Corroboree, the new Sydney festival celebrating contemporary Indigenous arts and culture on Gadigal land around Sydney Harbour. will light up the city for 11 days and nights from 14 November.
The festival's creative director is Hetti Perkins, artist in residence at Bangarra Dance former Curator of Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of NSW, and a member of the Eastern Arrernte and Kalkadoon Aboriginal peoples. ''We wanted to begin the festival with young people" she said.
On 14 November Aboriginal elders will light symbolic ''firelights'' that will burn for 11 days and nights outside each of the nine cultural institutions supporting the planned annual event, and the festival will open with a parade of indigenous and non-indigenous children and their families along Macquarie Street. The 11-day program will feature
- Workshops, tours, exhibitions and performances by Sydney's diverse cultural, arts and heritage institutions;
- Educational Culture Camps for secondary students across NSW;
- Film, Music and Dance at Cockatoo Island; Youth Career Day for Indigenous young people;
- Black Arts Market at pier 2/3, Walsh Bay ;
- Fashion and Design Showcase bringing together the best of Indigenous Design from across Australia
- First Nation's Conference and
- Family Day in the Domain.
As a showcase, Bangarra Dance Theatre will stage Dance Clan 3, choreographed by Deborah Brown, Yolande Brown, Jasmin Sheppard and Tara Gower, from November 20 to 30 at Walsh Bay, as well as a children's show, Djarjum, choreographed by Frances Rings.
Her Excellency the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, is Patron of the Corroboree festival, which she announced on April 15, jointly with NSW Minister for the Arts, George Souris, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victor Dominello,
A Working Group was formed to develop and execute the program, headed by Bangarra Dance Theatre's Deputy Chair, Michael McDaniel. It includes predominately Indigenous staff from; Bangarra Dance Theatre; Blackfella Films; Australian Museum; Gadigal Information Service; the Art Gallery of NSW; Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; State Library of NSW; Sydney Opera House and The Royal Botanic Gardens.
Corroboree, backed by Destination NSW and the NSW Government, is being promoted as Australia's ''largest ever indigenous festival'', with a projected 55,000 interstate, intrastate and international visitors over three years, bringing $21 million into the economy. It will complement rather than compete with other Sydney Indigenous cultural events such as Yabun, NAIDOC week and Message Sticks, and will be held annually for at least the next three years.