Milpirri 2012 (Pulyaranyi) 2012


Lajamanu, North Tanami Desert

Wangkayarla nguruku, kapungku nguruju pina wangkami-jarla!!
speak to the land and the land will speak back

Milpirri asks the question: What does it means to be an Australian?
Would you like to live in the homeland of the kangaroo?
Are you prepared to learn the ways of the emu?
Who will teach us to soar like the wedge-tail eagle?

This year's performance celebrates Pulyaranyi. this Milpirri performance is informed by ceremony connected to Pulyaranyi, the winds of change that stoke the fire. Two hunters from the west lit a fire, attempting to flush out kangaroo for food. They were trying to get it to move, but it kept burning straight up, and was slow to consume the grass around it. They asked the wind to help. First they asked the East wind, but it was not strong enough. Then they asked North, then West, then South winds. Not strong enough alone, but together they were really strong, able to send the fire in the right direction.

Pulya (Slow) – Ranyi (to move) or ‘windless’. It speaks about being stuck in one place, not moving. Opposing forces can cause a standstill, not letting us get anywhere. We need to stir things up.

Pulyaranyi is a call to action. We have talked, we have listened, now we need to act. It is time to celebrate what it means to be living on this country – to be Australian.

“Fire is the glow of life. The four winds – from north, south, east, west – control the fire, control us. Milpirri is the story that will ignite the fire of who we are.” - Steve Jampijinpa Patrick

Milpirri has developed out of a relationship between Lajamanu community and Tracks which began in 1988. It draws together the strengths and hopes of the elders and youth in a spectacular dance performance with over 200 performers. It embraces and celebrates what it means to live with and upon this land.

Milpirri 2012 is dedicated to the Milpirri men, the late Billy Jampijinpa Bunter, late Paddy Japaljarri Simms, late Peter Kiminti Jangala Raymond and late Martin (Cobra) Japanangka Johnson.

Email us to purchase DVD

Also see Milpirri 2005, Milpirri 2007, Milpirri 2009, Milpirri Showing,  Milpirri 2012, Milpirri Banner Project


Creative Director: Steve Wanta Jampijinpa Patrick
Artistic Directors: Tim (Jampijinpa) Newth, David (Japaljarri) McMicken
Producers: Susan Congreve
Traditional Choreography: Lajamanu Elders
Contemporary Choreography: Nick (Japanangka) Power, Caleb (Japanangka) Patrick
Jessica (Napangardi) Devereux, Kelly (Napurrula) Beneforti

Soundtrack: Marlon Porter (aka Elftranzporter), Marc Peckham (aka Monkeymarc)
Banner Designs: Joe Japanangka James, Jerry Jangala Patrick, Teddy Jupurrula Morrison, Myra Nungarrayi Herbert, Gladys Napangardi Kelly, Tim Jupurrula Kennedy, Peter Japanangka Dixon, Lindsay Jungarrayi Herbert, Leslie Jampijinpa Robertson, Norman Jampijinpa Kelly, Dick Japaljarri Raymond, Jacko Jakamarra Gordon, Thomas Jangala Sampson, Marcus (Paku Paku) Lawson, Victor Jupurrula Simon, Robin Lawson, Molly Napurrula Tasman, Rosie Napurrula Tasman, Biddy Nungarrayi Long Anderson, Judy Napangardi Martin, Liddy Nampijinpa Miller
Sound and Light Operators / Technical Assistants: Mathew McHugh, Damian Pree
Poster Design: Mark Marcelis
Tracks General Manager: Susan Congreve
Tracks Production Manager: Kelly Blumberg
Tracks Administrator: Gail Evans
Photo Documentation: Peter Eve
DVD Production: Vamp TV
Editing: Todd Williams
Camera Men: Todd Williams, Rod Balaam
Evaluation Consultant: Miles (Jangala) Holmes, Jeniffer (Nampijinpa) Biddle

Milpirri Governing Body:
Geoffrey Jungarrayi Barnes, Roger Japaljarri Jurrah, Stephen Japanangka Dixon, Minawara (Steven) Jupurrula Morton, Steven Wanta Jampijinpa Patrick, Peter Jangala Jigili, Lynette Napangardi Tasman, Noressa Napurrula White, Doris Nakamarra Lewis, Laura Nakamarra Lewis, Annette Nampijinpa Patrick


Jupurrula Jakamarra Napurrula Nakamarra (Red Group)

