Blue Turban & ARAB: great performers for a community event
Blue Turban, the Anti Racism Action Band (ARAB) and the Samoan Dancers from Coolaroo entertained 350 Neighbourhood House & Learning Centre supporters when the ‘Walk of Hearts’ arrived at the Treasury Gardens, Melbourne, on 14 September, to celebrate the sector’s achievements, and in so doing, to demonstrate for realistic funding.
Blue Turban Percussion performs with violin, didgeridoo, saxophone, guitar and traditional Morrocan instruments, playing West African music and featuring dancers and fire perfomances. They also run workshops in:
ARAB (brainchild of Victorian Arabic Social Services) is a youth performing arts project involving young people from 30 different cultures in the north and north western suburbs of Melbourne since 2004.
The project provides participants with the opportunity to develop creative skills and talent while at the same time addressing the problems they face as young people. “When we dance, we’re confident in ourselves,” says one young participant.
Young people’s skill base, confidence and self-esteem is increased through the teaching and performance of:
- beat box
- Derbakki (Arabic drumming)
- spoken word
- belly dance
- hip hop
- video and comic monologue.
After the recent show ‘Yallah Shabiba!’ performance – a narrative about race and the universality of friendship – was performed to 2300 secondary school students in school gymnasiums and town halls in Reservoir, Glenroy and Broadmeadows, one young person said, “There wasn’t anyone in ARAB who left after the last Yallah Shabiba! performance that didn’t make new friends.”
By connecting with young people from many backgrounds, participants also get insight into the lives and experiences of others. Misunderstandings and preconceived notions of other cultures are often dispelled and friendships created.
Since the band began in 2004, 170 young people have engaged in 50 public performances to audiences exceeding 11,000.
Performances have included the 5th International Women’s Health Conference, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Victorian Police Arabic Culture Training Course, Harmony Day events, Fawkner Cluster of Schools Teacher Professional Development, Club Wild, SBS Radio Anniversary Broadcast, Darebin Music Feast, International Women’s Day events and the Australian Arabic Council’s Media Award Ceremony.
Contact Blue Turban
T: 03 9489 6130;
T: 03 9309 2435