Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Djuki Mala! Before the dancing begins the audience is greeted with a warm ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony, and as the four dancers (Baykali Ganambarr, Yalyalwuy Gondarra, Tibian Wyles, and Watjarr Garmu) take to the stage there is a moment of significance, of reverence, a continuation of the ceremony to bring us all into their world. The reverential atmosphere continues as the dancers move to Aboriginal music. The audience is given a taste of traditional Aboriginal dancing, highlighting the intricacy of rhythms in the dances, which sometimes merge and sometimes collide with the music.
Out of the blue the music changes and the dancers break into Bollywood style dancing. The change in atmosphere delights the audience and what follows is a wonderful tribute to the symbiosis of music and dance. Embracing a variety of styles, Djuki Mala pay tribute to Motown, techno, hip-hop, breakdance, krumping and classic numbers such as Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” routine, and there’s a salute to “Singing in the Rain” against the backdrop of their spectacularly beautiful island home. Indeed, the different dances are punctuated by the story of how Djuki Mala emerged from Elcho Island, North East Arnhem Land, one of Australia’s most remote communities where the Yolngu culture has endured.
Since 2007 over thirty young men have danced in the troupe and members have performed alongside high profile Australian artists including: John Butler, Jessica Mauboy, Kate Miller Heidke, Yothu Yindi and Blue King Brown to name a few. Djuki Mala has helped launch the careers of many Aboriginal performers. In the current Perth line-up Baykali Ganambarr, recently won Best New Talent at the Venice Film Festival and Male Actor of the year at the Dream Awards for his performance in the movie “The Nightingale” directed by Jennifer Kent. Yalyalwuy Gondarra has been involved in filming the major feature film “Higher Ground” in the Northern Territory and Tibian Wyles is appearing on the Major Festival circuit in the gusty new Australian work from Creative Producer Joshua Bond called “Man with an Iron Neck”. The troupe have won several awards including 2018 Unisa Award Excellence In Aboriginal Creative Arts, Adelaide Fringe and 2017 Best Dance & Physical Theatre Award, Perth Fringe World Festival.
Djuki Mala is a retrospective and autobiographical show that combines comedy and clowning, with the poignant reminder of a 60,000 year old civilisation that can enjoy, imitate and embrace other cultures, which begs the question: can other cultures embrace the traditions and practices that have ensured the survival of the oldest civilisations in the world? Djuki Mala offers a rare view into Aboriginal Australia and an insightful and positive intimation of future human relations in Australia.
This high energy show has a hefty dose of heart and soul and continues to delight audiences of all ages at Perth Fringe World. You’ll need to book tickets early to catch the continuing season from 9 to 17 February at The West Australian Spiegeltent, The Woodside Pleasure Garden, Russell Square, Northbridge.. The show duration is 70 minutes and is suitable for all ages Tickets: $37.50 – $ 46.00. Bookings: https://bit.ly/2zqmkuu
Pic credits: Cam Campbell