Wardarnji 2021 – an evening of Nyoongar song and dance under the stars


Immerse yourself in one of the world’s oldest and richest cultures at Wardarnji 2021, a spectacular evening of Nyoongar dance, performance and storytelling returning to the Fremantle Arts Center on Saturday, November 13.

After being postponed to 2020 due to COVID, this highly anticipated event will bring together more than 100 dancers performing traditional songs and dances alongside contemporary original works, magnificent puppets, fires that burn until late into the night and a range of markets showcasing the talents of local natives. manufacturers.

Directed by Karla Hart, WA Aboriginal Person of the Year, Wardarnji provides a rare opportunity to experience the diverse dance, song, language and history of 14 different clan groups across the Nyoongar Nation – celebrating this ancient and venerable culture.

According to Karla Hart:

In the land of Nyoongar, we are so empowered by dance and we have many pioneers who have led the way for decades – supporting and encouraging us throughout our cultural journeys, strengthening and claiming what is our birthright. and our lineage.

Wardarnji is a direct representation of it all. It is not only for our indigenous community but for our non-indigenous family who love to come and share with us, who have the same sense of pride and love for culture and dance. It’s a great way to come together, to feel one, because it’s a culture that belongs to the country in which we all live.

Wardarn is the Nyoongar word for the sea and in 2021 will inspire much of what audiences see and experience, including exquisite puppets and a more organic, immersive staging that references our coastal sand dunes.

Merging contemporary dance with live puppets, a highlight of Wardarnji will be sharing the story of Nyoongar of Waarlitj the Eagle, Chiriger the Gray Wren and how the Blue Wren got their colors. The puppets will be made with the help of the community through a series of workshops held at the Fremantle Arts Center hosted by puppeteer Rachel Riggs and artist Nyoongar Nerolie Bynder.

Other highlights include a vibrant contemporary dance piece presented in collaboration with ZAP Circus, the award-winning performance company from Western Australia known for its blend of acrobatics, fire, pyrotechnics and comedy.

Nyoongar artist Mark Howett collaborated with Karla Hart on Wardarnji this year. Winner of several Greenroom and Helpmann Awards, Mark has worked as a lighting designer, video designer, artistic director and production manager on more than five hundred national and international productions.

Nyoongar community leaders Olman Walley and Thierra Clanton will join us as emcees for the evening. Director of Boorloo Aboriginal Cultural Experiences, Olman is an acclaimed artist and storyteller. Thierra is a seasoned environmental scientist and MC who is passionate about sharing Nyoongar’s stories, history and knowledge.

Fremantle Arts Center Director Anna Reece commented:

Indigenous culture is a living, breathing and uplifting force in Walyalup (Fremantle). The Whadjuk people have long danced, sang and transmitted their culture here, observing and following the seasons and listening and respecting the country.

Wardarnji is a generous sharing of this culture, a nationally significant celebration of the world’s oldest culture and language, and we are honored to produce and present it once again here at the Fremantle Arts Center.

We invite you to bring a picnic, browse the market and food stalls showcasing the talents of local Nyoongar manufacturers, artists and small businesses, and immerse yourself in an evening of strong Nyoongar culture performed by over 14 bands. of dance.


Event Info

Location: Fremantle Arts Center
Date: November 13, 2021

For more information click HERE


Corina C. Butler

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