In 2022, Australia’s leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, will tour two award-winning contemporary programs to audiences across Australia from June to September, in a rare opportunity to see some of their most engaging and important works re-staged. 

Following the extraordinary success of its world premiere season, SandSong: Stories from the Great Sandy Desertwill return to Sydney, completing a season cut short this year due to COVID restrictions, before touring to Bendigo and Melbourne. The company will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of iconic work Terrain with a special tour to Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane. 

Terrain was the remarkable first full-length commission choreographed by Bangarra’s Associate Artistic Director, Frances Rings. After its acclaimed world premiere season, it went on to win two Helpmann Awards including Best Ballet/Dance Work, and was also selected as a text for the HSC Dance curriculum as a defining piece of Australian choreography. 

Terrain explores the timeless wonder of Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre) in South Australia, Australia’s largest salt lake and one of the few untouched natural waterways in the world. Created in consultation with Arabunna Elder, Reginald Dodd, it explores the fundamental connection between people and land – how our land looks after us, how we connect with its spirit, and how we regard its future.

A breathtaking nine-part performance, Terrain is an homage to Country, inspired by the power of natural forces and the vulnerability of ecosystems within a landscape that has existed across millennia. As the power of body and land converge, spirit and place meet to connect us with our ancestral past, and empower and inform our contemporary lives. 

Bangarra Associate Artistic Director, Frances Rings, said: “I am excited and thrilled to return a new season of Terrain to our audiences. The inspiration for Terrain is as enduring today as it was when it was created 10 years ago. I look forward to staging Terrain on a new generation of young artists and share the rich Cultural and geographical wonder that is Kati Thanda.” 

Terrain showcases outstanding Australian creative talent, featuring David Page’s irrepressible score. The textures of Kati Thanda take shape in Jacob Nash’s sets, Jennifer Irwin’s costumes and lighting by Karen Norris, with Cultural Consultant, Arabunna Elder Reginald Dodd, sharing with Bangarra his role and responsibility in caring for the land, waters and precious cultural resources of the region.

Sydney Opera House – 9th June – 25th June 2022
Canberra Theatre Centre – 28th July – 30th July 2022
Queensland Performing Arts Centre – 4th August – 13th August 2022 

Following sold-out seasons in Brisbane and Canberra, Bangarra will also bring the profound and deeply powerful production of SandSong: Stories from the Great Sandy Desert back to Australian audiences in 2022. 

Created by Bangarra Dance Theatre in consultation with Wangkatjuna/Walmajarri Elders from the Kimberley and Great Sandy Desert regions, SandSong has been choreographed by Bangarra Artistic Director, Stephen Page, a descendant of the Nunukul people and Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh Nation, and Bangarra Associate Artistic Director, Frances Rings, a descendant of the Kokatha Tribe from the West Coast of South Australia. 

Under the vast Kimberley sky, the red pindan dust stretches across the desert homelands of the Walmajarri, where the ancient knowledge of People and of Country is preserved through Songlines that have endured for hundreds of generations. 

SandSong tells the unique story of this Place and the survival of its People, where between the 1920s and 1960s, Aboriginal people were removed off their Country and forced into hard labour for no wages and minimal rations. Despite this displacement and cultural disruption, the people of the Western Desert have maintained unbroken connection to their Land, keeping stories and kinship strong. 

This is also the Country of Wangkatjuna woman Ningali Josie Lawford-Wolf (1967-2019), an acclaimed performer and an important cultural consultant and artistic collaborator of Bangarra, whose spirit, stories and artistic contributions have inspired a number of the company’s works, and enriched the broader arts landscape. SandSong honours the legacy of Ningali, and her family – past, present and future. 

Bangarra Artistic Director, Stephen Page, and Associate Artistic Director, Frances Rings, said“SandSong is a glimpse into the world of the Walmajarri people from the Great Sandy Desert and their inspirational story of survival as they overcome adversity to defend their land, identity and Cultural rights.” 

Shared through a dance theatre language that is truly unique in the world, and performed by Bangarra’s internationally-acclaimed dance ensemble, SandSong is a journey into ancient story systems framed against the backdrop of ever-changing government policy, and of the survival of people determined to hold strong to their Culture.

Sydney Opera House – 30th June – 23rd July
Arts Centre Melbourne – 24th August – 3rd September
Bendigo Venues & Events – 9th and 10th September 

Tickets for Terrain and SandSong: Stories from the Great Sandy Desert are available from

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