Today the president of Live Performance Australia, Andrew Kay AM, took to the stage of the Drama Theatre at the Sydney Opera House to announce that Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre Stephen Page is the recipient of the 2016 JC Williamson Award.
The JC Williamson Award is given to an individual who has “made a truly outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Australia’s live performance culture and shaped the future of the industry for the better.
Stephen Page celebrates his 25th anniversary as the Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre this year. His works have redefined contemporary dance in Australia. Recently he premiered Nyapanyapa, his 23rd work for Bangarra, inspired by the paintings of Nyapanyapa Yunupingu. Offstage, he is a mentor and champion for Aboriginal and Torrest Strait Islander artists and youth.
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 this his 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.”
Stephen Page said: “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 sacred 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.”
Previous recipients of the Award include Paul Kelly, Kylie Minogue OBE, Dr Jimmy Little AO, John Bell AO OBE, and Barry Humphries AO CBE.
The Award will be presented to at the 2016 Helpmann Awards Ceremony on Monday 25 July at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. It will be broadcast live on Foxtel Arts and webcast free via www.foxtelarts.com.au. Tickets for the Awards are available at www.ticketmaster.com.au.