Photo by Silvia Storchi

Unbroken Land 2020 and 2021: Stories of connection to nature, place and belonging

Announcing the 2020/2021 virtual delivery of Unbroken Land. Episodes found below… 

Unbroken Land water themed video works will be released episodically from June onwards.

Virtual presentation offers us unique opportunities to showcase the talents of our Alice Springs community on more far reaching online platforms, and to far greater audiences than the original planned live event.

Access and inclusion will remain at the very heart of the virtual Unbroken Land, with closed captioning and audio description access features.

Water is everywhere
Water is powerful, fragile and precious
Water is life
From the mythical to the mundane
From ritual to resource, water connects us all
We all have water stories to share

Join us on this 2020 Unbroken Land journey…

Episode One - Water (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode One - Water (Audio Described)

Episode Two - Fire (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Two - Fire (Audio Described)

As part of the Unbroken Land 2020 program, these two Connect2Culture films show the importance of water and fire in the desert. First Nations Disabled Artists Tiffany Malthouse and Lizzie Trew want the audience to experience how vital both fire and water are to them, their ancestors and their culture. Portraying this through the mediums of dance, film and music enables their thoughts, ideas and visions to be understood and heard.

Incite Arts’ Connect2Culture is a professional development, mentoring and performance creation program for Tiffany Malthouse and Lizzie Trew. Connect2Culture explores dance, movement, language, song, art, cultural knowledge, stories, families and connections.

The program is based on goals and ideas that both women have, in terms of art, dance, culture and employment. The program is designed to support Tiffany and Lizzie as emerging artists, enabling them to grow in their knowledge and understanding, delve into new collaborative processes and discuss their aspirations. They have been encouraged to explore their creative potential and build pathways towards professional practice.

Episode Three - Flood (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Three - Flood (Audio Described)

Episode Four - Storm (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Four - Storm (Audio Described)

Episode Five - Rain (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Five - Rain (Audio Described)

As part of the Unbroken Land 2020 program, the ‘stArts with D’ Performance Ensemble have created a series of short films, starting with Flood, telling their stories about water. From the dramatic storms with thunder and lightning, water flowing from the sky and flooding the rivers, to that good feeling of the rain on your skin…Water everywhere!

Incite Arts’ collaboration with ‘stArts with D’ is a professional development, mentoring and performance creation program for Disabled artists, including First Nations artists, who are the members of the ensemble.

This initiative, called ‘Move Masters’ provides tailored opportunities for the ensemble of artists, otherwise not available. These artists are committed to working together and creating new artistic works.

Unbroken Land offers them unique showcasing opportunities for their creative voices and ideas to be shared through the mediums of movement, imagery and film. Many of the movements are based on Auslan, which has been incorporated into the creative content of the films. With inclusion and access fundamental to Unbroken Land, these short films model ways of providing access to people with disability both as artists and as audiences.

Please note, some Auslan signs have been modified to suit everyone’s abilities.

Episode Six - Bloom (Closed Captioning Avavilable)

Episode Six - Bloom (Audio Described)

Following on with the Unbroken Land 2020 water themed works comes Bloom. After the rain, the inevitable new life blossoms out from the red earth. This episode is a stop motion animation of chalk artwork created by Alice Springs/Mparntwe based artist, Sarah Cook. A stunning visual delight; this episode illustrates the growth of new life emerging from the desert landscape.

Sarah is a Performance and Visual Artist who has worked alongside communities in far-flung regions such as remote areas of Madagascar, Costa Rica, Central Australia and Arnhem Land. She is well known for her leading-edge social circus program with her company Circosis Circus, and her vibrant large-scale chalk art installations.

Episode Seven - Clouds (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Seven - Clouds (Audio Described)

As part of the Unbroken Land 2020 program, this Connect2Culture film "Clouds" tells First Nations Disabled Artist Tiffany Malthouse’s story about clouds. Connect2Culture has supported Tiffany to explore dance, movement, language, song, art, cultural knowledge, stories, families and connections.

