First Nations: Premieres

This festival season sees these essential First Nations shows for the first time

feature (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Rika Hamaguchi stars in Baleen Moondjan
Photo by Daniel Bound
Published 06 Feb 2024


Her Majesty’s Theatre, Kaurna Yerta, until 3 March

Created by a collection of First Nations Artists and spearheaded by Jacob Boehme, Guuranda is an epic opera showcasing the ‘Everywhen’ stories of the Narungga people. As a proud Narungga man I am particularly excited to see this championing of culture. The word 'Guuranda' is what Narungga people call their homeland, what westerners call the Yorke Peninsula.

Baleen Mundjan

Glenelg Foreshore, Kaurna Yerta, until 2 March

Set among giant Whalebones on the Glenelg foreshore, Baleen Mundjan is set to be an exultant fusion of place and meaning. Stephen Page, former Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival, mixes dance, theatre and song to tell a story inspired by Page’s grandmother and her Ngugi/Nunukul/Moondjan cultures who are connected to the area we now call Stradbroke Island.


First Nations Voices

HAT’s Courthouse Cultural Centre, Auburn, Ngajduri Land, until 16 March

A musical experience that is set to be laden with velvety tunes and harsh truths where global Aboriginal culture is showcased through the power of songwriting. Another world-premiere chronicling life and culture with powerhouse performers such as Glenn Skuthorpe, Nancy Bates, Toni Jenke and LENI that will send sonic bliss right to the soul. With everything that’s happening in this country it seems a good time to listen to First Nations Voices.


Dupang Bangari (Coorong Spirit) Festival

Long Point Rd, Dupang Coountry, until 17 March

A great way to end the festival is by joining Senior Elder Major Moogy Sumner for a camping festival and corroboree. Sharing culture, healing the spirit and connecting to country are the main aims of the three-day camping trip. Workshops on basket weaving, clapstick carving and boomerang throwing will be happening with corroborees and yarning circles flowing later in the evening. An immersive and relaxing way to wind down from the Fringe Festival and connect to culture.


See also: our interview with Jannali Jones about her play Trail's End