World stage for Torres Strait dancers
TWENTY singers and dancers from the small community of Moa Island, in the Torres Strait, will perform at a music festival in Adelaide which attracts up to 20,000 people a day.The Arpaka Dance Company, which will fly to Adelaide in March, was formed in 2003 in St Paul's village under artistic director Dennis Newie.
Last year, the dance group which performs traditional songs and dances from the village, performed at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and at the Henley Festival in the UK.
The company will represent their island heritage at the Australian World of Music, Arts and Dance festival, March 8-11.
"WOMADelaide is yet another opportunity to showcase our Torres Strait culture to audiences from the world over," Torres Strait Regional Authority chairperson Joseph Elu said.
From a population of just 240 people, dancers make and design their costumes and props. They also recorded a CD which was launched at St Paul's centenary last year.
It is the first time a Torres Strait dance team has been included in the line-up for WOMADelaide.
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Strong traditions: Members of the Arpaka Dance Company will present their island heritage at WOMADelaide.