Collaborating with Mentor Rosie Wild in 2018, Tiffany told this story which was captured and included in Unbroken Land 2018. Now in 2020 and collaborating with Mentor Lauren Jones, Tiffany has developed this visual portrayal of her story to share her thoughts, ideas and feelings about connection to nature and family.

Episode Eight - Letter to the Future (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Eight - Letter to the Future (Audio Described)

Dance artist Miriam Nicholls has collaborated with her students at OLSH Catholic College to create this Unbroken Land 2020 episode. Letter to the Future has been inspired by the young performers' wish to express a hopeful vision of the future, in which people are learning to live in harmony with each other and the environment, conserving and caring for water as a precious resource amidst a changing climate.

Episode Nine - Ripples Through The Desert (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Nine - Ripples Through The Desert (Audio Described)

GUTS Dance // Central Australia youth dancers tell their story of waiting for the rain in the desert.

The sun is hot in the sky, white clouds are wispy, birds soar overhead with a brief glimpse of a rainbow. Everyone is waiting for the rain.

Rain that makes puddles for splashing, waterways through the sand, ripples in the desert heat.

GUTS Dance // Central Australia run community dance programs for youth and adults in Mparntwe/Alice Springs.

Episode Ten - There Was A River (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Ten - There Was A River (Audio Described)

In There Was A River, the artists from the stArts with D Performance Ensemble tell their story of a river flowing through the red hills. Written by Tiffany Malthouse, Devona Palmer and the stArts with D Performance Ensemble, There Was A River is told in English, Arrernte and many Auslan signs for Unbroken Land 2020.

There Was A River was co-created with Mentor, Lauren Jones, and performed by the artists, through the Incite Arts Move Master’s program. This initiative supported artists to develop skills, knowledge and confidence in their performance practice through dance, movement, music, language, storytelling and film. Please note, some Auslan signs have been modified to suit everyone’s abilities.

Episode Eleven - Kwatye Waru (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Eleven - Kwatye Waru (Audio Described)

As part of the Unbroken Land 2020 program, this Connect2Culture film shows the importance of water and fire in the desert and adds new dimensions to the already released self-titled episodes. Created by First Nations Disabled Artists Tiffany Malthouse and Lizzie Trew, in collaboration with Mentor Lauren Jones, the audience is invited to share the experience of how vital these elements are to Tiffany and Lizzie, their ancestors and their culture.

Connect2Culture is a professional development, mentoring and performance creation program tailor made for Tiffany and Lizzie to explore dance, movement, language, song, art, cultural knowledge, stories, families and connections. The program is based on goals and ideas that both women have, in terms of art, dance, culture and employment.

The program is designed to support Tiffany and Lizzie to grow in their knowledge and understanding, delve into new collaborative processes and discuss their aspirations. They have explored their creative potential and built pathways towards professional practice which they are carrying out.

Episode Twelve - Top End Water (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Twelve - Top End Water (Audio Described)

Corrugated Iron Youth Arts is a Darwin based organisation working with young people around the Northern Territory. A long-standing relationship with Incite Arts has led to Corrugated Iron's involvement in Unbroken Land over the years. This year it has become a project of the Corrugated Iron Champions, a group of young leaders in the organisation who love visiting Alice Springs to be part of this project. Although devastated that this year didn't support a physical realising, the Champions took on the challenge of creating an online contribution.

This group of 14 to17 year olds reflected on the water theme and the different relationships people in the Top End have to water, compared to Central Australian communities. The resulting work, Top End Water, captures their creative and collaborative capacity. They wrote and recorded the words, they collected the imagery, played and recorded the music. For a group who are usually front and centre stage, this piece takes another direction.

Episode Thirteen - Gumtrees By The River (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Thirteen - Gumtrees By The River (Audio Described)

“Water is my dreaming. My ancestors were the rainmakers.” Maureen O’Keefe is a Kaytetye-Warlpiri woman from Ali Curung. She is a dedicated writer living in Mparntwe/Alice Springs. The songs are sung in Kaytetye-Warlpiri by her mother’s sister, Mona and sister-in-law, Winnie. They are from Karlu Karlu (Devil’s Marbles).

