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Bangarra announces world premiere of Horizon in 2024

Rhiannon Clarke -

Horizon is a groundbreaking production that marks a significant milestone for Bangarra Dance Theatre.

As Australia's leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts company, Bangarra has always been dedicated to showcasing the rich cultural heritage and stories of Indigenous peoples.

With Horizon, they are taking this commitment to a new level by collaborating with renowned Māori choreographer Moss Te Ururangi Patterson and Bangarra alumna Deborah Brown.

The premiere of Horizon at the iconic Sydney Opera House in June is a momentous occasion that highlights the significance and impact of this cross-cultural collaboration.

The Sydney Opera House, known for its architectural beauty and cultural significance, provides the perfect backdrop for this powerful new work.

Audiences can expect a mesmerising and thought-provoking performance that delves into the shared experiences and connections between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Māori communities.

The creative team behind Horizon, Patterson and Brown, bring their unique perspectives and artistic visions to the production.

Patterson, a proud mokopuna of the Ngāti Tūwharetoa tribe, has a wealth of experience in creating compelling dance works that explore Māori culture and identity.

His previous work for Atamira Dance Company has garnered critical acclaim and established him as a leading figure in the Māori dance scene.

Now, as the Chief Executive and Artistic Director at The New Zealand Dance Company, Patterson brings his expertise and passion to Horizon, infusing it with his deep understanding of Māori traditions and storytelling.

Brown, on the other hand, brings her own personal and artistic journey to the production. As a proud descendant of the Wakaid Clan and Meriam people in the Torres Strait, with Scottish heritage, Brown has a unique perspective on the intersection of cultures and the complexities of identity.

Her experience as a Senior Dancer with Bangarra and her previous accolades, such as the Helpmann Award, demonstrate her exceptional talent and ability to captivate audiences with her performances.

In Horizon, Brown will not only showcase her remarkable skills as a dancer but also contribute her insights and knowledge to the creation of a work that pays homage to her ancestral roots.

Horizon is a celebration of the cultural forces that bind Indigenous peoples together, transcending geographical boundaries and spanning generations. Bangarra described it as a testament to the resilience, strength, and spirit of the First Peoples of the Oceania region.

Through dance, music, and storytelling, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Patterson, and Brown will take audiences on a transformative journey that honours the ancestral lands and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait.

Bangarra Dance Theatre's Artistic Director, Frances Rings says she's proud of commissioning their new mainstage work for 2024, featuring three incredible First Nations choreographers.

"Horizon represents a fresh and dynamic new chapter in Bangarra's artistic and cultural Songline by supporting new Indigenous choreographic voices and building relationships with international First Nations artists to share story, song and dance," she said.

"I believe that opportunities like this open us to a broader global First Nations perspective on issues that impact our People and Country, and the responsibility we carry to give a platform to the uniqueness of our stories through contemporary and cultural expressions.

"I'm excited to share this new step in Bangarra's artistic programming with audiences across the Country."

Horizon is the company's first cross-cultural collaboration. For more information and tickets https://www.bangarra.com.au/productions/horizon.

Horizon tour dates:

Gadigal Country, Sydney - 11 June –13 July.

Ngunnawal Country - Canberra Theatre centre - 18 –20 July.

Meanjin, Queensland performing arts centre - 7–17 August.

Wurundjeri Country, Art centre Melbourne - 28 August –7 September.

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