Stephen Page’s Baleen Moondjan | Adelaide Festival 2024
The 2024 Adelaide Festival opens with the world premiere of Baleen Moondjan, a contemporary ceremony from creative visionary Stephen Page in his first major commission since leaving Bangarra Dance Theatre.
Inspired by a story from Stephen’s grandmother from the Ngugi/Nunukul/Moondjan people of Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), Baleen Moondjan celebrates First Nations’ relationships between baleen whales and communities’ totemic systems. The signature elements that have defined Stephen Page’s career are all present in this work with dramatic storytelling, striking choreography and haunting live music integrated into a stunningly designed world from Jacob Nash.
Set amongst giant whale bones on the sandy shores of Glenelg, Baleen Moondjan tells the story of a proud Elder, a curious granddaughter and the day a baleen whale comes close to shore. The whale is there to catch Granny Gindara’s spirit and carry it out to sea – a farewell, a celebration, a poignant start to a final journey. Baleen Moondjan recognises the intertwining relationships between all living creatures and our connection to earth, sky and sea.