Aboriginal Dance


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Three Dances Gulpilil (1978, 8 Minutes); Five Aboriginal Dances from Cape York (1966, 8 Minutes)

1978, Total Running Time: 16 Minutes.

Australia's Aboriginal people have no written language. The legends and the stories of their past have been kept alive in song and dance. This title contains two films that provide a beautiful and valuable record of Australian Aboriginal dance.

Three Dances Gulpilil features dances by one of the best-known exponents of Australian Aboriginal dance, David Gulpilil. The Emu and The Kangaroo are solo performances, while the third dance, The Fish, is a group dance performed with some people from Gulpilil’s hometown, Bamyili, in the Northern Territory. All three dances are accompanied by the Yidaki (didgeridoo).

Five Aboriginal Dances from Cape York is a record of ritual dances that portray Aboriginal legends of Cape York, performed at Aurukun Mission Station in northern Queensland. The dances are about three men who died and changed into a crow, a dove and a gecko lizard; the penalty of death for adultery; a spirit girl who creates the freshwater and saltwater crocodiles; and the courting and the mating of the curlews.

A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


Directors: David Roberts, Ian Dunlop

Year: 1978

Total Running Time: 16 Minutes

Featured People: David Gulpilil

Classification: Exempt from classification

Curriculum Links: Indigenous Studies, Dance, Studies of Religion, Society & Culture, SOSE/HSIE, History, English, Media, Performing & Visual Arts.

Search Keywords: Aboriginal people, performing arts, dance, traditional dance, dreamtime stories.


SKU 198830700
Brand Film Australia

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