Male Dancers and Singers:
Henry Jakamarra Cooke, Teddy Jupurrura Morrison, Mike Jupurrura Patterson, Shane Jupurrurla White, Titus Jupurrura White, Isaiah Jakamarra Patterson, Bhoas Jupurrula White, Lorenzo Jupurrula Lewis, Troy Jakamarra Matthew, Dion Jakamarra Patterson, Zac Jakamarra Patterson (Big), Zac Jakamarra Patterson (Small), Jared Jakamarra Ross

Female Dancers and Singers:
Noresa Napurrula White, Vivianne Napurrula James, Doris Nakamarra Lewis, Cecliy Nakamarra James, Belinda Nakamarra Baker, Laura Nakamarra Doolan, Jenny Nakamarra Timms, Mabel Napurrula Samuels, Molly Napurrula Tasman, Rosie Napurrula Tasman, Kate (Napurrula) Ryan

Male Youth Dancers:
Fraser Jupurrurla Peters, Victor Jupurrurla Simon, Regan Jakamarra Lewis, Troy Jupurrurla Peters, Oscar Jupurrurla Simon, Malcolm Jupurrurla Armstrong, Sheldon Jakamarra James, Lane Jupurrurla Matthews, Kiriath Jupurrurla Patterson, Jesiash Jakamarra James, Tristan Jakamarra Morton, Ezekiel Jupurrurla Walker, Daniel Jakamarra White, Jarad Jakamarra White, Daswyn Jakamarra White

Female Youth Dancers:
Leonie Nakamarra Patterson, Savannah Napurrula Armstrong, Delmira Napaurrurla Dixon, Regina Nakamarra Patterson, Terrisita Nakamarra Lewis, Katelyn Nakamarra White, Shemaiah Napurrula Matthews, Lianna Napurrula Patterson, Kara Napurrula Ross, Timirika Nakamarra Patterson

Japaljarri Jungarrayi Napaljarri Nungarrayi (Yellow Group)

Male Dancers and Singers:
Dick Japaljarri Raymond, Breaden Jungarrayi Hogan, Brendon Jungarrayi Payton, Tyson Jungarrayi Rose, Floyd Jungarrayi Rose, Sean Jungarrayi Martin, Roger Japaljarri Jarrah, Manuel Japaljarri Herbert, Bevan Jungarrayi Rose, Garath Jungarrayi Rose, Rowan Jungarrayi Jarrah, Richard Japaljarri Payton , Terrance Jungarrayi Payton, Doi (Jungarrayi) Yukihiro

Female Dancers and Singers:
Tara Napaljarri Martin, Lily Nungarrayi Hargraves, Celesta Napaljarri Penn, Judy Napaljarri Walker, Myra Nungarrayi Herbert, Margaret Nungarrayi Martin, Peggy Napaljarri Rockman, Lousie Napaljarri Payton, Sonia Napaljarri Cooke, Mona Napaljarri Rockman, Alice Napaljarri Kelly, Lorraine Nungarrayi Granites, Beth Nungarrayi Barnes, Biddy Nungarrayi Long Anderson

Male Youth Dancers:
Ananias (Yogi) Japaljarri Tasman, Corey Jungarrayi Raymond, Richard Japaljarri Payton, Ananias Japaljarri Payton, Anthony (Travis) Japaljarri Rose, Emmanuel Japaljarri Martin, Liam Japaljarri Rose, Selwyn Jungarrayi Herbert, Jayden Jungarrayi Rennie, Gavin Japaljarri Spencer, Geoffrey Japaljarri Ronson, Zebeon Jungarrayi Robbo, Lucas Jungarrayi Walker

Female Youth Dancers:
Rexana Nungarrayi Herbert, Rekiah Napaljarri Ronson, Tiffaney Napaljarri Edwards, Sophie Nungarrayi Herbert, Kayliah Nungarrayi Herbert, Kevina Napaljarri Payton, Colleen Nungarrayi Bambra, Dorothy Napaljarri McDonald, Shakira Napaljarri Payton, Cornelia Napaljarri Ronson, Shemaiah Nungarrayi Andalong

Japangardi Japanangka Napangardi Napanangka (Green Group)

