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Bulnuruwanha - Taking Flight
Image credit: Lucy Guerin

Bulnuruwanha Taking Flight

with Emily Flannery

Term 4

A contemporary Indigenous dance work exploring the Wiradjuri Dreamtime stories of the Magpie, Willy Wagtail, Kookaburra and Cockatoo, choreographed and performed by First Nations dancer Emily Flannery.

In the Centre for Creativity | Sydney Opera House Presents | Schools


Explore the Wiradjuri Dreamtime through dance

Bulnuruwanha is a contemporary Indigenous dance work exploring the Wiradjuri Dreamtime stories of the Magpie, Willy Wagtail, Kookaburra and Cockatoo and their roles in the creation of the land. Developed by recent NAISDA graduate, new Bangarra member, and First Nations choreographer and dancer Emily Flannery, Bulnuruwanha takes students through four different dances inspired by the birds and animals of the NSW Central Coast. Students will learn parts of the choreography and respond with reflections on animals and birds from their own country.

Bulnuruwanha is a DirtyFeet production commissioned by the Sydney Opera House, as part of New Work Now, enabled by The Wolanski Foundation.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

About the Artist...

Emily Flannery

Emily Flannery is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Forbes in the Central West of NSW. Emily began her training at the McDonald College focusing on classical ballet. After graduating, Emily decided to further her studies and her connection to culture at NAISDA Dance College. While at NAISDA Emily was fortunate enough to spend time in both Yolngu and Moa Island communities.

Emily was the recipient of Young Regional Artist Scholarship (YRAS) which enabled her to spend five months at Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel during her final year of study. Since graduating, Emily has performed with Opera Australia, Phunktional Arts and Karul Projects, and collaborated with Cloe Fournier and Yolande Brown. Emily was the recipient of a Dirty Feet Choreographic Lab, which enabled her to begin her choreographic journey.

Emily is an Artist in Residence at PACT Theatre with the Lost All Sorts Collective for 2020. Emily is the recipient of the Joanne Harris Graduate Scholarship for 2020, which will enable her to study with Jasmin Vardimon Company in 2021.

As an emerging Indigenous dancer and choreographer Emily hopes to share her culture and her spirit through movement.

Emily Flannery headshot
Emily Flannery Image: Natalia Cartney

Curriculum Links





Early Stage 1

Stage 1

Stage 2


C think in ways that are imaginative, creative, interpretive and critical

ENe-10C thinks imaginatively and creatively about familiar topics, simple ideas and the basic features of texts when responding to and composing texts

EN1-10C thinks imaginatively and creatively about familiar topics, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts

EN2-10C thinks imaginatively, creatively and interpretively about information, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts



DAES1.3 Responds to and communicates about the dances they view and/or experience

DAS1.3 Gives personal opinions about the dances and their purpose that they view and/or experience

DAS2.3 Gives personal opinions about the use of elements and meaning in their own and others’ dances



GEe-1 identifies places and develops an understanding of the importance of places to people

GE1-1 describes features of places and the connections people have with places

GE2-1 examines features and characteristics of places and environments



MUES1.4 Listens to and responds to music.

MUS1.4 Responds to a range of music, expressing likes and dislikes and the reasons for these choices.

MUS2.4 Identifies the use of musical concepts and musical symbols in a range of repertoire



DRAES1.4 Responds to dramatic experiences.

DRAS1.4 Appreciates dramatic work during the making of their own drama and the drama of others.

DRAS2.4 Responds to, and interprets drama experiences and performances

Venue Information

In line with the NSW Public Health Order, venue capacity is currently limited to 75%. This includes all performances in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Studio, Playhouse, Drama Theatre and Utzon Room. Please note that you may be seated directly alongside other patrons.

Our foyers will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars. Please remember to maintain physical distancing whilst consuming drinks in our foyers.

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice).  
  • The Sydney Opera House Wilson car park is open and available to use. Wilson Parking is currently offering a $10 discounted rate if you book ahead, please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions - Bulnuruwanha

Frequently Asked Questions - Schools

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

Frequently Asked Questions - Venue

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