Australian Dance Theatre

Australian Dance Theatre

The Beginning of Nature – Synopsis


From one of Australia’s most internationally-acclaimed dance companies, The Beginning of Nature is a mesmerising and powerful exploration of nature.


Weaving together live music and astonishingly powerful contemporary dance, The Beginning of Nature is a compelling and ritualistic work from world-renowned Australian Dance Theatre.


Grace and strength combine in this work to create an evocative depiction of the complex symphony of rhythms in nature, that will leave audiences entranced. 


Portrayed by the nine stellar dancers of ADT, this extraordinary work explores life cycles and themes of metamorphosis and transformation within nature.


With live accompaniment by a string quartet and two vocalists, the spell-binding score combines electronica, strings and a libretto sung in Kaurna language, the first language of the Adelaide Plains, home to ADT. ADT has collaborated with Kaurna language and culture consultant, Jack Buckskin, and consulted with senior members of the Kaurna community to develop the libretto for this work. It has been at least 150 years since Kaurna language was last spoken in a day-to-day context in South Australia, but it has seen an active and sustained revival and reclamation by members of the local Kaurna community in South Australia since the early 1990s.


At times fierce and explosive, at other times graceful and meditative, this stunning work will delight and inspire. The Beginning of Nature is a tour-de-force from one of the world’s most formidable companies, and is sure to become another seminal work for Australian Dance Theatre.


The Beginning of Nature is the second work in Stewart’s The Nature Series, which will include a number of connected stage and installation projects that are conceptually linked to ideas that relate to nature in various ways. These works offer the opportunity for us to engage in urgent discourse on humanity’s evolving relationship with nature.



 Australian Dance Theatre


Under the directorship of Garry Stewart, Australian Dance Theatre creates dance that is an intelligent progression of the art form engaging audiences the world over.


Australian Dance Theatre is Australia’s pre-eminent contemporary dance company and the longest running in the country. For over 50 years Australian Dance Theatre has pioneered new work that has contributed to defining dance in this region.


Some of the most laudable names in Australian dance have been part of the company’s evolution. For the past 18 years, under the artistic direction of Garry Stewart, Australian Dance Theatre has engaged in unique collaborations with artists from a wide variety of fields. With the dancers of the company, Garry Stewart has developed a distinctive movement vocabulary that underpins the company’s unique identity.



Garry Stewart – Artistic Director 


Garry Stewart was appointed the Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre in 1999. Since then he has created almost all of the main stage works for the company. These works have toured extensively to some of the most prestigious theatres for contemporary dance in the world including Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, The Joyce Theater in New York and Sadlers Wells in London. Stewart’s recent works have been co-funded and co-produced by a number of leading international theatres.


Stewart has created over 15 original works for ADT. These works have been defined by their ambitious artistic collaborations, rigorous research, a startlingly wide range of concepts and themes, outstanding production values as well as a compelling and singular movement vocabulary.


Stewart was Thinker-in-Residence at Deakin University, Melbourne from 2012–2013 where he worked with the Deakin Motion.Lab, a centre for innovation at the nexus of dance and technology. Throughout 2014 Stewart was the Artist-in- Residence at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) where he created a new work Choreography. He recently initiated a 3-year Australia Research Council study into neurocognition and dance at Australian Dance Theatre. Stewart is currently studying for a Masters in Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales focusing on video installation for gallery environments.


In 2015, Stewart was named the inaugural recipient of the Australia Council Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance and was recently awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study international choreographic centres.