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Wednesday, 20 January 2021
The Headland, Barangaroo Reserve
Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC

Bujari gamarruwa






We are privileged to be on Gadigal land, to pay our respects to Elders and ancestors, and, on this headland at Barangaroo, which honours a proud Cammaraygal woman from across the waters, a leader of her people, whose spirit is among us.

This Sydney Festival, Bangarra Dance Theatre brings us “Spirit: A Retrospective 2021.”

The word “spirit” comes from the Latin word “spiritus” meaning “breath”, “inspiration”, “life” or “life force” - meanings that so aptly describe Bangarra.  Indeed, this past year, the essentiality of breath and the preciousness of life have been laid before us, on a daily basis.  

As for inspiration, is there a more beautiful place than here at Barangaroo, where spirit and body are magically brought together in dance that is pure poetry, in stories that become songlines.

Emerging from NAISDA Dance College in 1989, the success of Bangarra - nationally and internationally -  demonstrates the importance of supporting our artists and arts organisations.  It is this support that enables them to create and, in turn, gift back to us a rich and growing culture.

To Bangarra: you bring to us, in the most vibrant of ways, the culture of this unique land, a living culture stretching back 65,000 years into the Dreamtime.  There are few special moments or places in our lives where one comes even close to that infinite yet elastic sense of time and place; where movement mesmerises and our cosmos simultaneously seems to expand, contract and even stand still.   You have given us a rare festival privilege.

Thank you, Bangarra.  Thank you, Stephen Page.  Thank you, Sydney Festival. 

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