Aboriginal Dance Programme Celebrates Centenary
A hands-on indigenous programme and the second visit of an Aboriginal male dance group to the Preparatory School will culminate in a memorable performance to mark the Christ Church Centenary.
Over the past few weeks the WA-based Wadumbah Dance Group, have been running indigenous dance arts workshops and performances in Years 3 to 5 Cultural Studies classes.
In 2009, the group provided a one-day performance and workshops in the lead up to the National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week at the School. Cultural Studies teacher Angela Perry wanted to build on the successes of their first visit.
Ms Perry said: “I wanted to include a number of intensive workshops that will culminate in a collaborative performance by our students with Wadumbah that celebrates our Centenary. Wadumbah and the students will design the performance piece and this will acknowledge the elements of water, land and spirit.”
This term’s programme, which includes Noongar dances, vocabulary, traditional storytelling and didgeridoo playing, would give students a vital insight into Australian culture and history, she said.
“Wadumbah has achieved the status of being one of the premier indigenous dance groups in Australia and they have performed in concerts and presentations for over 12 years nationally and internationally. Their purpose is to keep the spirit of Aboriginal culture alive, to enhance the price of Aboriginal people, to educate people from all walks of life and to bridge the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people,” she said.
Wadumbah Dance Group member James T Webb said: “We are one of the oldest living cultures on earth – over 60,000 years old – that’s before the pyramids. The Nyoongar territory of my people is almost the size of the country of Germany. We need to tell Australians about the magical history of our country and take that message to the world.”
The Wadumbah Dance Group artist-in-residence grant was funded by the Parents’ Association.