Lajamanu Kurra Karna Yani


Brown's Mart Theatre and Civic Gardens, Darwin City

July 23 - 26, 1992

An art exhibition, traditional Warlpiri dancing, and a new contemporary dance work with the youth of Lajamanu.

As the sun goes down the women practice their dance, the boy's football, and the girls their basketball. The phone rings but “she’s not here” The ‘rec’ hall fills with sounds and bodies; the day ends in Lajamanu.

A new day, the sun rises: “Let’s go to Barunga” she says. Our journey begins.

Directors’ Notes 

In 1989 and 1990, at the request of the Lajamanu School Council, Kiwinyi Wampana, artists were invited to Lajamanu to put together a touring show.  These shows toured to towns and communities as far South as Alice Springs, and North to Bagot in Darwin. The young Warlpiri performers juggled, danced and rode unicycles.

The performers speak:

“We want to learn more. We want to go to the big city where all the people clap.”
“Speak in Warlpiri more.”
“Maybe next year we can do a story from my Ja-Ja (Grandmother) like the Ku-Ku, (spirit or ghost) in the water, or tell the story of a painting and then selling a canvas and taking the money and buying lots of things in a shop.”

The Lajamanu adults say:

“They want to do it more, they are asking for another show.”
"They need to go somewhere else and train … A big room for rehearsal with a big mirror and they can dance and no one can humbug them.”
“Go to Darwin and do all the schools. Kids give Lajamanu credit.”
“Those kids are looking forwards, and they will dance, dance, dance.”

Now after four weeks in Darwin, the third Lajamanu show is born. The young performers are joined by the Yawulyu (Traditional dancing women) this time telling a story of going back, back to Lajamanu. This performance includes a painting exhibition of Lajamanu Artworks, and observation of traditional women painting up before the performance.

Creative Personnel

Director and Designer: Tim Newth
Choreographer and Assistant Director: David McMicken
Choreographer: Sarah Calver
Musical Collaborator: Annie Gastin
Visual Artists and Makers: Freddy Jangala Patrick, Tim Newth, Faridah Whyte, Neil Cameron
Technician and Lighting Designer: Matthew James


Sharon Rockman Nakamarra, Edith Hargraves Nangala, Philomena Burns Nampijinpa, Sophia Patterson Nakamarra, Kerry-Anne Sampson Nampijinpa, Bianca Patrick Nangala, Maureen Burns Nampijinpa, Geraldine Robertson Nangala

Amos Poulson Japangardi, Dwayne Gibson Jungarrayi, Nathan James Japangardi, Ronald Patrick Jampijinpa, Roberto Dixon Jakamarra, Zac Patterson Jakamarra, Ashley Watson Jampijinpa, Jeremy Anthony Japaljarri

Rolf Hallenstein (Kardiya Tourist), Birgit Hallenstein (Kardiya tourist)

Supervisors:Topsy Ross Nangala, Bessie Dixon Napanangka, Nellie Jones Napangardi, Hughie Anderson Jupurrula

Traditional Yawulyu Dancers: Myra Patrick Nungarrayi, Jean Birrel Napurrula, Alice Kelly Napaljarri, Rosie Tasman Napurrula, Judy Walker Napaljarri, Lily Hargraves Nungarrayi, Molly Tasman Napurrula, Maggie Napangardi, Maisie Napangardi (Granites), Peggy Rockman Napaljarri, Biddy Walker Napanangka

Supervisors: Freddy Patrick Jangala, Henry Cooke Jakamarra


Lajamanu Community Council, C. D. E. P. Lajamanu, Lajamanu Women’s Centre, Lajamanu Arts Centre, Lajamanu Yawulyu Group, North Tanami Band, Ivan Jordan, Robin Laurie, Janet Robertson, Malcolm Hansford, Conrad Page, Andrea Clements, Australia Council for the Arts, N.T. Office of the Arts, Brown’s Mart Community Arts Staff, Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre, Darwin Theatre Company


Dance Development Office: David McMicken

[Under Brown’s Mart Community Arts – Executive Officer Ken Conway]


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