• (L-R): Chinese Dancers from Minzu University & Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe (Supplied)Source: Supplied
A cross-cultural evening full of Indigenous voices and spectacular sounds from traditional instruments celebrates global Indigenous culture.
Sophie Verass

14 Sep 2017 - 2:27 PM  UPDATED 14 Sep 2017 - 2:27 PM

Tonight the University of Sydney and its Chinese partner, Minzu University in Beijing will showcase a celebration of life and arts in Indigenous culture. 

Bringing together performances from Chinese Dancers from Beijing and Koomurri Dancers, the evening will celebrate diverse traditional and contemporary Indigenous culture from different sides of the world.

Koomurri Dancers say that they are looking forward to the opportunity to share with other great cultures. 

"It allows us to be better understood and to better understand others," Koomurri Operations Manager Darrel Baird told NITV. "It also brings in new Australian audience to our shows that would perhaps not generally consider coming to an Aboriginal dance event and thus broadens our exposure.

"When we see the smiles on peoples faces as they learn Aboriginal culture, it makes us very proud Aboriginal people."

"When we see the smiles on peoples faces as they learn Aboriginal culture, it makes us very proud Aboriginal people."

Koomurri was created in the late-1990s, and is a fusion of the words/mobs 'Koori' and 'Murri' and represented those from the East Coast of Australia. However as the organisation has grown, so have their troupe numbers who are now made up of groups from across all of Australia.

This is reflected in their performances and tonight, several stories and dances from different clans will captivate audiences. These include, the Yibadhaa Gambuu (Red Belly Black Snake) Dreaming, Sea Turtle Dreaming from the Torres Straits, Bunya Dreaming of the Gubbi Gubbi People and the Yuin Peoples' Umbarra Dreaming (Black Duck). We also perform other animals and hunting stories and share the aboriginal names of each with the audience.

"We perform many animal and hunting stories and share the Aboriginal names of each, with the audience," Baird says.  

Professor Juanita Sherwood, the University’s acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services), welcomes guests to enjoy the vibrant cultures of both China and Indigenous Australia.

“With a shared interest in the social, economic and cultural issues confronting ethnic minorities in China and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, our collaboration invests in important academic exchange and research in these areas.

“The Sharing Spaces performance is a key highlight of a visit to Australia by academics and students from Minzu University and SEAC delegates, to further strengthen our ties," Sherwood said. 

The evening full of Indigenous voices and the spectacular sounds from traditional instruments such as the horsehead fiddle, rawap, dutar and the Yidaki (Didgeridoo) will be held at the York Theatre in Sydney's Chippendale.   

This is just one of many cross-cultural performances for the Koomurri Dance Troupe this year, who will join dancers from Mongolia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, India and Mexico in Austria for the reopening of the Vienna World Museum (formerly, the Ethnological Museum Vienna). The troupe is also headed to perform in Budapest and Malta for the Commonwealth Games baton relay. 

Sharing Spaces: a Night of Chinese and Aboriginal Dance and Music @ The York will be held tonight, 14 September at 5pm. For more information and RSVP registration, go here

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