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Dinosaurs given new life for Gondwana

14 SEPTEMBER 2005

The prehistoric forces that shaped Australia and the early dinosaurs and plants that populated the great south land come to life in an epic production at the National Museum of Australia from 24 September.

Gondwana: A Live Journey Through Time is the latest work from Sydney company Erth Visual & Physical and debuts at the National Museum after 15 months of development.
The show includes highly sophisticated dinosaur puppets, eight-metre high inflatable plants, giant dragon flies and ancient ocean dwellers.

'The audience will be taken on a journey through deep time to witness the birth and transformation of Gondwana,' said Erth project manager Sally MacDonald. 'This atmospheric work spans eons, revealing the power and beauty of evolutionary forces, a multitude of fascinating creatures and mystic elements that colour the cultural landscape.'

National Museum public programs coordinator Daina Harvey said Gondwana was underpinned by strong research, including consultation with leading palaeontologists and palaeobotanists including Professor Mike Archer and Dr Mary White.

'Theatre is an incredibly powerful tool for exploring the creation of the Gondwana continent,' Daina said. 'The show will be very physical and very immersive - with fantastic projections and an original music score - on a scale never seen before in the Museum.'

Gondwana will be staged twice daily, except on Mondays, in the cavernous space of the National Museum's Temporary Gallery from 24 September to 9 October.

Performances will be held at 11am and 2pm, with special 6pm shows on Friday, 30 September and Saturday, 1 October. Tickets are $5, with bookings on 1800 558 670.

The National Museum's school holiday program will be complemented by other activities including a Gondwana children's trail extending into the galleries and a film festival.

Gondwana will also be performed as part of the International Museum Theatre Alliance (IMTAL) Conference being held in Canberra from October 13 to 16.

Erth was founded in Ballarat 15 years ago. Gondwana builds on the success of earlier works staged at cultural institutions including the Melbourne and Auckland museums. Gondwana is also supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, NSW Ministry for the Arts, Auckland Museum and Doma Hotels Canberra.

For images or more information please contact Leanda Coleman on 02 6208 5338,0438 620 710, Sandy Forbes on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or email media@nma.gov.au