Yirrkala Yarrapay festival: Arnhem Land spectacular lives up to Yothu Yindi's legacy

Acts as musically diverse as the Justice Crew and Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu pay homage to Dr M Yunupingu

The ruckus begins up the road, towards the beach. Stabbing shouts, the piercing clap of bilma, the rising chant of manikay. The mob of 40 or more Yolngu advances, crouching and springing, knees and elbows at angles. Some are smeared in white clay, trailing vines and feathers. Most come as they are. One wiry older man sports a Kiss T-shirt.

The bunggul gathers in force as it reaches the sandy expanse in front of the Yirrkala Art Centre. The only rain shower of the bright blue day clears their path like a surreal blessing. By the time the elders climb the stage to lead the song, the dance is more than 100 strong. It kicks up sand and draws children running from the football match on the oval across the car park.

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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