Images Barbie Robinson, Writing with Light except 30th aerial shot by Sigo Tseng
With picture perfect weather Mirramu was able to celebrate its birthday party in style. From the planting of 30 trees to performances in the open air, the event was strongly focussed on the environment and our responsibility to care for it.
Ngambri Elder Shane Mortimer welcomed visitors to country, thanked Elizabeth for all that she does and reminded us of the history of this place and our nation as a whole. The cross-cultural connections of Mirramu were clearly on show with weekend visitors from diverse backgrounds including the Dancecology team from Taiwan.
Mirramu Dance Company co-founder, now running Space In Motion (see http://spaceinmotion.com/), Vivienne Rogis travelled up from Melbourne with her family for the event. Music, dance, film, pictures, ideas, words and food were shared in a happy atmosphere with participants remembering the wonderful past and looking forward to all the possibilities of the future.
On Friday night 26th April our celebrations for Mirramu’s 30th anniversary began with a special dinner. Bernadette Johnson treated us to her gourmet dishes in the living room. We were 30 people in all, seated around the five candle-lit tables beautifully set up and prepared by Mila. The food was delicious, with many lining up for seconds, while conversations flowed between friends who had not seen each other for a while.
After dinner we all moved into the studio where Elizabeth gave a history of life at Mirramu over the past thirty years, illustrating it with a slide-show of stunning images including some of the lake when it was full of water.
Hsiao-yin Peng, (Grace) and Sigo then shared a version of their dance film Reflecting Weereewa: the aura of bodyscape and land that was shot at Mirramu in 2017.
On Saturday evening 27th April starting at 6.30pm Moya Simpson and John Shortis, long-time friends of Mirramu, opened the studio program with their well-known song Weereewa which they had created for The Universal Lake production at Mirramu and on the lake-bed in 1999. Treating us to a couple more recent works they were then followed by an extraordinary dance performed by members of Dancecology including 3-year-old Tea Tea.
Local singer Nicole Murphy, with her musicians, gave us a bracket of songs. In “Dance me until the end of Love” she invited some dancers to improvise with her.
Holly Diggle attended with her toddler son, Toby. She presented two students from her school who performed a striking duet.
We were then treated to the beautiful voices of A Chorus of Women. In particular the Ethos song they presented was very moving and brought back memories for Elizabeth of the many collaborations she has done with singer/song writer and good friend, Glenda Cloughley. It was also a treat to have Glenda’s son, Daniel, sing three of his own songs.
Raina Savage read a poem in memory, and celebrating the life, of Janis Claxton, who tragically passed away last year. Janis had visited Mirramu several times in the 1990s often leading special Goddess workshops where she inspired many with her enthusiasm and great teaching skills.
Viv Rogis, who came especially from her home in Emerald, Victoria, performed Mother Cake, a section from her solo program, The Whole Cake. This was a quirky work that engaged the audience from the beginning and added a light-hearted touch to the program.
To finish the program Fufu & Olivia danced Root and Earth from Mirror Image. This was at Elizabeth’s request. It is a riveting duet and was beautifully performed.
Thanks to all for their precious dancing, singing and musical gifts that night.
In preparation for our Conversation Circle on Sunday, Andreas showed us a version of Accelerate, the recent documentary film on Climate Change. He then invited us to his dancing ground just below the studio where his DJ desk was set up with its amazing light show. Those of us who were brave enough to stay on danced to his tunes under the star – studded sky or warmed ourselves around the fire nearby.
A team of people is needed to bring off such a celebration and Elizabeth was well supported by family and friends – everything from the digging of the tree holes and the upgrading of driveways (Greg), planting and grounds maintenance (hard yacca by Carl and others), catering (thanks to the wonderful Bernadette for healthful and delicious food), sound (thanks Andreas Dalman/diALMan), setting up and packing up (Leonie and Mila), communications and coffee brewing.
A toast to the next phase for Elizabeth and Mirramu!