DANCE, feature -

Warlpiri dancers to showcase Australia’s common ground

The Lajamanu Warlpiri people of the Central Desert hope to show Australia through dance that their sacred story and the Australian Coat of Arms have common ground.

The kangaroo, the emu, a shield, the Southern Cross and leafy poles will feature in their biennial dance celebration, the Milpirri Kuridji, on October 15.

The show will draw on themes and values from the Kuridji ceremony and will be based on the Warlpiri “Initiation” ceremony, associated with the transition from child to adult, from “milk learning to meat learning”.

But it will also look at the major symbols found in both the ceremony and the Australian Coat of Arms.

The Lajamanu Warlipiri say they hope by sharing their sacred story, and linking it to elements in the Australian Coat of Arms, Australians will realise they share meaningful symbols.

More than 200 community members will be involved in the dance celebration.

The community of Lajamanu have been holding the biennial event since 2005.

The festival, staged with the Darwin-based Tracks Dance Company, last year won the Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance.

  • Milpirri Kurdiji will be held at the Lajamanu community in the North Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory on October 15. A permit to attend is required. For more information contact the Tracks Dance Company on 08 8941 1410.


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