Australian Group Performs In Accra
The Australian High Commission in Accra will from June 27, 2007 present the Descendance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dance Theatre, an Australian group, in a series of performances. The group’s performances will be preceded by two days of workshops/rehearsals at the sea-side town of Kokrobite with the Royal Obonu Drummers and the youthful Dance Factory, who are known for their flexibility and creative dance pieces. The workshops would culminate in brief performances for locals as well as insights into the history and culture of the Australian Aboriginal people. The Australian group will perform on Sunday July 1 at the ‘Gold Show’, an exciting fashion show put together by the internationally acclaimed designer, Kofi Ansah. Descendance performs both traditional and contemporary pieces, embracing the traditions of the two distinct streams of Australian indigenous culture - the aboriginal peoples who have inhabited the entire continent for over 40,000 years and the people of the Torres Strait Islands situated between northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. It has also developed a cross-cultural repertoire featuring elements such as Flamenco, Indian and Native American dance styles. The group has also a repertoire of live performances many artistes can only dream about, having performed for prominent international figures and celebrities like the Dalai Lama, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Janet Jackson and the American film star, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Descendance won major prizes for dance at the inaugural World Culture Open in Seoul, Korea, in 2004. The group has done hundreds of shows across Europe, America and Asia, as well as Australia, and performed at major sporting events such as the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and the opening ceremony of the Rugby Union World Cup in 2003. At present, it is helping to create jobs for many other Aboriginal artistes in areas outside dance - from modelling, through painting and music to writing and acting. The tour of Descendance is being funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australia Council for the Arts. The preservation and promotion of indigenous culture and heritage is also an essential aspect of addressing some of the disadvantages faced by Indigenous Australians.
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