Stories turn to evocative performance

Midwest Times
Mauretta Drage leads youth performers.
Camera IconMauretta Drage leads youth performers. Credit: Annette Sellers

A youth performance of a Murchison River Station story marked the end of the school holidays for participants of the Northampton Old School Community Initiative.

Program co-ordinator Annette Sellers said the young performers gave a heart-melting performance with message sticks artists Colleen and Mauretta Drage.

“Colleen led the storytelling, accompanied by evocative projections of scenes of station life, including big night skies, fire, horses and goats,” she said.

“Mauretta led the youth performers in their first dance experience, which they performed on country using the collaborative painting Connections on Country, which they made with Mauretta during the school holidays.”

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Ms Sellers said the painting was inspired by one of 300 carved message sticks featured at the Kalbarri Zest Festival welcome to country in 2013 to 2016.

Colleen Drage, who has co-ordinated the Message Sticks Project and events for seven years, said it was encouraging to have the Department of Culture and the Arts invest in the project. “It’s about having the confidence to keep working with creative people from our Zest Festival experiences,” she said.

“One of those people is Janine Oxenham, a beautiful Mulgana dancer and choreographer.”

Ms Drage said without the funding, they could not have brought Janine Oxenham and Mauretta Drage together to create the performance.

“There’s a lot more work to do and these stories will never come to light if we don’t do that work,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for our kids to learn the culture and the stories and carry the traditions on.”

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