It is difficult not to be impressed by the sight of Set Designer Jacob Nash’s gigantic whale bones rising out of the sands of Adelaide’s Glenelg (Pathawilyangga) Beach on Kaurna Country.

Thirty-six of them, some more than 6m high, are lined up to resemble the fronds of a whale’s baleen plate, or the contours of a whale’s silhouette with its tail leading the eye down to the water’s edge.

This breathtaking sight, superbly lit by Damien Cooper, is the backdrop to Stephen Page’s Baleen Moondjan – his first work since leaving Bangarra Dance Theatre and co-written with Alana Valentine.

Baleen Moondjan at the 2024 Adelaide Festival. Photo © SA-UAVs

As Page told Limelight late last year, Baleen Moondjan draws on the yarning he inherited from his Nunukul/Nughi mother, with its creation stories depicting baleen whales.

This strikes a nice balance with Page’s Wudjang: Not the Past in 2022, which told the story of his father’s Country, the Yugambeh Nation of southeast Queensland, and represented a significant step in creating what he described as “narrative dance theatre and contemporary ceremony”.

This description also applies to Baleen Moondjan, although the transitions here between Steve Francis’s dance...