Review | Link Harris
Djuki Mala – which has been running for 11 years without any government funding – is fun, playful and irreverent. After paying respects to their ancestors and asking the good spirit to keep everyone safe, Yalyalwuy Gondarra, Baykali Ganambarr, Didiwarr Yunupingu, Watjarr Garmu and Tibian Cristopher Wyles enter the stage wearing traditional body-paint and spears. Putting the tail of what looks to be a feathery headband into their mouths, they start their traditional Indigenous dance – weaving around, circling each other and stomping the stage as they go. Putting down the spears and picking up wooden clubs they continue dancing and start to hiss like snakes, swinging the clubs around – and then the stage goes dark.
Projected onto the background one of their Elders starts to speak about their culture, showing the young people how to live and about the land. The lights come back on and then the 5 performers bust out into “Zorba the Greek” dance whilst mixing it with their own Indigenous style, the crowd goes wild and the dancers even more so – smiling, thrusting their hips about and teasing ladies in the front row.
Again, their Elders show up on the back screen paying their respects to Frank Djirrimbilpilwuy Garawirrtja – without whom none of this would have been possible – and also previous members both alive and deceased who have kept the group and their culture alive. Back on stage the boys continue dancing in their own unique fashion to all manner of music such as Indian whilst dressed in gold turbans, a gold sash and dark sunglasses, dancing to singing in the rain with umbrellas, Missy Elliott’s get your freak on, Michael Jackson and much much more.
Djuki Mala is a fantastic and brilliantly executed mix of modern dance with their traditional dancing, do not miss out on this mesmerising show, it is definitely a must see for all ages and should not be missed!
WHEN: 28 January – 25 February 2018 | Times vary
WHERE: The West Australian Speigeltent | The Pleasure Garden | Northbridge
INFO: Tickets $41 – $46 | Duration 70 mins | Suitable all ages | DANCE