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Patyegarang at Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA

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by Roxy Callaghan (subscribe)
I'm studying journalism at university and I love food, theatre and film.
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Patyegarang is a young Aboriginal woman who became friends with and shared her language with Lieutenant William Dawes of the colonial fleet when they arrived late in the 18th century.

Bangarra Dance, Patyegarang, Heath Ledger, First Fleet, William Dawes, Jasmin Sheppard
Bangarra Dancer Jasmin Sheppard and guest artist Thomas Greenfield in Patyegarang, Picture by Greg Barrett

Patyegarang the story is performed by the Bangarra Dance Company which celebrates its twenty-fifth year in 2014.

The historical Lieutenant Dawes, an astronomer, linguist and mathematician, kept a series of notebooks recording this remarkable friendship and these were only re-discovered in 1972.

Using these as a base for retelling the story, the Bangarra Dance Company used the skills of Artistic Director Stephen Page as choreographer melding them with David Page's beautiful and profoundly moving soundscape.

Stephen Page says of the new work, "'Patyegarang is a story that has been lingering in my mind for a long time. This young Aboriginal girl was from the Eora nation, the custodians of the land on which Bangarra has created and performed dance theatre works since 1989. In the year of the company's 25th anniversary, Bangarra honours the Eora, through Patyegarang's story, celebrating the significance of this place and its first peoples."

Jasmin Sheppard will dance the role of Patyegarang joining Thomas Greenfield as Lieutenant William Dawes.

Bangarra Dance Theaatre is Australia's leading Indigenous performing arts organisation and may be seen on this YouTube video here.

Patyegarang will run from Wednesday 30 July to Saturday 2 August - five performances in all - at the Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre of WA.

Tickets range from $35 to $75 and may be bought at the Venue Box office, online at Ticketek, Ticketek Agencies or by calling 1300 795 012.

The Heath Ledger Centre is at State Theatre Centre, 174 - 176 William Street, Perth.
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Why? Bangarra liberates Patyegarang from the library shelves, putting spirit into her heart, as a striking visionary and educator.
When: 2;15pm and 7:15pm
Phone: 1300 795 012
Where: Heath ledger Theatre, 174 William Street, Perth, WA
Cost: $35 to $75
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