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| BNE July/August 2016





Stephen Page celebrates 25 years as artistic director of

Bangarra Dance Theatre with his latest work for

Our land

people stories

but he’s quick to pass the compliments to the

three other emerging choreographers whose work is also

part of the triple bill program. Jasmin Sheppard, Beau Dean

Riley Smith and (QUT graduate) Daniel Riley have all been

dancers with the company before turning their talents to

creating works of their own.

“They are the next generation of cultural leaders who

have been nurtured right here in our own backyard. It’s the

dancers who inspire our stories, and it’s their heritage, their

experience, their families and where they come from that

permeate our productions,” says Page.

Our land people


showcases three original works inspired by art,

history and family stories at Playhouse QPAC, 12-20 August.

Tickets from $59 plus fees. See

Emma Louise is back


ans of Triple J will already know about Emma Louise’s latest

album. She let the name slip on air several months before its

release date and sang songs during her appearance at the Groovin

the Moo tour where she was glad to be back on stage after a short



, only her second full-length album, is officially available

at last and it’s a welcome return for the Cairns-born singer who turns 25

in July. But it’s the album that may not have been made.

She admits that making her first album was hard to do and, although

it received plaudits at home and abroad, when that work ended so did

her relationship. “I’m a sensitive person and it all became too much for

me. I needed that break” she says. For two years she went travelling and

exploring, “learning about life”, she says, and healing.

She drove a van around New Zealand staying in holiday parks

and buying fresh food from the side of the road; she holed up in a

cabin in Japan, discovered on Airbnb, where she was snowed in and

saw no one; she went to the US, Canada and Mexico. But she didn’t

leave music behind altogether. Eventually she found her way to

producer Pascal Gabriel in Provence, France, an introduction given

to her before she left and with no concrete plan to record. There, in

a castle (really), she found her love of music again – for nothing but

the pleasure of playing – and finally a new album was born.

The songs are true to her feelings, not only about the break-up,

but it’s easy to see where ‘Talk Baby Talk’, ‘Everything Will Be Fine’

and ‘Shut The Door’ are coming from; then there’s ‘Grace’, written

for the friend from school who has been there for her in tough times.


is not only testament to Emma Louise’s creativity as a

singer-songwriter. She also did the artwork for the album cover,

influenced by one of her own favourite artists, Ben Quilty.


is on sale from 15 July and Emma Louise will be at

Splendour in the Grass at North Byron Parklands 22-24 July.

Yolanda Lowatta in Our land people stories.

Photography by Edward Mulvihill