Male Dancers and Singers:
Ralph Japangardi Dixon, Alexander Japangardi Tasman, Joe Japanangka James, Maxwell Japanangka Tasman, Shaun Japangardi Johnson, Cameron Japangardi Scobie, Minawara Japangardi Dixon, Max Japanangka Gordon, Tristan Japanangka Tasman, Vincent Japangardi Dixon, Nathanial Japangardi Miller, Nevo Japangardi Rex, Toby Japanangka Johnson, Teddy Japanangka Dixon, Morgan Japangardi Rex, Scotty Japangardi Dixon, Mohammed Japangardi Langdon

Female Dancers and Singers:
Denise Napangardi Tasman, Remika Napangardi Patterson, Judy Napangardi Martin, Sherise Napangardi Donnelly, Justina Napangardi James, Lynette Napangardi Tasman, Delvene Napangardi Dixon, Anita Napangardi Johnson, Patrina Napangardi Johnson, Sonia Napangardi Johnson, Ursula Napangardi Marks, Andrea Napanangka Tasman, Charmaine Napangardi Granite, Gladys Napangardi Tasman, Biddy Napangardi Raymond, Gwenith Napanangka Tasman, Loretta Napangardi Johnson, Georgette (Napanangka) Green

Male Youth Dancers:
Caleb Japanangka Patrick, Brent Japangardi Tasman, Ramahli (Junior) Japanangka Marks, Humpty Japangardi Johnson, Davon Japanangka Marks-Burns, Nicholas Japangardi Johnson, Jerry Japanangka Patrick, Tarkyn Japangardi Tasman, Japeth Japangardi Tasman

Female Youth Dancers:
Macala Napangardi Donnelly, Kenesha Napangardi Gordon, Muriel Napanangka Robbo, Kimberley Napangardi Dixon, Shania Napangardi Johnson, Celine Napangardi Tasman, Shontana Napangardi Tasman, Narlita Napanangka Robbo, Chloe Napanangka Dixon, Lyndall Napangardi Dixon, Leah Napanangka James

Jangala Jampijinpa Nangala Nampijinpa (Blue Group)

Male Dancers and Singers:
Peter Jangala Jigili, Jerry Jangala Patrick, Thomas Jangala Sampson, Sean Jangala Patrick, Dion Jangala Kelly, Edmond Jangala Kelly, Steven Jangala Robertson, Tarrpa Jangala Patrick, Leslie Jampijinpa Robertson, Steve Jampijinpa Patrick, Dominic Jangala Edwards, Tyrone Jampijinpa Cooke, Desmond Jampijinpa Patrick, Lazaris Jangala Hargraves

Female Dancers and Singers:
Geraldine Nangala Robertson, Liddy Nampijinpa Miller, Angeline Nampijinpa Tasman, Patsy Nangala Herbert, Joeline Nangala Timms, Narelle Nangala Robertson, Tina Nangala Robertson, Lavah Nangala Kelly, Mantrina Nangala Robertson, Jasmine Nangala Patrick, Annette Nampijinpa Patrick, Jeniffer (Nampijinpa) Biddle, Liesl Rattan

Male Youth Dancers:
Hendrix Jangala Burns, Michaelis Jangala Sampson, Kealyn Jampijinpa Kelly, Keanu Jampijinpa Kelly, Kane Jampijinpa Kelly, Kuziva Jampijinpa Mukarati, Noah Jangala Jigili, Steven Jampijinpa Robertson, Fabian Japanangka Dickson, Muhammed Jangala Dixon, Norbert Jampijinpa Patrick, Lesley Jampijinpa McDonald, Jebediah Jampijinpa Patrick

Female Youth Dancers:
Shekira Nampijinpa Robertson, Zinzei Nampijinpa Jigili, Diane Nampijinpa Thatcher, Niveka Nangala Donnelly, Sharon Nangala Ross, Faithleen Nangala Tilmouth, Andrea Nangala Moora, Mona-Lisa Nampijinpa Kelly, Linda Nangala Moora, Elvira Jampijinpa Stevenson, Ruby Nangala McDonald


