Miriki and Pomo performers at UCLA Berkley 2019

Bayal Kaymanen (Dancing Smoke)

North America tour: Miriki Performing Arts +  Northern Pomo exchange

Miriki Performing Arts is a North Queensland youth First Nations performing arts company. They encourage and give opportunities to Indigenous youth to create, choreograph and perform their heritage through storytelling, drama, dance and song.A significant and exclusive company of Indigenous caretakers has been given permission by elders around the country to share their centuries-old stories with the world through the performing arts.

Miriki Performing Arts have captured a tapestry of Australia's Indigenous heritage and history by sitting with elders representing the nations of Yidinji, Wiradjuri, Bundjalung, Arukubindi, Giddamay and Australian South Sea Island descendants from Tafea Province. They showcase stories passed down from generation to generation. Miriki is genuinely honoured to be bearers of intimate and personal stories that reflect our elders' storylines and cultural identity.

In summer 2019 Miriki Performing Arts from Australia and the Northern Pomo Dancers from California came together on the UC Berkeley campus on the Memorial Glade to build a bridge across the Pacific Ocean and raise awareness about two of the world's oldest living cultures. The event was co-hosted by the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies at Berkeley, the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund through Regional Arts Australia, the Australia Council for the Arts, and the Embassy of Australia in Washington, D.C.

A group of some 40 dancers ages 7 to 70 performed a series of stories that explored the relationship of fire between the Yidinji Nation from Cairns, Australia, and the Northern Pomo Tribe from the Redwood Valley Rancheria, in California. The performance was called Bayal Kaymanen, which translates to “Dancing Smoke” (“bayal” means “fire and smoke” in the Yidinji language, and “kaymanen” means “dance” in the Pomo language).

Miriki Performing Arts
Northern Pomo Dancers

Miriki Performing Arts: Pauline Lampton | Bonemap

The Australian Government | Regional Arts Fund

Video documentation to come:

Miriki and Pomo cultural exchange participantsMiriki performers in North Amercia performing for Pomo audience