Song of Survival – National Indigenous Times

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains the name of someone who has passed. The family of Ningali Lawford-Wolf has given the media permission to use her name.

Bangarra Dance Company’s SandSong: Stories from the Great Sandy Desert brings stories of the Kimberley and its people to centre stage at the Sydney Opera House.

SandSong tells the story of the Wangkatjungka/Walmajarri people: their survival, culture and kinship despite dispossession, displacement and cultural disruption. And it honours the legacy of late Wangkatjungka woman, Ningali Lawford-Wolf, and her family.

Remembered as a woman who loved her Country, Ms Lawford-Wolf began her life under the shade of a tree at Christmas Creek Station in the far-north Kimberley.

She was no stranger to Australian screens, starring in well-known films Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002), Last Cab to Darwin (2015) and Bran Nue Dae (2009), among other works.

In September 2019, Ms Lawford-Wolf passed away in Edinburgh, Scotland whilst touring Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Secret River.

Bangarra Ensemble for SandSong by Daniel Boud.

Bangarra associate artistic director and SandSong co-choreographer Frances Rings describes Ms Lawford-Wolf as a sister. The pair first met in Sydney in the late 1980s.

“My sister and I, we were 17 when we met. We had this strong bond for over 20 years and so

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