Monday, June 09, 2008

The Dreaming Festival ...

Yesterday a friend and I went up to Woodford to go to the Dreaming Festival. This is an indigenous music/drama/arts festival on the site of the Woodford Music festival that I usually go to each Christmas/New Year period. For some reason I'd always resisted going to the Dreaming Festival (this is its 4th year) but this year I thought I really needed cheering up (!) and decided to go.

And it was just wonderful! I had the best time ... :) Saw some wonderful music, and amazing dancing (not to mention wonderful theatre too).

These are the 'Chooky Dancers' - young Aboriginal guys from an island off Arnhem Land (in the north of Australia), most of whom can barely speak English. A few months ago someone put a video up on YouTube of them doing their own take on Zorba the Greek, and it just took off! Hilarious! They have now been invited to Greece to do it, and who knows where else! This (below) is one of the Youtube videos - of them doing a dance to Superman!

And these are another Aboriginal group of dancers with heaps of children joining in - doing a kangaroo dance!!

Then we went and heard Gurrumul singing. A just incredible Aboriginal singer. Blind from birth, mostly sings in his local language, was once in Yothu Yindi (Aussies will know this Aboriginal band!) and now also in the Saltwater Band (ditto!). He has such a beautiful pure voice ... and again, it was totally wonderful! At one point, for one song, you heard this didgeridoo in the distance, the stage had a dark background, and then these Aboriginal dancers came through the mist and darkness and were dancing on the stage too. It was eerie, mysterious and totally mesmerising!! Unfortunately the photos I took were very dark and don't do it justice at all.

I could go on - about the amazing Maori play set in World War 2 in Italy, the 3 Native American dancers, the campfires set up through the festival grounds where people sat around and talked ... on and on. It was truly a wonderful day, and just what I needed! I am slowly getting used to life without Mieke, though i did again burst into tears yesterday when I told my friend about it. But life goes on (as always!) and I know there are new and wonderful experiences coming to everyone, me included.



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