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Malandarri Festival

Held in Borroloola, this exciting traditional dance festival attracts performers from across Arnhem Land and further afield, as far as Torres Strait.

This year the Malandarri Festival hosts five dance groups from four language groups, including the coastal Yanyuwa and Mara, Garrawa (freshwater and hills) and Gurrindji (dry land).

The two-day dance site sets up on the Boroloola Showgrounds and kicks off with a Friday night show.

“All the kids love it, they want to get painted up,” says cultural events officer Marlene Timothy. 

“Saturday’s the main night. All the dance groups perform their best. It’s a good night.”

Malandarri is community–owned and organised and for those who can’t make the 970-kilometre trip from Darwin, the festival has a production team to record the event.  

“Every year the festival invites another cultural dance group to join in the dance site,” Timothy says. 

“First we had a Pacific Islander group and the community really loved it. Because people said ‘we want to see other cultures’ and so that’s what we do.

“We’re hoping it will get bigger and bigger and get known throughout the Territory.”

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