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8 April, 2021

Cape York children to perform Cooktown story

Children from across Cape York Peninsula will bring to life the traditional Endeavour River creation story in Warrma, a performance incorporating traditional Indigenous dance with modern special effects, during Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 – The Rising Tide on 11-20 June.

Sacred Creations Dance Troupe choreographer Tamara Pearson will travel around Cape York Peninsula teaching traditional and contemporary dance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

The Bagarrmuguwarra and Kuku Yalanji artist, who grew up in Hope Vale, said the Endeavour River story had been passed down by the late Hope Vale Elder, grandfather Tulo Gordon, and published in the book Milbi which will be launched at the festival.

“What will make this performance special is many of Tulo Gordon’s great grandchildren will be performing in the show,” Ms Pearson said.

“It is a beautiful story that we will mash up with elements of traditional dance like live didgeridoo and grass skirts as well as contemporary performance. I have collaborated with events specialist Culture Mechanics to create special effects, lighting and amazing costumes that will bring this Dreamtime story to life.

“It is about neighbouring clans coming together to celebrate their respect for the land they have lived on and relied upon for thousands of years, and acknowledges the reconciliation that has existed between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”

Ms Pearson has been working on the contemporary dance in the studio with artists Tahlia Burchill and Miya Healy who represent language groups from the Cairns and Mossman region.

The Warrma will be performed on 13 June as part of the free Reconciliation Rocks Music Festival and again on 20 June during the Cooktown Discovery Festival weekend.

Running from 11-20 June, Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 will kick off with the free Reconciliation Rocks Music Festival on 11-13 June featuring Busby Marou and Troy Cassar-Daley, followed by the Cape York Business Expo on 14-16 June and finishing with the popular Cooktown Discovery Festival weekend on 18-20 June.

Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 is supported by the Australian and Queensland Governments and Cook Shire Council. For more information go to

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