Vol­un­teers needed for global fes­ti­val

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By YVETTE AUBUSSON-FO­LEY

WHAT if you could take a trip to Mex­ico, Easter Is­land, Cameroon, Kenya, Zim­babwe, Italy, Malaysia and New Zealand all in one week­end, with­out leav­ing Dubbo?

The Spirit of the Planet Fes­ti­val be­ing held at the Dubbo Show­ground at the end of this month is of­fer­ing Indige­nous ex­pe­ri­ences from all of these coun­tries, the likes of which Dubbo may have never seen.

The Rapa Nui Group (Easter Is­land), Aztec Group (Mex­ico City), Maasi Group (Kenya), Sarawak Group which in­cludes the Long Ear Rings Ladies (Malaysia), Pygmy Group (Cameroon), and more will be here to “close the gap”.

“The Spirit of the Planet Fes­ti­val is about clos­ing the gap, pro­mot­ing equal­ity lo­cally, na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally, and help­ing bring us closer to­gether as one world and one spirit. Unity within com­mu­nity pro­motes trust, re­spect and pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships,” fes­ti­val con­sul­tant Lewis Burns said.

Mr Burns has been at­tend­ing the Spirit of the Planet Fes­ti­val in Italy for a num­ber of years and has taken per­form­ers from Dubbo to also at­tend.

“There, the fes­ti­val runs for 17 days. They get 250,000 peo­ple com­ing through. We’re start­ing (the Dubbo fes­ti­val) as big as we pos­si­bly can with three days, but we would like to see it grow,” he told Dubbo Photo News.

Thurs­day, Novem­ber 29, and Fri­day morn­ing, Novem­ber 30, are re­served for school groups who will get a unique ed­u­ca­tional first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence of indige­nous peo­ple’s mu­sic, weapons, dance, song and crafts.

“The fes­ti­val will show­case lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional indige­nous cul­ture and tra­di­tion, through song, dance, sto­ries and art, high­light­ing the unique be­liefs and ideas that con­nect us as a whole and cre­ate unity be­tween and amongst us,” Mr Burns said.

An of­fi­cial open­ing cer­e­mony will be held on Fri­day evening, Novem­ber 30, while Satur­day and Sun­day, De­cem­ber 1 and 2, will fea­ture “The Awak­en­ing of the Senses”, which al­lows par­tic­i­pants to ex­pe­ri­ence world indige­nous cul­tures with­out us­ing sight.

There will also be a kids’ cor­ner, a tribal vil­lage with tee-pees and other tra­di­tional dwellings from dif­fer­ent tribes, plus static and live in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays.

The main stage will fea­ture high en­ergy per­for­mances as well as Q&A ses­sions with the groups.

Nat­u­rally the groups will get a very spe­cial wel­come to coun­try from Dubbo’s own Wi­rad­juri per­form­ers who are host­ing their global indige­nous friends for the first time.

“I at­tended the Spirit of the Planet in Italy as a didgeri­doo player with a dance group years ago. Af­ter a few years, I started gath­er­ing up groups and tak­ing them back over there,” Mr Burns said.

“We rep­re­sented Abo­rig­i­nal Aus­tralia in Abo­rig­i­nal dance, arts, cul­ture, and the ways, show­ing our tools. Three times in the last six years I’ve taken groups from Dubbo,” he said.

“We met 20 or 30 other groups from other coun­tries and de­cided we want to start the same thing here. We’re start­ing as big as we can with the three days.”

For spon­sor­ship, stall holder, vol­un­teer and school ex­cur­sion in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Arna Kerk­laan on 0490 019 426, or visit the web­site www.thes­pir­itofthe­p­lan­et­dub­boaus­tralia.com. z The Spirit of the Planet Fes­ti­val

z Dubbo Show­ground

z Thurs­day, Novem­ber 29: School stu­dent day, $5pp

z Fri­day, Novem­ber 30, School stu­dent morn­ing, $5pp

z Evening Open­ing Cer­e­mony – Free

z Satur­day and Sun­day, De­cem­ber 1 and 2: Free en­try. The Awak­en­ing of the Senses, Kids’ Cor­ner, Tribal Vil­lage, Per­for­mances, mar­ket stalls, food, drinks and non-stop en­ter­tain­ment

PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS

Spirit of the Planet Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee mem­bers, left to right, Mel Moore, So­nia Old­field, Kris Stevens (back), Lewis Burns and Arna Kerk­laan.

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