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by Double J
Take 5

Stephen Page's unbroken songs


Stephen Page is a force of nature. As artistic director for Bangarra Dance Theatre, he’s told the stories of Indigenous Australia through movement, for more than thirty years. Bangarra began in the late 80’s, but it was Stephen’s appointment as the first Aboriginal artistic director that shaped what it has become today. And the story of Bangarra is not only one of dance, but of brothers.

Stephen comes from a big family in Meanjin. A descendent of the Nunukul people and the Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh Nation. Two of his brothers came with him to Sydney, to Gadigal Land, and would shape what he did from that moment forth. His younger brother Russell was renowned for his incredible talent, and a body that could express story like no other. Older brother David, was the songman. He composed beautiful scores to every Bangarra production, laced with language and culture, until his death in 2016.

Stephen has a big story, so I was hugely grateful when he joined me to Take 5 and share it. His theme, was unbroken songs. The music that had marked big moments in his life, and continued the stories of him and his culture. From Elvis to Rihanna to his brother’s beautiful compositions, this is a heartfelt conversation about family, storytelling, and passion.

Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock

Warumpi Band – Fitzroy Crossing

David Page – Gift (from Bangarra’s 2003 work “Bush”)

Whitney Houston – Why Does it Hurt So Bad

Rihanna – Love on the Brain



by Double J