Bangarra will perform for an audience of prominent government and business leaders as part of the second annual Australia Week in China, helping to strengthen trade and diplomatic ties between the two nations.
It is one of the largest trade missions to leave Australia, with over 1,000 delegates from corporate Australia taking part in more than 140 events across 12 cities. Its aim is to highlight cooperation in trade, investment, education and tourism, underpinned by the rise of an affluent middle class and the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).
Bangarra is the only performing arts organisation to take to the stage in Shanghai, with senior dancers Deborah Brown and Waangenga Blanco performing three excerpts of iconic Bangarra repertoire at a gala lunch reception on Thursday 14 April. They will be joined by cultural leader and Yolngu songman Djakapurra Munyarryun, who will perform a traditional cleansing song in Yolngu language and also play the Yidaki (didgeridoo).
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Vice Mayor of Shanghai will attend, along with several Federal Ministers and senior representatives from all states and territories.
This is Bangarra’s fourth visit to China, having first performed there in 1992. The Executive Director of Bangarra, Philippe Magid, said the invitation to perform at this prestigious event illustrates the company’s value as leading cultural ambassadors on the world stage.
'We have a great, collaborative relationship with the Australian Government that has certainly deepened over recent years', Mr Magid said.
'As Australia’s cultural carrier, we are excited to play our part in growing the bilateral cultural and artistic relationship between Australia and China.
'We are recognised by our peers as leaders in cultural practice and creative innovation, and look forward to representing the Australian arts industry as we deepen our connection with China with some exciting new projects in the coming years.'
Bangarra’s Artistic Director Stephen Page said it was a privilege to share Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture on an international platform.
'Bangarra has always been a passionate champion of Australian arts and stories, and we’re proud to have been personally invited by the Australian Government to share our unique cultural language and style of storytelling for this important event,' said Mr Page.