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2007 Media Release - Kin

Issued Thursday, November 1 2007


Devised and Directed by Stephen Page
Composition David Page
Set and Costume Design Peter England
Lighting Design Glenn Hughes
Videography Douglas Watkin
Cast Isileli Jarden, Ryan Jarden, Hunter Page-Lochard, Josiah Page, Samson Page, Sean Page,
Curtis Walsh-Jarden

“full of energy and full of heart…their performances are truly deadly.” Australian Stage Online

“made by one family for all families to share…thoroughly captivating.” Aussietheatre

It’s where you’re from.  Where you belong.  Pass it on

Take seven boys aged between ten and fourteen, and let them tell stories, sing songs, and generally riff about what is important to them.  In a work that takes the best of story-telling, dance, and just jamming with your mates, and with a set that features a burnt-out Torana, Kin is both a celebration and thought-provoking performance from a group of young cousins.

Stephen Page, Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre, presents his work of breathtaking energy.  Kin brings together three generations of Page men in a story of family, community and history.  Merging styles of contemporary and traditional Indigenous dance and storytelling with music designed by his brother David Page (Page 8), Kin is a funky, jamming, rock and roll rap through the fears, hopes and interests of seven young Aboriginal boys.  Told through the eyes of Page’s nephews – Isileli, Sean, Ryan, Josiah, Samson, and Curtis, and Page’s own son – Hunter, Kin explores the boys’ urban upbringing – influenced by popular culture and a love of hip-hop and football.

With Kin, Stephen demonstrates his family’s immense talent to tell tales from the heart about family.  In Kin, Page hands the torch to the next generation: in their words, at an age where they are often spoken for but rarely spoken with, Kin is performed entirely by his young relations, whose slim shoulders bare a world of joy and struggle, pain and faith.

As adolescents, the Page boys are starting to form their own beliefs about the world and their places in it as young Aboriginal men.  Their ideas about culture and their understanding of their spirits as Indigenous Australian men are becoming increasingly important.

What results is a revelation as these cousins take a 30minute ride around an old burnt-out car, rocking with bass guitar and drums, rapping with the groove of urban legend, hanging out on stage, laughing, sharing stories, and corroborating with the beats composed by their Uncle David.  In Kin, Stephen Page has focussed the boys’ energies and interests and provided the opportunity to showcase their interests in hip hop and music, giving them an opportunity to express their viewpoint and experience of the world.

One of Kin's seminal moments is when the boys perform a poem written by their great aunt - Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) - who was instrumental in winning the vote for Indigenous people.  A noted poet, educator and political activist, Noonuccal’s poem, ‘Aboriginal Charter of Rights’ (1962) is given a 21st century rewrite as the boys assert their familial pride as they rap their way through its list of claims for equal rights.

Stephen Page descends from the Nunukul, Munaldjali and Yugambeh people of south-east Queensland.  With an international reputation as a leading director and choreographer, he is a former dancer for Sydney Dance Company, and has been the Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre since 1991.  Bangarra’s unique productions merge traditional and contemporary dance, oral traditions and social history, and have been acclaimed on the national and international touring circuits.  Page’s achievements include the Sidney Myer Individual Award as Artistic Director of Adelaide Bank Festival of the Arts in 2004; the Matilda Award for Contribution to the Arts in Queensland in 2002; and two Helpmann Awards (Best Choreography for Corroboree in 2001, and Best New Australian Work and Best Dance Work for Skin in 2000).

Stephen Page’s intention through Kin was to give the boys the confidence to express themselves. This initiation will remain sacred to the cast, and will allow them to celebrate their identity and empower them for the future.  Under Page’s direction, which has harnessed the boy’s enthusiasm without quashing their raw energy and innate joy of telling stories together on stage, Kin is a rocking, hip-hop dance jam, riddled with affecting tales.

Kin is part of Sydney Festival’s About An Hour Mover & Shakers series. 
Kin is suitable for audiences 8 years and over.

Where: The Studio, Sydney Opera House Bennelong Point, East Circular Quay
When: Preview: January 23 at 6.00pm. January 24–25 at 3.30pm & 6.00pm. January 26 at 3.30pm.
Duration: 30mins, no interval
Price: $25
Bookings: Sydney Opera House  02 9250 7777


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