'Fish continues the story of the earth and the power of the elements, that began with Ochres, taking the journey to the vast bodies of water. As disparate, as diverse, as Aboriginal identity itself, Fish celebrates the seas, the rivers, the swamps, and the wealth of life and mystery they contain.'
The swamps and the mangroves are still waters, deep, murky and mystical, a site of great sacredness and spirituality. Drawing on stories and traditions from Dhalimbouy, Swamp imagines the great swathes of life in the silent depths, fish as unborn souls – fearful of pain, ready for birth, awaiting their moment in the sun.'
Traps juxtaposes Western ways with the ancient, challenging the notion of hooking and gutting with the slow lure and catch of old. Inspired by the craft and the intricate workmanship of the grand fishing traps from Ramingining, this most contemporary of ballets traces the fishing cycle – the drawing of fish from the water, to the restoration of remains to the earth. Stark consequences flow from disruption to such a cycle, to tradition born in the time of the Dreaming. Without the ritual of return the soul is lost in time and place, grasping after stolen memories, no way of getting home.'
Inspired by the Torres Strait, the vibrant blues, the rich purples, the deep dramatic greens of Reef evoke the clash and contrast of culture and colour found at the water’s edge. The salt in the air and the strength in the waves, the breath of the wind and the beat of the earth merge into one majestic whole. The exhilaration and energy of life and love are blended in a rich simplicity, as Australia’s two Indigenous people celebrate the windswept tenderness of the reef.'
First performed 17-27 September 1997 at The Queensland Performing Arts Trust, Suncorp Theatre
Toured internationally 1997 Scotland.
Toured nationally 1998 New south Wales - Enmore and Parramatta. Victoria - Melbourne, Geelong, Warragul. Queensland - Brisbane. South Australia - Adelaide. Canberra.
Choreography: Stephen Page
Music: David Page
Cultural Design: Djakapurra Munyarryun
Set Design: Peter England
Costume Design: Jennifer Irwin
Lighting Design: Mark Howett