CULTURE, feature -

Indigenous culture to shine at Games


As the South Korean sun begins to set on the Winter Olympics, the Gold Coast in Queensland is counting down to the start of the Commonwealth Games in April — and Indigenous dance performances are set to feature in celebrations to coincide with the event.

Festival 2018 Gold Coast will include thousands of free music, theatre, circus, dance and visual arts performances along 70km of coast and will run from April 4-15.

In Surfers Paradise there will be 12 main stage events and large installations and performances on the beach.

Another festival site will operate at Broadbeach (Surf Parade) where there will be a music stage and a stage dedicated to circus and dance. Broadbeach (Kurrawa Park) will be transformed into an art playground.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island highlights of the festival are set to include:

Intertwined. Pic: Carly K.

INTERTWINED: a contemporary fashion performance by designer, artist and fashion curator Grace Lillian Lee. Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach. April 14-15, 6pm. Featuring 20 Indigenous fashion models, Intertwined will combine dance, music, art and textiles in a celebration of Torres Strait and Aboriginal culture. It has been created in partnership with Yugambeh Traditional Owners and is a free event.

GAURII: music theatre by the Wagana Dancers. Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach. April 5-8, 2.30-3pm. Aboriginal creation stories will come to life in a mix of dance, music, puppetry and text. Children will have the chance to learn dances, experiences ochres and play with puppets.

OUR CORKA BUBS: dance by Gina Rings. Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach. April 9-11, 9am to 10.30am. For children under two years. The first Aboriginal contemporary dance work for babies under two years and their carers. Combines storytelling with movement and music.

SAND SONG: dance by Walbira Murray and Insite Arts. Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach. April 5-8, 6-7pm, workshops 5-6pm. An ancient Dreaming story comes to life through a mix of dance, song and traditional artefacts. The dance tells the story of how the sun came to be.

MURA BUAI (EVERYONE, EVERYONE): dance by Ghenoa Gela and Force Majeure

Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach. April 9-11, 4-5.30pm. An exploration of strength, identity and Torres Strait Islander culture. A new work infused with a sense of the past.

MODERN DREAMING: dance by Thomas ES Kelly. Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach. April 9-11, 12.30-1.30pm. A new dance work exploring the great Australian dream and what it really means. Thomas ES Kelly presents a mash-up of traditional and contemporary styles to ask: how do we walk towards a modern dreaming for everyone?

EXCELSIOR: dance by eXcelsior. Roundabout Stage, Broadbeach. April 10. Various times. A blend of ancient and modern dance. eXcelsior has also performed at the Sydney Opera House and festivals across Australia.

For full program details click here.

There will also be satellite festivals in Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane.

In Cairns, watch for the tribute to acclaimed Torres Strait singer-songwriter Seaman Dan. Musicians including Archie Roach, Christine Anu and Mau Power will sing from the Seaman Dan songbook.

‘A Lifetime in the Making: Songs and Stories of Seaman Dan’ is a free event and will run from 6-10pm on the Cairns Esplanade.

Roach will again perform during the Brisbane Festival.

In Brisbane, also check out ‘Skylore: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Astronomy’ at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.

At ‘Stories in the Stars in the Cosmic Skydome’, teenagers Erica and Daniel, two Aboriginal city-slickers travel home to country and hear stories about the constellations and how they relate to culture.

Bookings are recommended.

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