There was a standing ovation on opening night at Perth’s Black Swan Theatre Broome-based dance company Marrugeku, newly returned from a successful tour in Europe.
Marrugeku comprises indigenous and non-indigenous artists working together with a mix of ritual and urban dance.
They aim to preserve Aboriginal history, culture and language together with local and wider global issues – and hope to promote change.
They employ many talented performers of different extractions, using dance, spoken word, and original music.
Jurrungu Nyan-gu, a powerful, provocative, and thought provoking new dance-theatre work, explores the disproportionate number of indigenous Australians in custody, and the humiliating life inside the immigration centres of refugees in detention.
The performance contains low level strobe lighting and is recommended for ages 15+.
Artistic directors Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain developed the concept with the patron, Senator Patrick Dodson. “Because we lack the ability to straight talk to one another, this fear grows in each generation, holding community and society back in multiple ways,” says the Yawuru leader.
Dalisa Pigram, Dodson’s grand-daughter, devised the choreography with the dancers. The scenic design is by well-known WA artist Abdul-Rahman Abdulla, and Behrouz Boochani contributed his expertise.
81 minutes (no interval).
The show runs until 23rd September.
Tickets available from Black Swan Theatre Company.
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Photography: Prudence Upton