Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute – A Hub For Creativity, Expression And Fun This Adelaide Fringe

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Fez Fa'anana - 'Black List Cabaret' Fez Fa'anana - 'Black List Cabaret' Image © Carnival Cinema

Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute will stage the second year of their First Nations Hub to be presented as part of the 2021 Adelaide Fringe.


In 2020, Tandanya launched the inaugural First Nations Hub, making it the very first time there had ever been a dedicated hub for First Nations artists throughout the 60-year history of the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Though the past 12 months have certainly been a challenge operating in COVID-19 times, Tandanya will showcase a line-up of First Nations performers and artists from across the country.

“Tandanya’s 2021 First Nations Hub programme is a boutique, multi-art form offering including theatre, dance, cabaret, visual art, live music, comedy, circus and film, so there is certainly something for everyone,” Creative Producer of Performance and Events for Tandanya, Sasha Zahra says.

“We are delighted to share the work of this stellar group of local and interstate artists and putting this year’s Hub together with them has been a pleasure.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming audiences back to this space to enjoy live performance again.”

The programme will commence with a special free outdoor ceremony on the opening night – 'Yerta Palti Meyunna – Ceremony of People & Country', presented by Karl Winda Telfer and Yellaka. Everyone is invited to share sacred knowledge, ceremony, dance, song, culture, story and fire from this sacred country – Tarndanyangga Yerta.

Caravan Sounds’ pop-up DJ booth is also rolling in to host a free live music laneway party to help kick things off. Across the opening night, DJ CHERYL, DJ Pascoe Braun and MoZzi will get behind the decks between a list of acoustic acts including MRLN X RKM and Warren Milera.

Ngatokorua DaveLaslett
DJ MozZi - Image © Dave Laslett

'Black List Cabaret' returns for the second year to deliver a cabaret riot of a-list First Nations movers and shakers every Saturday night at Tandanya for five weeks. The formidable Fez Fa'anana will host this celebration of iconic circus, dance, music, cabaret, burlesque, and comedy artists from across the festival. Fez will also feature in 'Bred', a hard-hitting, high velocity and heavy-handed variety show presented by Briefs Factory.

'Song Revisited' is an intimate one-woman performance with workshop elements and cultural sharing developed by Narungga-Kaurna performance maker Devi Telfer, in which no two performances are quite the same. A woman called Song takes the audience with her into a journey of identity which touches on childhood, disconnection, belonging and hope.

Theatrical shows include Elaine Crombie’s 'Janet’s Vagrant Love' show, 'The End Is High-Concept' and 'Mirror Man' featuring Robert Taylor. This year’s comedy line-up boasts the always popular Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s 'Deadly Funny Adelaide', 'Fire Drum Fun' with Dane Simpson and Rob Edwards, the return of 'Kevin Kropinyeri Goes Talkabout', 'The Jack & Annie Show' and 'The Boomerang Show' with Joshua Warrior. Adelaide Fringe 2020 Best Dance winner '[MIS]CONCEIVE' is back, alongside 'Collision', a cross-pollination of contemporary circus and street dance presented by Casus Circus.

Devi Telfer James Muller
Devi Telfer 'Song Revisted'- Image © James Muller

Rounding out the cabaret line-up is 'All Sorts', a sweet All Sorts party hosted by the iconic Gadigal Queen, Nana Miss Koori. Music will be covered by a line-up of talent including Mala Band from Amata in the APY Lands, The Deadly Nannas, Katie Aspel with her debut Fringe show 'My Story' and 'Can’t Even DJ' featuring deadly First Nation DJs on the decks. Tandanya Theatre will again screen free First Nations films every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 'Storm Boy' and 'Bran Nue Dae' through to 'Wrong Side Of The Road'.

Across the entire four weeks and five weekends of Adelaide Fringe, Tandanya will run the programme of ticketed shows, which will be complemented by a free live music programme running every weekend in the Tandanya Café. Featuring First Nations acoustic musicians and DJs on Friday and Saturday nights, the Café will again be a very popular place to hang out and relax or groove. Popular artists to perform in at the live music sessions will include Kuko, Nancy Bates, Rob Edwards, Tony Minniecon, MoZzi, Glenn Skuthorpe and many more.

Tandanya’s main gallery will feature a special exhibition, Parntarni (Unearth), which has been ten years in the making with the majority of the pieces being more than 100 years old having never previously been seen nor displayed. Tandanya is honoured to ‘unearth’ these amazing painted objects to give people an opportunity to see amazing art and culture they may not ever have the chance to see. All the artists in the exhibition are from the desert regions of Australia and depict the unique desert style and stories. With work from artists like Clifford Possum and Gloria Petyarre, this exhibition will prove to be a major attraction at the 2021 First Nations Hub.

The Tandanya First Nations Hub presents shows and experiences throughout Adelaide Fringe from 19 February-21 March.

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