Whadjuk Noongar Artists Shine at Glastonbury Festival

Whadjuk Noongar Artists Shine at Glastonbury Festival

Whadjuk Noongar artists have showcased Indigenous culture in spectacular style at one of the world’s biggest music events, Glastonbury Festival. Whadjuk Noongar Artists Shine at Glastonbury Festival

Opening Arcadia Spectacular’s New Arena

Ballardong Whadjuk Noongar artist Barry McGuire opened Arcadia Spectacular’s radical new arena in collaboration with Australian arts company Astral Projekt. Mr. McGuire and members of the Gya Ngoop Keeninyarra dance group shared the stage with one of the globe’s most well-known DJs, Fatboy Slim, on Arcadia’s giant, new dragonfly stage. They reimagined their ancient song about seasonal change amid a rapidly-changing climate.

The Dragonfly Performance

Warraloo, which translates to ‘dragonfly’ in Noongar, was the centerpiece of the performance. In an emotional moment of connection, The Dragonfly burst into life during the group’s international debut of Warraloo, receiving rapturous applause from the thousands in attendance at the iconic music festival.

Mr. McGuire expressed the symbolic importance of their performance, stating, “The beauty of standing on an international stage is the chance to share our connection to all living things. If we as the human race look back to the First Stories – look back far enough into our culture – we’ll see the connection to all peoples and the synergies of life. This natural balance is still held today by Mother Earth.”

A Blend of Ancient and Contemporary Artistry

Astral Projekt creative director Joe Crossley and fellow artists used real-time bio-mimicry with Indigenous paintings created by Mr. McGuire to tell the story of Dragonfly dreaming. Arcadia’s collaboration with Mr. McGuire and Wadjuk Noongar Nation began in 2016, bringing their famed, giant, fire-breathing spider to life at Elizabeth Quay. This performance was a re-imagination of an ancient Noongar song about a spider weaving a web of unity around the gathered nations. The song hadn’t been sung publicly for more than a century until then, with the Arcadia Spider symbolizing unity. This profound performance was also delivered in 2018 at London’s Olympic Park.

Continuing the Collaboration

The latest collaboration, Warraloo, will be performed twice more at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Arcadia co-founder and creative director Pip Rush highlighted the ongoing inspiration drawn from their synergy with Wadjuk Noongar Nation since their first collaboration in Perth in 2016. “We continue to be amazed by how their ancient songs and our contemporary culture share the same stories, and we have proved that here on The Dragonfly tonight,” she said from the UK. “The reception from the Glastonbury dancefloor was mind-blowing and we can’t wait to write the next chapter.”

This exciting collaboration embodies a fusion of contemporary narratives with ancient knowledge, blending Aboriginal wisdom with cutting-edge stage design and performance artistry.

Image from the Event

Whadjuk Noongar Artists Shine at Glastonbury Festival

Witnessing this performance at Glastonbury not only highlighted the cultural richness of the Whadjuk Noongar people but also underscored the universal themes of unity and connection that resonate across all cultures.

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Source: https://nit.com.au/01-07-2024/12266/indigenous-cultural-spectacle-at-glastonbury-festival-as-whadjuk-noongar-nation-joins-fatboy-slim-on-arcadias-new-dragonfly-stage

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