DanceSite Tennant Creek

2010 – DanceSite Tennant Creek 

Saturday 4th September 2010

In 2010, DanceSite moved to Tennant Creek! Artback NT presented DanceSite 2010 at the Tennant Creek Desert Harmony Festival to a mostly Indigenous audience of more than 2500 people. Local community partnerships were created with Barkly Regional Arts, Barkly Shire Council, Council of Respected Elders, Julalikari Council, Nyinkka Nyunyu Cultural Centre and Central Land Council to facilitate the event, with over 120 performers from the region participating, including:

Special guests from Numbulwar, the Red Flag Dancers who have performed nationally and internationally, headlined a spectacular showcase of Indigenous dance from the Barkly and Central Desert regions. This year, more than 120 dancers representing 10 different language groups, remote communities and art centres showcased their culture including:

  • Warumungu Karrti Dancers – Tennant Creek, NT
  • Munga Munga Dancers – Tennant Creek, NT
  • Simpson Desert Dancers – Alice Springs, NT
  • Warabri Dancers – Ali Curung, NT
  • Jarra Jarra Dancers – Ali Curung, NT
  • Mara, Yanyula, Garawa Dancers – Borraloola, NT
  • Ghenoa Gela – Torres Strait Islands, QLD
  • Red Flag Dancers – Numbulwar, NT

Traditional owners, Rose Graham and Judy Nixon welcomed everyone to country, supported by Phyllis Ricky from Julalikari Council of Elders and Respected Persons.

Throughout the DanceSite 2010 performances audience participation was unlike any other event; there was hooting and hollering from all sides and, as the emcee worked the crowd, they gathered forces for a grand dance finale. Encouraged by the Red Flag Dancers, hundreds of people from all different language groups got up on the sand to share the Numbulwar dance.

2011 – DanceSite ‘Wurrpujintta Anyul Warlunjanjjiki – Coming Together to Dance’, Tennant Creek 

Saturday 3rd September 2011

DanceSite 2011 was staged at the Purkiss Reserve presenting over 200 traditional Indigenous performers from the NT (an increase of almost 100% on top of last year) to an audience of over 1,200 people The DanceSite event has two primary key objectives:

1.       to showcase traditional Indigenous dance to a mainstream audience in order to foster broader understanding of Indigenous cultural values and spirituality, and

2.       to provide a platform for local Indigenous knowledge keepers to meet, exchange and maintain their cultural practices as well as gaining professional development experience as paid performers.

2011 performers were:

  • Warumungu Dancers – Tennant Creek, NT
  • Munga Munga and Milyiwayi Dancers – Tennant Creek, NT
  • Miyilwayi Dancers – Manu Wangku (Muckaty), NT
  • Jarra Jarra Dancers – Ali Curung, NT
  • Nturiya Dancers – Ti-Tree, NT
  • Papunya Tjupi Dancers – Papunya, NT
  • Southern Ngalia Dancers – Yuendumu and Nyrripi, NT
  • Mirndiyan Dancers – Mornington Island, QLD
  • Mabunji Dancers – Borroloola, NT
  • Red Flag dancers – Numbulwar, NT

2012 – DanceSite – ‘Wurrpujintta Anyul Warlunjanjjiki – Coming Together to Dance’, Tennant Creek 

DanceSite 2012 was staged at Nyinkka Nyunyu Culture Centre on Saturday 1 September, presenting over 100 traditional Indigenous performers from the NT to an audience of over 600 people.

The focus for Warumungu as hosts was on preparing a special public cultural re-opening of sacred ground that had been closed for five years due to sorry business. The decisions the committee made for 2012 resulted in a change of venue, total cultural ownership of the event and a much more ceremonial and intimate performance than in previous years. Without funding to support the extreme travel costs of engaging more remote community dance groups, a much more locally focused production was anticipated for DanceSite 2012.

DanceSite 2012—Waurrpurjintta Anyul Warlunjantjikki was a very successful event and an appropriate finale to the three year engagement program with the Barkly Region. DanceSite, renamed Wurpurjintta Anyul Warlunjanjikki (We Are All Coming Together To Dance) by the local Warumungu hosts, showcased over one hundred performers in eight different dance groups, from five different language groups at the Nyinkka Nyunyu Culture Centre as a major event in the Desert Harmony Festival. Two Warumungu Cultural Support Officers (CSO’s) were
recruited for the day-to-day organising of the overall event, the venue, consultation with the local DanceSite stakeholder committee on cultural issues relevant to hosting the event and facilitating any auspice or action required from the general community.


  • Warumungu Kartti Dancers – Tennant Creek (Patta), NT
  • Warabri Dancers – Alekerenge (Ali Curung), NT
  • Milyiwayi Dancers – Manu Wangka (near Muckaty), NT
  • Jarra Jarra Dancers – Alekerenge (Ali Curung), NT
  • Papunya Tjupi Dancers – Papunya, NT
  • Garrawa Dancers – Robinson River (Garrawa), NT

Artback NT’s partners for DanceSite—Waurrpurjintta Anyul Warlunjantjikki were Barkly Regional Arts, Nyinkka Nyunyu and Desert Harmony Festival. Financial support was provided by the NT Government and the Aboriginals Benefit Account.

DanceSite 2012 marked the final year of the Indigenous Traditional Dance Program in Tennant Creek. 2013 was the third year of engagement for the Barkly Region. Following an exit strategy laid out in initial project consultation meetings with the stakeholder committee, Artback NT provided mentorship to the production and artistic staff, as well as to the financial and creative stakeholders in the event. However, in this final year, the local hosting group and committee were given full responsibility for the event.

2012 also marked the beginning of a new three-year phase of the program, with Borroloola entering negotiations to engage ITDP for the next three years.