra. It is a truly unique Australian company and I am so proud of everything we have achieved. The stories we share are truly distinctive and I feel privileged to play a role in the vital care taking of these stories, through the intimate weaving of culture and contemporary dance.”

Stephen was appointed Artistic Director of Bangarra in 1991 at age 25. He has developed a signature body of works that have redefined contemporary dance in Australia and his creative credits span not only dance but theatre, opera and film.

Off-stage Stephen has mentored and created opportunities for countless Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and youth, and has been a champion of social justice for Indigenous people.

President of Live Performance Australia, Andrew Kay said: “The JC Williamson Award is bestowed only on the greatest of the greats of our Live Performance Industry. Stephen Page’s contribution to Australian culture over the last 25 years has been nothing short of extraordinary. His body of work seamlessly crosses genres.”

“He continues to reinvent Indigenous storytelling across those genres. He has directed and or choreographed dance, opera and theatre as well as major events such as the Indigenous Sections of the 2000 Sydney Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies.”

“In Stephen Page’s 25th year at the helm of this great company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, there is no better time to recognise his exceptional contribution to Australia and Australian culture than through this award.”

The 16th annual Helpmann Awards will be held at the Sydney Lyric Theatre on Monday 25 July.

In 2016, Bangarra has been nominated for seven Helpmann awards:

Bangarra Dance Theatre for Best Ballet or Dance Work (Sheoak)

Stephen Page, Bernadette Walong-Sene and Djakapurra Munyarryun for Best Choreography in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work (Ochres)

Frances Rings for Best Choreography in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work (Sheoak)

Frances Rings, Deborah Brown and Waangenga Blanco for Best New Australian Work (lore)

Yolanda Lowatta for Best Female Dancer (Sheoak)

David Page for Best Original Score (Ochres)

David Page for Best Sound Design (Ochres)

The Helpmann Awards are the premier celebration of Australia’s vibrant live performance industry and recognise distinguished achievement and excellence in Australia’s live performance sectors, including musical theatre, contemporary music, comedy, opera, classical music, theatre, dance and physical theatre, children’s presentations, regional touring, and cabaret and supported by the New South Wales Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.