What are the majors up to during Reconciliation Week?

Some of the major performing arts companies are running special events to celebrate Reconciliation Week at the end of May.

What are the majors up to during Reconciliation Week?


For the first time, Bangarra is taking part in Destination NSW’s Vivid Sydney with a light installation on the Vivid Light Walk celebrating one of the earliest ‘collaborations’ between the original custodians of the land and the new settlers.

Bangarra’s video of The spirit of Patyegarang will be projected on the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

It commemorates a young Eora girl, Patyegarang, who befriended First Fleet astronomer, Lieutenant William Dawes, when he was observing the skies from the promontory that now bears his name.

This Bangarra/Vivid event will inspire visitors, residents and new audiences with the sensations and emotions of ‘first contact’ during Reconciliation Week.

Part of Belvoir’s National Reconciliation Week 2014 activities will be the announcement of the 2014 Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award.

Now in its third year, the $20,000 award includes a $12,500 commission for a new play and a cash prize of $7,500.

Applications are open nationally to writers of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. They are assessed by a panel of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists.

Last year the award was won by Larrakia/Bardi/Wardaman/Yanuwa writer and performer Jada Alberts, whose playBrothers Wreck opens at Belvoir on 28 May, directed by Leah Purcell.

She joins previous winner Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander writer, Nakkiah Lui, whose playThis Heaven was programmed as part of Belvoir’s 2013 season.

Members of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and choir are participating in Reconciliation Australia’s competition called Sing Out Loud, themed Walk the Talk.

In a new partnership with the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, the orchestra is working with NCIE staff member Bonnie Riley to accompany her in a song to submit to the competition.

Bonnie Riley is a singer and a current contender in 2014 X Factor.

She and the Brandenburg performers have been rehearsing at NCIE and will perform for staff, family, friends, board and partners at the NCIE Reconciliation Week BBQ on Tuesday 27 May.

NCIE will record the performance and send it in to the competition.

Part of the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s next national subscription tour takes place during Reconciliation Week with four concerts in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

The tour, entitled Timeline, is presented in partnership with Vivid LIVE and spans over 42,000 years of music.

Australian Indigenous music is the first music recognised in the concert featuring a recently-recorded sample of Mark Atkins improvising on the didgeridoo.

Mark, a descendant of Western Australia’s Yamitji people, as well as of Irish/Australian heritage, is known not only for his masterly playing, but also as a storyteller, composer, percussionist, visual artist and instrument maker.

The ACO last worked with him during its tour of The Reef.

While not strictly coinciding with Reconciliation Week, The Australian Ballet has just completed its regular Young Aboriginal Women’s Program.

The program was developed in 2012 by The Australian Ballet and the Wannik Dance Academy at Mooroopna Secondary College in regional Victoria.

By collaborating with The Australian Ballet, the program further engages students in in-depth cultural and professional learning and performance and provides the young women with a positive environment that highlights self-worth, the necessity to engage in a positive education experience to lead to further studies and future employment.

I you’d like further information of what the MPAs are doing in the area of Indigenous activities go to:http://www.ampag.com.au/page/indigenous-activities-across-artform-artists-audiences-and-employment