CULTURE, feature -

Melbourne festival a celebration of song, film and art

A line-up of Indigenous talent will be on show at this year’s Melbourne Festival.

The festival will open in Federation Square on October 5 with a Tanderrum ceremony bringing together the five clans of the Kulin nation and facilitated by the Ilbijerri Theatre Company.

The five clans — the Wurundjeri, Boon Wurrung, Taungurung, Dja Dja Wurrung and Wadawurrung — will invite people to join them on the land.

Then on October 12 and 13, watch out for a live performance of Clinton Walker’s book, film and album Buried Country, the story of Aboriginal country music.

A cast of singers and songwriters from across Australia will bring the work to life. They will include iconic elders Roger Knox, Auriel Andrew and L.J Hill; Central Desert legend Warren H Williams; and younger artists such as Leah Flanagan, Luke Peacock and James Henry.

The performances will be held at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

On October 6, the story and memories of Nyarri Morgan, a Martu elder from the Western Desert in WA, are depicted in Collisions, a virtual reality film by filmmaker and artist Lynette  Wallworth.

Morgan’s first contact with western culture came in the 1950s when he witnessed an atomic explosion in the South Australian desert.

The film is a virtual reality journey to Morgan’s homelands and will be shown at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Also watch for artist Reko Rennie’s designs on Melbourne’s iconic trams as they trundle about the city during the festival.

Rennie’s tram designs will carry a strong message about Indigenous life in Melbourne.

And Indigenous performer Sarah-Jane Norman, whose work looks at the impact Australia’s colonial history has had on her own body, pairs up with international artist, Algerian-French choreographer Nacera Belaza for Dance Territories at the Dancehouse in Carlton from October 16 to 19.

The Melbourne Festival takes place from October 5 to 23.

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