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ON DISPLAY

Some lads I (Russell Page)
, 1986

by Tracey Moffatt

gelatin silver photograph (frame: 65.1 cm x 62.9 cm depth 1.9 cm, sheet: 42.0 cm x 41.9 cm)

Russell Page (1968–2002), choreographer, dancer and actor, was a man of the Nunukl (Noonuccal) people and the Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh people of south-east Queensland. Page and his eleven siblings grew up in Mount Gravatt, Brisbane. Russell was a brilliant rugby league player, but shifted his focus to dancing, training at the National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association College before touring with the One Extra Dance Company. Co-founder and principal artist of the Bangarra Dance Theatre from 1991, he represented Australia at the 1997 Venice Biennale and appeared in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. Among his screen and television appearances was a role in Bedevil, directed by Tracey Moffatt. His last stage performance was in the Bangarra production Walkabout, directed by his brother, Stephen. Russell Page took his own life at the age of 34, plunging his own large family and the broader Australian arts community into mourning. (Another brother, David, who was Bangarra’s music director, died in 2016.) Stephen Page remains the artistic director of Bangarra.

Tracy Moffatt took this photograph when Russell Page was with the Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre in Sydney. It is part of the series Some Lads, depicting dance students from the company.

Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.
Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 1998
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 1998.11