Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival


Come celebrate the World's Oldest Living Culture

The 20th Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival will be held on 21st - 23rd of June 2013.

The Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival is an exciting biennial gathering in Cape York Peninsula, highlighting the many diverse Communities, language, song, dance and stories. 

Witness the passing on of Culture across the generations, along with showcasing the strength, pride and uniqueness of Aboriginal people. 

Over 5,000 people travel to Laura from across the nation to enjoy this Festival for three days; over 20 Communities participate across the region, with up to 500 performers.


Come along to share, respect, and celebrate our unity as a nation.



“Campfire”dancing, storytelling, singing, sleeping...listening to where you are.

Anniversary Program of Dances from around the Cape York with

Traditional Dance Cycles that have been handed down through millennia.

To showcase these dances the LADF 2013 has devised the program to travel from Laura up Country to Cooktown & Hopevale spreading the word of invitation through Wujal Wujal, Coen, Pormpuraaw Aurukun, Mapoon, Lockhart and NPA communities, New Mapoon, Umagico & Injinoo then returns on the Sunday evening having circled south to Yarrabah, Kuranda & Mossman and ends with the future - children from Cooktown & Hopevale.

For the 20th Anniversary Program we have introduced new elements:

The first new element to this year’s programming has been to eliminate the idea of competition and replace it with ‘Sharing’ of Dance and Song between communities.

The second new element is the introduction of the 20/20 - limiting the number of dancers on the Dance ground to 20 by each dance group, for the 20 th Anniversary.

Performance & Dancer Rotation

– Communities are encouraged to explore their dance and stories

and present varied dance cycles where possible. By presenting different dancers of all ages and ability, communities are educating the public through a varied performance program to the uniqueness of their community and the diversity of Aboriginal cultures.

Maintaining Country

– One of the silent factors is to look after Country in order to help maintain

the dance ground for the future. The use of environmentally-friendly materials by stall holders, ‘dry’ toilets, recycle bags courtesy of the Laura School initiative, and the reduction of vehicular traffic through the festival site.

Official Proceedings:

At the start of any event or when travelling through Country, we acknowledge the land on which we gather and where possible Local Elders welcome visitors onto their Country.

This year Traditional Custodian, and Laura resident, Thomas George Jnr. will lead the Local Elders in

Welcome to Country.

This will be followed by the Handing Back of the Winners Shield from the 2011 Festival, by Lockhart River.

Community Representatives accompanying the Handing Back of the Winners Shield Ceremony are called to receive their invitation to be on Ang-Ngarra Dance Ground and share their Traditional

Cultural Dance.

As the message to gather is delivered, we program each community in relation to proximity to Laura.


Laura Dance Saturday Program

Laura Dance Sunday Program

Laura Dance Sunday Program

Latest News...

Artistic Director - biography

LADF 2013 ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - Raymond D. Blanco

Raymond D. Blanco is a highly regarded Choreographer and leader in the development of contemporary Indigenous dance in Australia.

His Paternal heritage is Magarem of Mer Island and Pajinka/Wik from Injinoo (Queensland) and his Maternal heritage is Erub Island in the Torres Strait, and Malay.


1991 - appointed founding Artistic Director of AIDT (The Company) touring the world to great acclaim, performing in many culturally diverse festivals and theatres, until the Company ceased operating in 1999.

1997 - Edge of the Sacred - Sydney Olympic Festival of the Dreaming in collaboration with composer Peter Sculthorpe and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

1998 - Sydney Festival commissioned Blanco to create a new work Ngalyod. This work was created in collaboration with the French street theatre company Plasticien Volants and the Gulnbalanya community of Oenpelli, in the eastern part of Kakadu National Park. Ngalyod premiered in Melbourne before touring Europe successfully.

2000 - Artistic Director of the Opening Ceremony for the 8th Festival of Pacific Arts, "Words of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow", which took place at Noumea's Magenta Stadium and telecast live.

Blanco also created and directed Story Place, the opening ceremony for the Queensland Art Gallery's festival celebrating art works from Cape York.



1993 - Docudrama Burning Piano based on the life of Nobel Prize-winning author Patrick White

Non-singing role of Jacky in Richard Meale's opera Voss also performed in

State of Shock -Toe Truck Theatre

Munjong - Aboriginal National Theatre Trust

Whispers in the Heart - Sidetrack Theatre.

1997 - Associate Director and Choreographer Cockroach Opera (Nano Riantiano), Belvoir Street Theatre.



2003 - 2005 Raymond Blanco was appointed Associate Professor of Australian Indigenous Dance and Culture and Artist in Residence at Macquarie University, Sydney.

He has sat on many committees, been a Cultural Ambassador for the Australian Council for the Arts and a keynote speaker at several dance conferences.

2011 - Curriculum Consultant - NAISDA College

2012 - Course Coordinator, Dance - NAISDA College



Inaugural Robert Tudawalli Award for Best Actor on Screen for his role in the play Munjong, filmed and released under the title Blackfellas.

1993 – Honoured at the Dancers Picnic (precursor of the Australian Dance Awards)

1998 - Artist of the Year, National NAIDOC Awards.

2009 - inducted into the Hall of Fame at the North Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Innisfail.

This website may contain images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have passed away.

Next Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival is on...

19.06.2015 - 12:00 o'clock

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All associated with the Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival would like to thank everyone who has contributed, both large and small, to make this Festival so special. 

Thank you to our funders:  The Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, and the Cook Shire Council.

 Thank you also to the Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre.

We wish to also thank our Sponsors: Apunipima, and UMI Arts.

In addition, we would also like to thank the numeorus Volunteers.

Major Sponsors

Queensland Govennment Quinkan Centre apunipima_logo bundarra

Secondary Sponsors

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