Synopsis by Betsy Boyd
Choreographer Jiri Kylian filmed the documentary,Road to the Stamping Ground, at the 1980 Tribal Dancers gathering at Groote Island, Australia. Footage contains scenes from a spirited group dance inspired by aboriginal rites. In the film,Kylian, who serves as both artistic director and principal choreographer of the Nederlands Dance Theater, explores the festival participants' verbal and nonverbal forms of communication. The tribes involved in the annual gathering have no common native language and can only communicate in basic English. Kylian points out that each tribe brings with them traditional dances from their local areas, and through movement or stamping, finds a way to share their mystical experiences with other tribes. These aboriginal people believe that dance ensures the spiritual well-being and social cohesion of community life.
Aborigine, Australia, communication, community, dance [art], festival, spirituality, tradition, tribe