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Masters of Ceremony

Deadly Vibe Issue 110 April 2006

Ngadju dancers help launch the Commonwealth Games.

Among the 5000-plus performers who featured in the spectacular Commonwealth Games opening ceremony were seven dancers from Norseman in Western Australia.

The Ngadju Dancers were the only performers representing Western Australia, and almost didn’t make it at all.

The group received an invitation to audition for the opening ceremony on a Thursday last October. Exciting news indeed. The catch was they had to be in Melbourne by that Sunday, and the group didn’t have two cents between them to rub together.

“We just started making calls,” says coordinator and dancer James Schultz. “We called people, and they called people, and the money started coming in. We had three days to raise the money to get from Kalgoorlie to Melbourne, and we did it.”

Rehearsals for the opening ceremony started in earnest in January, which were held at the RAAF base at Laverton.

“After a while you could see how it was all going to unfold,” says James. “And then when we finally got to see the stadium we were blown away ” rows and rows of seats, and all the flags, and the lighting ” just spectacular.”

Although the group were nervous about performing in front of 100,000 people (not counting the million-plus international television audience), they were also thrilled about being part of such an exciting atmosphere.

“In particular, it’s been great to meet people from all of these different countries,” James says. “Africa, Canada, England, Papua New Guinea. Them Papuan fellas are deadly ” they came right up and shook our hands and said g’day.”

(story 1/4/2006 end)

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