The first song is called Yinjiri-jiri and is about the first water that flows… carrying the frothy debris with twigs and leaves and how it then flows clean.

The second song is called Ngapirinjilayi and is about the river gums standing tall on the riverbank, bits of their white bark flaking off and falling into the water, and the trees soaking up the water, making them green.

Episode Fourteen - In Our Element (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Fourteen - In Our Element (Audio Described)

Midnight Feast are thrilled to be teaming with Incite Arts to bring Erica Halvorsen’s film ‘In Our Element’ to life. Reflecting on the theme of water, Erica was inspired to make a film that paid tribute to her father; master boat builder and five-time Sydney to Hobart winner, Trygve Halvorsen. ‘In Our Element’ is a celebration of one family’s kinship with the sea and a love letter to a father who believed his daughter could! “Dad was a seaman through and through…the kindest Dad I could ever have had.”

Erica Halvorsen is a proud member of Midnight Feast – theatre that unites; a bold initiative that enables artists who experience significant physical and intellectual challenges to participate in the performing arts. By celebrating ability rather than limitation, Midnight Feast prides itself on creating work that challenges assumptions and explores humanity in all its diversity.

Episode Fifteen - Desert Rain (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Fifteen - Desert Rain (Audio Described)

Desert Rain is created by two Centralian youth dancers Leah Cato, 17, and Eli Clarke, 15. It is a piece inspired by their memories and expresses the happiness and enjoyment they felt as children when, on rare occasions, the rain came to Mparntwe (Alice Springs). Leah, with Eli’s contribution, choreographed and directed Desert Rain. Her love for dancing started at the age of five at the Central Dance Theatre and, since then, she has been dancing for nine years with Studio B School of Dance. Over the years, Leah has taken part in many dance opportunities such as the Australian Ballet Summer Schools, Jason Coleman Ministry of Dance Summer Schools and participated in the Australian Youth Dance Festival in 2019. Eli has been dancing for 6 years with Studio B School of Dance. In 2019 he was awarded the National Student Star Award in Dance Train Magazine. Eli has also received several scholarships including the British Ballet Organisation Junior Contemporary Scholarship in 2017, Royal Academy of Dance - Victorian Dance Festival in 2018 and a full time Scholarship to the Brent Street Performing Arts Studio Academy in 2021.

Episode Sixteen - The Tinikling Dancers (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Sixteen - The Tinikling Dancers (Audio Described)

The Mabuhay Multicultural Community of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) presents The Tinikling Dancers. The Tinikling dance is one of the most popular folk dances in the Philippines. Traditionally, as rice crops near harvest time and after rainfall, bamboo traps are constructed by farmers in the fields to protect the rice from the Tikling birds. The mesmerising dance imitates the Tikling birds, leaping and weaving to avoid the bamboo traps. The dance originated during the Spanish colonial era between the 16th to 19th Centuries on the Island of Leyte. It is truly special to see it danced in the red sand of Central Australia!

Episode Seventeen - Water is Life (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Seventeen - Water is Life (Audio Described)

Zimbabwean Outback Melodies are a lady’s choir group based in Alice Springs. This song is about water being life. It describes the water that we share, the well where they get their water in Africa, and the water that is here in Alice Springs/Mparntwe, put together with an old celebration song called “Shosholoza”, originally sung by men from the Ndebele, signifying working together for a common cause.

“Water is essential, it is a need. No one can do without water. It unifies people. People in our culture go to the well and that is where people meet and talk and share stories…It is a source of being in touch with each other and having that time, especially women…while doing something that is essential.” Flora Mpofu, Zimbabwean Outback Melodies.

Episode Eighteen - Water in Nepal (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Eighteen - Water in Nepal (Audio Described)

Nepal is a land rich in water resources due to the many Himalayan Glacier, rivers, lakes, and Monsoonal rain. Traditionally, brass, copper and clay pots were used to carry drinking water from beautifully carved stone taps, rivers and water holes.