  • Milpirri Introduction and Welcome
  • Yankirri (Emu), Traditional – Jangala/Jampijinpa/Nangala/Nampijinpa (Blue Group)
    The emu is a symbol of teaching. The female emu lays her eggs and walks away from the chicks. The male emu teaches the young emus how to survive in the harsh desert.
  • Speak to the land: Animals within a bush landscape, Yapa in the landscape (whole school with Yawulyu dancers)
  • Yawulyu bird dances from Yinapaka, Traditional
    Jipilyaku (Duck), Jangala/Jampijinpa/Nangala/Nampijinpa (Blue Group)
    Pimparlajarra, Japanangka/Japangardi/Napanangka/Napangardi (Green Group)
    Kurlukuku (Little pigeon with red eye), Jakamarra/Jupurrurla/Nakamarra/Napurrula (Red Group)
    Ngatijirri (Green Grass Parrot), Japaljarri/Jungarrayi/Napaljarri/Nungarrayi (Yellow Group)
  • Warlu (Fire), Traditional – Japanangka/Japangardi/Napanangka/Napangardi (Green Group)
    Warlpiri burn off the overgrowth which makes room for fresh growth. This brings back the animals and uncovers root crops.
  • Animals and Fire (Junior Students)
  • Walmajarri, Traditional - Two hunters enter, light fire and call to the winds for help
  • East Wind (Green group dance), Older girls
  • North Wind (Blue group dance), Older boys
  • Marlu (Kangaroo and shields), Traditional – Jakamarra/Jupurrurla/Nakamarra/Napurrula (Red Group)
    A kangaroo is symbolic of law. The young boy begins his journey in learning his rich heritage of “ngurra-kurlu” (Land, Law, Language, Ceremony and Kinship.)
  • Fire (Juniors and Senior Boys)
  • West Wind (Yellow group dance), Younger school group
  • South Wind (Red group dance), Champions group and Middle-school group
  • Witi (Leafy Poles), Traditional – Japaljarri/Jungarrayi/Napaljarri/Nungarrayi (Yellow Group)
    The young boy stands before two leafy poles and is given a choice. Will he follow the right pathways and learnings or will he follow some other way and depart from his heritage?
  • Pulyaranyi – (Winds of Change) Tracks dancers and whole school
  • Wulparri (Milky Way), Tradtional
    The men acknowledge the role that the young boy’s mothers have played earlier in his life.
  • Lighting of the Witi
    A boy has begun the journey of becoming a man who is a “Kurdiji” (shield) protecting his heritage: his Land, Law, Language, Ceremony and Family (Kinship system.)
  • Sky Lanterns – creating the Milky Way


Original music created through the “Red Sand Culture” project, a partnership between InCite Youth Arts and the Mt Theo Program
Narration: Steve Wanta Jampijinpa Patrick
Traditional vocals: Jerry Jangala Patrick, Myra Nungarrayi Herbert, Gladys Napangardi Tasman, Rosie Napurrula Tasman, Liddy Nampijinpa Miller
Kids Vocals: Jerry Japanangka Patrick, Japeth Japangardi Tasman, Anton Japangardi James, Cedrick Japaljarri Kelly, Norbert Jampijinpa Patrick
Original Yungkaju Kurdari (Milky Way Song): Words – Steve Wanta Jampijinpa Patrick
Music: Zac Jakamarra Patterson, Kenneth Jungarrayi Martin, Steve Hannon
Vocals: Zac Jakamarra Patterson, Kenneth Jungarrayi Martin

Thank You

Michael and staff -Lajamanu Shire workshop, Louisa and staff - Warnayaka Arts Centre, Susie, David and Nat - Mount Theo, Sheppard and staff - Lajamanu (Central Desert Shire), Max and staff – Lajamanu School, Jim and staff - Lajamanu Progress Association, Dan and Nicky - Wulaign, Jeff - Lajamanu ESO, Lajamanu Rangers program, Richard - school workshop, Stuart and David - PAW Media, Dr Jennifer Biddle, Dr Miles Homes, Rob Chapman – Central Lands Council, Allan Marshal – Deakin University, Kendall – FAHCSIA, Leeanne and Aaron - ANU, Wormald, David Taylor – Knock About Chefs, Lajamanu Air, Top End Sounds, Ausdesigns, Warehouse 73, Jackson’s Arts Supplies, Susan and staff – PAW Media, Stewart and Cath – People Pictures and late Paddy Japaljarri Simms's family for permission to use "Milky Way" dance.


GMAAAC (Granites Mines Affected Areas Aboriginal Corporation) and the Central Land Council, Newmont Asia Pacific, Lajamanu Progress Aboriginal Corporation, WYDAC (Mt Theo Program), Central Desert Shire, Southern Cross Television, Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area, Corrugated Iron Youth Arts (Artists in Remote Schools Program) and National Institute for Experimental Art.

Funding Bodies

Tracks Inc is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; and is proudly sponsored by the Northern Territory Government.

