YIRRAMBOI Festival reveals 2019 program

YIRRAMBOI Night River by KalajiAustralia’s premier First Peoples arts and cultural event YIRRAMBOI Festival will fill the city throughout May with an exciting program of free and low cost events across music, dance, theatre, film, exhibitions, markets, fashion parades, family-friendly events, talks and symposiums, at more than 25 different venues.

YIRRAMBOI means ‘tomorrow’ in the shared local languages of the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung peoples, and the program is all about what’s next,” said said Caroline Martin. “While the cultures belong to First Peoples, it is our shared history, and our chance to create the vision for the future.”

“Hear the music of our local superstars, be absorbed by thought-provoking new theatre and unexpected dance performance, check out exhibitions, markets and fashion parades from more than 200 absolutely magnificent First Nations creatives. YIRRAMBOI is an incredible chance for us all to celebrate together.”

Close to 100 events will celebrate and demonstrate innovative, modern practices of First Nations creatives, showcasing unique talents and perspectives. Curated by Creative Director, Boonwurrung woman Caroline Martin, the 2019 program puts the spotlight on local Victorians including Benny Walker, Alice Skye, Archie Roach, operatic icon Deborah Cheetham, Jaeden Williams, Kate ten Buuren and SojuGang.

The 2019 program is packed with live music including a Bad Apples Music House Party Party, Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project and concerts at Melbourne Town Hall with Dan Sultan and Alice Skye.

Acclaimed international acts have been invited to participate in YIRRAMBOI, including 13 artists from Taiwan’s Pulima Arts Festival, Portland’s premier drag clown performer Anthony Hudson and Canada’s Talk is Free Theatre’s touring sensation Tales of an Urban Indian staged on a moving bus.

YIRRAMBOI is committed to investing in employment opportunities for First Nations artists and the development of emerging talent through the KIN (Knowledge Industry Network) Commissions.

Four emerging and mid-career Victorian-based practitioners premiere their works – Night River by Kalaji is the first major work under the musical alias for Helpmann Award-winning actor Mark Coles Smith (The Drover’s WifeLast Cab to Darwin and Pawno). Blood Quantum, performed and choreographed by Ngioka Bunda-Heath, Joel Bray’s Daddy and Jack Sheppard’s solo work The Honouring.

2019 has been declared the International Year of Indigenous Languages and in honour the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL) will present two symposiums exploring how the revival of First Nations languages is critical to cultural strengthening, health and wellbeing, education and reconciliation.

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the 2019 YIRRAMBOI Festival is a celebration of Australia’s First Nations’ creatives and the world’s longest living cultures. YIRRAMBOI is grounded in both the past and the future and is an opportunity for everyone to experience the diverse living cultures of more than 2,000 generations,” said the Lord Mayor.

“This program is an incredible feat for the YIRRAMBOI team and Creative Director Caroline Martin. They have produced a festival program rich in history, yet innovative and contemporary and I can’t wait to experience some of the amazing performances on offer.”

The 2109 YIRRAMBOI Festival runs 2 – 12 May. For more information and full program, visit: www.yirramboi.net.au for details.

Image: Night River by Kalaji (supplied)