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Malandarri Festival

Grab the kids and hit the road to Borroloola for one of the Territory’s most unique Indigenous festivals.

This year’s Malandarri Festival features a range of performances from dance groups hailing from right across the Pacific, including Borroloola clan groups Yanyuwa (Ngardiji Dancers), Garrwa (Wandangula and Blind Mermaid Dancers) and Mara Dancers, The White Cockatoo Performing Group and Polynesian dance group, Nuholani. Festival director Marlene Timothy says it’s a special opportunity to see the diversity of dance from the region, and a great family event.

“I don’t think there’s any other festival like it in the Territory – it’s very unique. There is a real sense of intimacy. It’s not a huge-scale event so you feel really welcomed as an audience member, and the size means it’s quite safe for families and a relaxed vibe.”

The festival is a calendar highlight for locals and a chance to celebrate and bring positivity for residents.

Attendees are treated to a pop-up exhibition by local artists, produced in a workshop under the guidance of photographer Benjamin Warlngundu Bayliss. There are family fun activities including a jumping castle, face painting, dance workshops and soccer, and a reading space to share quiet time for parents and carers with babies and toddlers.

If you’re heading down for the first time, Timothy has some hot tips.

“Bring cash, a picnic rug and some fold up chairs, and a jumper. It gets cold!”

Check out the event listing here.

Photo: Scott McDinny and Wesley McDinny performing with the Wandangula dancers, Malandarri Festival, 2018. Benjamin Warlngundu Bayliss

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