Tracks 2012

Artistic Co Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
General Manager: Susan Congreve
Administrator: Gail Evans
Production Manager: Kelly Blumberg
Dance Animateur: Jessica Devereux
Bookkeeper: Heather Van Anholt
Committee Members: (Chair) David Taylor, (Vice-Chair) Jill MacAndrew, (Treasurer) Glenn Bernardin, (Secretary/Public Officer) Michael Grant, (Ordinary Committee Members) Ken Conway, Nick Papandonakis, Stephanie Cvirn, (Ex-Officio Members) David McMicken and Tim Newth

Public Fund Trustees: Rev. Steve Orme, Dr Anita Toth, Ippei Okazaki

Patron: Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following pages, photographs and videos may contain images, voices, and names of deceased persons.

Further Reading

A short history of the long-term relationship between Lajamanu and Tracks Dance Company

Audience Responses

“Tracks Dance Company and the Warlpiri people of Lajamanu are to be commended for their dedicated work to ensure a splendid performance was enjoyed by all. The uninhibited joy of the children participating in the festival was a pleasure to see, and what moves they had! We also thoroughly enjoyed the traditional dancing and the artwork serving as a backdrop to the stage.” The Northern Territory Administrator, the Hon Sally Thomas AM.

“Just wanted to formally feedback on the extraordinary 2012 Milpirri. I laughed, I cried, and I learnt. What a privilege to be there, and we are so proud to have even a small part in helping it come together. Congratulations to you all! Look forward to many more years’ collaboration.” Susan Low - Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation.

“It was all amazing and a great experience. The banners this year were fantastic and I liked the circular stage and seating area.”
Sophie - audience member.

“Sitting in the red dust under a full(ish) moon, absorbed by the dancers, soaking up their stories. Such a magical experience”. Sally - audience member.

“It was a privilege to be able to attend Milpirri. It provides an important opportunity to gain some insight into Warlpiri culture, to see old and young people coming together, and to watch a very professional and enjoyable performance. Mostly it is so great to see the positive effect on Lajamanu as a community.” Jayne Weepers - Central Land Council.

“Milpirri started off small and it grows. It grows and gets recognised by people right across Australia. It is about bringing people together, about learning about Kardiya and yapa. Most of our people still want to go in our Law and culture. But hopefully we will walk together, coming out of the shadows, working side by side because we are all important in Australia. Seeing granddaughters and sons taking part in Milpirri really makes us proud. Women and men taking part as well. The boys, they sing, they dance, they perform. To see young women taking part. Young men taking part. It will go on for years. Hopefully Milpirri will get bigger and wider. I would like to see more Kardiya get involved. Our skin is connected to the land that makes us who we are. To see young ones coming behind us. Hopefully next time we will see more Kardiya. Doing it. It’s about bringing us together so we are not separate from each other. We don’t walk on a separate road. We would rather walk on the same road together.” Peter Jigili - Warlpiri Community Leader.

“Milpirri shows everyone in Lajamanu at their best. Same for the art, it puts it at its best”. Louisa Erglis - Art Centre Manager.

“Milpirri is a leading avant-garde Indigenous art practice, exemplifying complex and unique aesthetic qualities and minoritarian politics. As a radical participatory experiment, it materializes objects, memories and events in the present through what Stuart Hall has called ‘acts of imaginative rediscovery’ (Hall 2000); a crucial strategy of survival for art under occupation, revealing what tradition was and what it can be for the future, for the first time.” Dr. Jennifer L. Biddle.

“I have been emotionally impacted by this project, and the people of Lajamanu, in a way that doesn't feel contained by the project itself, but rather could well have a lasting effects on the way I perceive the world around me and my place within it.” Kelly Beneforti - Youth Choreographer

“The performance was most impressive...I was blinded by the reflected flashlight of all the smiling kids’ faces.” Max Agnew - Lajamanu School principal.

“Milpirri is an inspiration for all Australians. I can't commend you enough for your work.” Visitor.

Cast Responses

“Milpirri is an inspiration for all Australians. I can't commend you enough for your work.” Visitor. “Everyone is very emotional; we are proud parents.” Warlpiri performer.

“Milpirri is a time that brings the whole community together. On that day everyone joins in and celebrates.” LynetteTasman – Warlpiri performer.

“It is always a good one. Last night was really good for everyone, yapa and kardiya together. I was really happy. Everyone doing their proper job.” Jerry Jangala – Warlpiri elder.



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