2017 Malandarri Festival
16 – 17 June, Borroloola Showgrounds
2017 saw five local dance groups perform at Malandarri Festival. Continuing on from last year’s practice, each clan group and their Elders supported one another with singing and dancing. The first day was opened by the Mara clan who led a parade with Borroloola school students. This was to pay respects to Elders who had passed away from Gurdanji and Mara clans, and were key participants of the festival in previous years.
For this years festival, Elders had also invited a Bollywood Indian dance group to attend, reflecting the community’s desire to continue to collaborate with different cultural groups. ITDP Program Coordinator Fipe Preuss also shared her cultural dance practice, spending time with Borroloola School running movement workshops that focused on Polynesian storytelling. Fipe performed several forms of Polynesian dance including Hawaiian, Tahitian and Pasifika Fire dancing during the festival.
This year saw three bands perform as part of the programming. Malandarri Band, The Sandridge Band and High Tide Band presented a celebration in dance for everyone at the end of the festival, ensuring the focus of the festival: traditional dance, was not compromised.
2016 Malandarri Festival
21 and 22 October, Borroloola Showgrounds
DanceSite returned to Borroloola with a new name! Now known as Malandarri Festival, this special community-based event celebrated both traditional and contemporary arts and cultural practices from the four clan groups living in Borroloola – the Yanyuwa, Garrwa, Gurdanji and Mara people.
Malandarri Festival is the product of a four year relationship established by Artback NT with the community of Borroloola. By building capacity and handing over as many skills as possible to the local community, the ITDP partnership ensures the Festival’s sustainability as the key arts and cultural event for Borroloola and the region.
This year’s festival featured music from the Malandarri Band who performed for the first time in 20 years, along with EllaRay, and The Sandridge Band. Traditional dance groups included Wandangula, Blind Mermaid Dancers, Ngardji Dancers, Yellow Kokowam (Murray Island), and Djuki Mala.
2015 DanceSite Festival
18 and 19 September, Borroloola Showgrounds
This year’s DanceSite Festival saw the event consist of two full nights of traditional dance programming. Each local dance group performed over both nights, as well as visiting dance groups from Kununurra, WA and Ngukurr, NT – both performing at DanceSite for the first time. In addition, Artback NT presented The Kailani Dancers as the headline act, hailing from the small Pacific nation of Kiribati, who have also seen their traditional dance and cultural practices become critically endangered. Their performance wowed and invigorated the crowd, many of whom had never seen Pacific traditional dance performed live.
2014 DanceSite Festival
19 July, Borroloola Showgrounds
Over 100 traditional Indigenous performers from across the Gulf Region took part in this year’s festival, in front of an audience of over 1000 people. There were many very successful layers to this event; along with the solid foundation that was developed over the previous 15 months of delivering the program, DanceSite was able to engage with new community members and provide employment opportunities for over 120 local Borroloola residents. Performers included dancers from the four clan groups: Mara, Gurdanji, Ngardiji and Wandangula, along with visiting groups, the Red Flag Dancers and Sabai (Murray Island).
2013 DanceSite Festival
15 June, Borroloola Showgrounds
This year’s headline act for DanceSite was Djuki Mala (the Chooky Dancers) from Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island). In addition to performing, Djuki Mala also delivered a series of workshops at the Borroloola School. As a successful NT based dance group, the dancers acted as great role models to the children and young men, showing there can be the collaboration of both traditional and contemporary dance into a performance.
Five local dance groups performed, including a group from Robinson River, as well as a range of local and interstate dance groups. These included the Mornington Island Dancers from Queensland, as well as Ti Tree and Ali Curung from throughout the NT.
Malandarri Festival Director and Cultural Events Officer
Waralungku Art Centre
Robinson Road, Borroloola NT 0854