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the festival 2014
The Merrepen Festival offers a full weekend of activity, so it's worth planning to make a weekend of it in the beautiful Daly.

7pm Saturday 1 June Ngan’giwetimbi Dememarrgu Old Stories New Ways …..

….a cultural performance featuring dance, music and fashion, centred around the traditional stories of the Nauiyu artists of Merrepen Arts and displaying the contemporary and exciting textiles that have created a stir across Australia over the past two years.

This specially devised cultural performance will include some of the community’s Indigenous partners from across the Top End of Australia creating not only beautiful arts and fashion designs but music, dance, and song that reveal the vigour, cultural strength and vitality of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, as it tells Old Stories in New Ways.

You will learn how stories from the Dreaming that are important to the people of Nauiyu have come to be represented and shared in their beautiful art and fabrics.

For this year’s special festival event local fashion designers will be joined by talented young designers from interstate, working with the contemporary musicians and traditional songmen in a magical cultural performance directed by rising fashion star from the Torres Strait, Grace Lillian Lee. Grace worked with Merrepen artists in 2013 when they took audiences at ‘Cairns Indigenous Art Fair Presents’ by storm, and they invited her to work with them in their home community to produce this special performance.


First and foremost traditional dancers; the songs they sing are a part of their traditional values and ceremony. The Dhumbala (cloth/red) although introduced to them through their contact with the Macassans is an intricate thread that weaves together this strong, vibrant, rich tapestry that make up the culture of the Nundhirribala clan.

The song men are sons of song men who have since passed on leaving behind the rights and rituals of the Red Flag. While young in age they carry with them the wealth of knowledge and the honour to sing these songs and perform these dances passed down through generations.

Culturally the Red Flag Dancers perform at ceremonies in Arnhem Land including Groote Eylandt, Numbulwar, Ngukurr, Yurupunga, Gapuwiyak and Yirrkala.

As a dynamic dance group, they have performed at GARMA Festival, DanceSite, Barunga Festival, National Indigenous Music Awards, Darwin Festival and the Long Walk 2011.

Gary Lang NT Dance Company - Mokuy

MOKUY (Spirit) is a series of vignettes that depict an evocative reflection on the journey of the spirit following death through contemporary dance, projections and traditional and contemporary music. For Gary Lang Mokuy is his personal response to youth suicide in remote Indigenous communities.

MOKUY draws together an interpretation of ceremonial song cycles (manikay) played in the elaborate funeral rites of the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land with contemporary music and dance. Traditional oral lore and storytelling are blended through an intricate series of song and dance progressions.




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