The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia celebrates NAIDOC Week with the launch of an interactive website that takes viewers on an immersive journey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander song and dance.
Mikele Syron

10 Nov 2020 - 4:54 PM  UPDATED 10 Nov 2020 - 4:54 PM

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has launched a world-first online production that gives viewers around the globe access to an experience of Indigenous dance like never before.

The reimagined Carriberrie website, which features 156 dancers, 23 performances, and nine cultural groups, was originally conceived by director Dominic Allen in close consultation with Aboriginal cultural advisors and key Indigenous crew members.

Mr Allen told NITV News that the new website utilised modern technology that makes the dances possible for everyone to access via an “Immersive interactive space” that allows viewers to choose their own pathways to discover 24 diverse cultural dances.

“The whole point was to facilitate for people who can’t access these experiences to experience it for themselves, it overcomes barriers of distance, time, and also social and cultural barriers. It’s a really special experience,” he said.

The new website takes the viewer on a virtual journey that explores traditional and contemporary Indigenous song and dance set across impressive Australian landscapes, previously only available at museums and film festivals.

Mr Allen said that after two years of exhibiting the virtual reality headset and Planetarium versions at International galleries, museums and film festivals he was “thrilled” that the uncut dance pieces had become available online.

“Now that it has finished its festival run, we needed a way to share the film with the broader public.

“Carriberrie will now be available for all, for free and in such an immersive and engaging world which our developers have created,” said Mr Allen.

The Carriberrie website will feature the work of several acclaimed performance groups, including the work of Bangarra Dance Theatre, Bunyarra Dubay Dancers, The Lonely Boys, Joey Nganjmirra, Mayi Wunba, Nayaygayiw Gigi Dance Troupe Mua Island with Hans Ahwang, and Marliya with Spinifex Gum.

Mr Allen said that the website was designed with videos that allowed viewers to choose where to look and how to move through the dances, placing the viewer at an angle where they are sitting in the middle of a performance or standing on the stage.

“The experience is embodied and immersive so you are among it instead of on the outside observing it,” he said.

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