Djuki Mala performer, Baykali Ganambarr, said the show tells the genesis of Djuki Mala in a way that challenges the western anthropological view of First Nation’s culture. “We do this with our humour, our dance, our story and our culture,” he said. “It’s alive, it’s living, breathing, ever-changing and evolving. Rooted in 75,000 years of ancestral knowledge, we take our culture out of the museum and place it very firmly in the 21st century – with a bit of circus and bling.”
The group began in 2007 when teenager, Lionel Dulmanawuy of North East Arnhem Land, paid tribute to his sister’s Greek carer by filming a group performance that later went viral. The video captured a performance combing traditional Yolngu dance, with the famous Zorba the Greek movements and music, which has since had more than three million views and seen Djuki Mala take the world by storm.
After performing all over the world for the past decade, the group will present their internationally acclaimed smash hit show at HOTA’s stage next month, combining a retrospective and autobiographical work that is interspersed with multimedia. CEO of HOTA Criena Gehrke said audiences will be amazed with the energetic performance that has the world talking. “Djuki Mala have an incredible energy and their fusion of Indigenous and western dance has gone down a storm with audiences all around the world,” she said. “Not only are they incredible dancers, this show is full of surprises and it’s incredibly funny.”
Djuki Mala’s reinterpretations of popular culture and traditional dance, gives audiences the opportunity to experience some of the more intimate moments and turning points that shaped the group, in a marvel of timing, comedy and clowning which offers a rare and insightful view into Aboriginal Australia.
After electrifying audiences at major festivals and events all over the world, the group recently presented sold out performances at the Sydney Opera House and their premiere at Edinburgh Festival Fringe season, with their unique, infectious and always exuberant performance.
The group have also won multiple awards, such as the Best Dance & Physical Theatre Award and West Australian Arts Editor Award at the Perth Fringe World Festival in 2017, and the Best Dance Award at Adelaide Fringe in 2015.
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