Yellamundie Festival

Theatre, Drama
Sermsah Sermsah in an orange wrap leaps in the desert at night
Photograph: Supplied/Yellamundie Festival

Time Out says

Catch this showcase of exciting new storytelling by First Nations creatives

First Nations storytelling is championed in the fifth biennial Yellamundie Festival at Carriageworks this month. The two-day celebration of new and exciting work presented by resident company Moogahlin Performing Arts in conjunction with Sydney Festival is a total bargain – and tickets are only $15 per day.

Taking its name from the Darug word for “storyteller”, the festival is a launchpad for new work from pioneering First Nations creatives. New artistic director Lilly Shearer was proud to unveil a jam-packed program that embraces music and dance works for the first time this year. “From poignant portrayals of cultural identity to celestial compositions and breathtaking choreography, we look forward to celebrating the incredible new and distinct First Peoples voices at the 2021 Yellamundie Festival,” she says.

The dance works include Waterholes by Sydney-based Shana O’Brien, a Darkinjung woman from the NSW Central Coast, which examines the emotion of connecting to ancestors and the potential that water presents for healing, and a digital presentation of Seventh Season Dreaming by Sermsah Bin Saad (due to border closures), a Nyikina man from the West Kimberley Region. It delves into concepts of timelessness, dreamlessness, joy, love and spirituality.

Dalara Williams, a Gumbaynggirr and Wiradjuri woman from the NSW Mid-North Coast based in Sydney, showcases new play The Lookout, about a man who seeks solitude after losing everything. Aidan Rowlingson, a Butchulla and Kabi Kabi man from South-Eastern Queensland, will also present his play Capricorn, exploring culture, sexuality, grief and personal growth through the lens of a young couple at the end of their long-term relationship, via a digital season. 

The First Shot, by Biripi and Gamilaroi man Troy Russell is a powerful story of love and loss as seen through the eyes of a couple struck by tragedy, while Gumbirrangarroo Dalanngarroo by Brad Steadman, Brad Hardy and Mark Ross is a multi-disciplinary work combining traditional language, music, and animation to tell stories from the land and the river. It's going to be a great showcase of exciting new work, so snap up tickets while you can. 

Check out The Complication of Lyrebirds for more First Nations excellence at Syd Fest.

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