- This article is about the Australian dancer and choreographer; for the Canadian musician, see Steven Page.
He studied dance at the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA), he graduated in 1983 and then danced with the Sydney Dance Company, in 1991 he choreographed Mooggrah for the Sydney Dance Company and Trackers of Oxyrhyncus for the Sydney Theatre Company and a sextet for Opera Australia's Marriage of Figaro. During this time he also toured with the NAISDA associated "Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre".
Stephen danced with the Sydney Dance Company until 1991 when he was appointed Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre. With his works, Praying Mantis Dreaming, Ninni, and Ochres, Stephen established milestones for Australian dance. In 1996, Stephen made his creative debut with The Australian Ballet, choreographing Alchemy. The following year, he brought The Australian Ballet and Bangarra together in Rites, to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. The following year Stephen choreographed Fish for Bangarra, with its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Stephen choreographed the flag handover ceremony for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and co-directed segments of the ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. He also created the ceremony that opened the Olympic Arts Festival. Stephen also choreographed Skin, which premiered at the festival and won the coveted Helpmann Award for Best New Australian Work and Best Dance Work. Stephen’s triple bill Corroboree toured internationally, in a sell-out tour of the US with appearances at BAM in New York and Washington’s Kennedy Centre. This work earned Stephen the Helpmann Award for Best Choreography. The following year, Stephen was honoured with the Matilda Award for his contribution to the arts in Queensland and choreographed Totem for The Australian Ballet’s principal dancer, Stephen Heathcote. 2002 also saw the World Premiere of Bangarra’s double bill, Walkabout which Stephen co-choreographed with Frances Rings.
Stephen and Frances Rings later co-choreographed Bush for Bangarra that sold out on its Australian tour as well as its 2004 tour to the United States. Also in 2004 Bangarra returned to the Sydney Opera House with another sell-out production co-choreographed by Stephen and Frances, Clan. The following year Stephen choreographed Boomerang for a sell-out Australian tour.
As Artistic Director of the 2004 Adelaide Festival of the Arts, Stephen was praised for reinvigorating the event with an impressive and highly successful world-class program. Stephen’s film and theatre credits include the contemporary operatic film Black River, numerous music video clips and most recently directing his own brother David Page in the highly acclaimed one-man show Page 8 which toured the UK.
In 2006 Stephen and The Australian Ballet created Gathering, a double bill consisting of a reworked Rites and Amalgamate. Also in 2006, Queensland Art Gallery director asked Stephen to create a new dance work for the opening of the Gallery of Modern Art. Stephen, along with his son and nephews, created Kin, a special project that opened Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.
In 2007 Stephen directed a spectacular traditional smoking ceremony in honour of the historic celebration marking the 75th anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Later in the year, during Bangarra’s True Stories season, Stephen directed Victorian Opera’s Orphee and Eurydice in Melbourne and presented another sell-out season of Kin at the Malthouse Theatre.
In 2008 Stephen was named NSW Australian of the Year, receiving the award from Deputy Premier John Watkins in a ceremony at the Art Gallery of NSW.
In 2008 Stephen created for Bangarra a new, full-length work Mathinna (Best Dance Work and Best Choreography, 2009 Helpmann Awards). Stephen then took Rites with The Australian Ballet to London and Paris, and Bangarra’s Awakenings to Washington, New York and Ottawa. Later in 2008 Stephen set off for Broome, WA as Choreographer on the film adaptation of Bran Nue Dae.
In 2009, after returning from a highly successful tour of True Stories to Germany, Hungary and Austria, Stephen and the dancers spent 10 days in Arnhem Land on a cultural exchange. Stephen celebrated Bangarra’s 20th Anniversary with Fire – A Retrospective (Winner, Outstanding Performance by a Company, 2010 Australian Dance Awards).
In 2011, Stephen was honoured with the Services to Dance award at the Australian Dance Awards and received a Helpmann Awards for Best Choreography for Fire, Bangarra’s 20-year Retrospective work. Bangarra received a further two Helpmann Awards - Best Ballet/Dance Work for Fire and Best Regional Touring Production for True Stories.
- Sydney Dance Company
- Mooggrah (1991)
- Sydney Theatre Company
- 'Trackers of Oxyrhyncus
- a sextet for Opera Australia's Marriage of Figaro
- Bangarra Dance Theatre
- Praying Mantis Dreaming (1992), Bangarra's first full length work.
- Ochres (1994),
- Fish (1997)
- Skin (2000) won Stephen and Bangarra the Helpmann Award for Best New Australian Work and Best Dance Work
- Corroboree (2001), for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival,
- Walkabout (2002) co-choreographed with Frances Rings
- Bush (2003)
- Clan (2004) co-choreographed with Frances Rings.
- Boomerang (2005)
- Australian Ballet
- Alchemy (1996)
- Rites (1997) (with Bangarra Dance Theatre)
- Totem (2002) a solo for Steven Heathcote
- Gathering (2006), remounted Rites with a new work, Amalgamate collaborative work with Bangarra
- with other works for the
- Mason, James (2011). Churchie: The Centenary Register. Brisbane, Australia: The Anglican Church Grammar School. ISBN 978-0-646-55807-3.
|Director of the Adelaide Festival of Arts