As water has always been a central part of Nepalese livelihood and culture, their songs and folk dances use water as a metaphor for love and life.

The first song is associated with the purity and transparency of water as a metaphor for love. The second song in this film is about Monsoon rainfall and the plantation season. Everyone is happy, it is a ‘monsoon-happy dance’, bringing joy and relief to the farmers.

Performer Diva Pant was born in Australia. She has studied classical ballet for seven years. Diva is now studying piano, flute and singing. She is also enjoying learning traditional Nepalese dance and has performed a number of stage programs of Classical Ballet and traditional Nepalese dance.

Performer Mahek Adhikari has been learning traditional Nepalese folk dance and classical Indian dance for 3 years. Mahek has also performed in a number of stage programs of traditional Nepalese and Classical Indian dance.

Episode Nineteen - Ngapa (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode Nineteen - Ngapa (Audio Described)

The Southern Ngaliya Dancers are from Yuendumu. This film about Ngapa Jukurrpa (water dreaming) was filmed during the performance of Unbroken Land 2018 at the Desert Park. The film also includes footage of Juka Juka, a water dreaming site on Warlpiri country. “We dance with white feathers in our armbands and headbands. There is a saying that if we dance with white feathers there will be rain today.” Enid Gallagher, Southern Ngaliya Dancers. Ngapa Jukurrpa comes from Walapanpa in the east and travels to a waterhole called Wanurlpuru. Then the water continues travelling to Walura where there is water all the time. From Walura it goes on to Juka Juka. At this site there are large rocks standing upright. These rocks are the clouds. Ngapa keeps travelling on to Mikanji. Lightning struck there. There is a tree there which is the lightning from the dreamtime. Lightning made waterholes along the way which are still there. Water dreaming travels onto Puyurru, where there is a soakage. From there Kirrkalanji (Falcon) grabbed and flew off with the bag of water on its head travelling west towards Lungkardajarra. Kirrkarlanji then flew to Jiwaranpa and Kamira. That’s where our Jukurrpa ends, and beyond it is the responsibility of other groups to tell the story. The Southern Ngaliya women are committed to build this cultural platform to achieve stronger links with traditional song and dance; create new generations fluent in ceremonial and cultural knowledge; maintain Warlpiri culture; and share the culture with others.

Episode 20 - Tari Puspanjali (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode 20 - Tari Puspanjali (Audio Described)

Tari Puspanjali is a traditional Balinese dance which was created by the great Balinese artist, Swasthi Widjaja Bandem. Tari Puspanjali is a welcome dance and the name reflects the concept of honouring guests with the reverence dedicated to flowers; “Puspa” means “flower” and Anjali means “in honour”. This illustrates the amount of respect the host has for their guests, given the significant value of flowers to the Balinese.

In ancient Balinese history, flowers and water are sacred. Flowers represent beauty and spirituality, and water represents life. Flowers and water are featured in abundance in the ornate, intricate and sometimes fragile architectural structures on the island of Bali. Intricacy is also found in the Tari Puspanjali dance displayed by astonishing facial and hand movements and costume.

Episode 21 - Lantern Parade (Closed Captioning Available)

Episode 21 - Lantern Parade (Closed Captioning Available)

In our final episode of Unbroken Land, join us as we travel through the exquisitely lit gums of Central Australia following the beautifully illuminated Bindi Mwerre Anthurre Artists lanterns.

Jane Mervin’s owls entitled “Tjulpu Kutjara Nyinanyi Punungka Nyanganyi” and Kukula McDonald’s red tails entitled “Red Tails Looking for Shelter” mesmerize us as we are carried by the local community on this gentle journey. Bird puppets created by Henry Smith and music by Stephanie Harrison and Pin Rada add to the captivating and atmospheric setting.

Set in the Alice Springs Desert Park, invite your friends and family from near and far to join us in this special place; the unique, traditional Unbroken Land experience. Enjoy!

That's a wrap for Unbroken Land 2020/2021! Thank you!