We just love it and we never miss a chance to go and join the festivities, and the line up of performers is always terrific. This year the evenings events kicked off with a live performance from a band called Dez, who came from Melbourne and delivered a pretty alternative set of music. They were followed by Taiko drummers, Hanagassa dancers and a Vietnamese dance group. The fabulous folk artist Grim Faulkner delivered some moving acoustic songs, then the Chinese Lions performed a dynamic dance that was followed by a saucy bevy of buxom beauties in a belly dancing troup.
The Welcome to Country was delivered by Dja Dja Wurrung just as the sun was setting and a full moon rose majestically in the sky above us. A stirring didgeridoo performance, some Tibetan chanting and an Islamic Prayer for Peace was delivered, which refocused and revered the massive crowd. The welcome speeches were delivered, the peace flags were raised and the celebrations kicked off again.
Bollywood dancers and a performing arts group called SMACS brought lots of colour, movement and vibrancy to the stage and then Vern the fire dancer arrived in his purple glittery spandex and dazzled us all with his glittery beard and fire twirling gyrations. The evening ended with an animated light show that is projected directly on to the white surface of The Great Stupa, a fireworks spectacular and then the burning of an effigy that symbolizes the 'bad.' The 'bad' is filled with the notes and prayers of everyone in attendance, on that note you write down something that no longer serves you and that you wish to remove from your life, the burning of these notes works like a cleansing and offers a fresh start to everyone, it's a really nice way to end the entire event.
Over four full hours of entertainment and the tickets were only $10 each, talk about incredible value for money, but the real reason that we attend Illumin8 every year is not just because of the incredible entertainment, it is also because of the amazing inclusiveness of the event. People from all walks of life and every persuasion are in attendance at this celebration and the vibe is just electric. I always leave feeling like I have been invigorated and re-energized. There is something so wonderful about seeing so much diversity in one place that is being embraced and celebrated in such a gentle and respectful way.
Events like these are genuinely good for what ails you, they strengthen your faith in humanity, they offer you something completely new and they make you appreciate the amazing diversity and talent that we have in our country. Who wouldn't want more of those kinds of events in their lives?
Release Date: 2019
Running Time: 113 mins
An Australian romantic comedy directed by Wayne Blair and written by Joshua Tyler and Miranda Tapsell , who also stars in the lead female role. I don't think that there has been an Australian movie this honest and meaningful for quite some time and I really enjoyed it. Showcasing some of the most beautiful landscapes Australia has to offer and exploring the beautiful relationship that the indigenous people have with the land and each other, this is a deeply affecting and heart warming watch.
Lauren and Ned are in love and want to tie the knot. Lauren's boss has granted her a 10 day reprieve to have a wedding, but with Lauren's mother MIA somewhere in remote Northern Australia, a wild goose chase ensues as they try to track her down in time for the big event.
This film took a while to warm up for me, at around the half hour mark I was extremely skeptical about whether I was going to even stay awake. However, the last half hour of the film delivers completely, tying everything up in a sweet and sensitive way that delivers with great respect for the people of Tiwi Island.
FINAL SAY: Getting hitched down under.
3.5 Chilli Peppers