DANCERS ARE IN GOOD COMPANY
A THANK you can go a very long way.
When Yolngu teenager Lionel Dulmanawuy decided in 2007 he wanted to thank his sister’s Greek carer by paying tribute to her heritage with a group performance of Zorba the Greek on an Elcho Island basketball court, he never imagined where The Chooky Dancers would end up a decade later.
His father Frank Djirrimbilpilwuy uploaded a clip to YouTube which has since had more than 2.5 million views.
The Chooky Dancers, renamed Djuki Mala (Djuki meaning Chooky with a Yolngu accent and Mala meaning mob) in 2013, have since continued to present shows that re-interpret popular culture and dance with narrative and drama.
Joshua Bond is the artistic director and a founding member of the North East Arnhem Land ensemble and directed/ produced the critically acclaimed 2014 show Djuki Mala which will be presented in Perth for the first time at Fringe World Festival 2017.
“The company has been to WA numerous times up in the Pilbara but not with this particular show, so we’re really excited to bring it to Perth,” Bond said.
“When we first had the opportunity to create this show, we discussed how the main questions we would get asked were people wanting to know more about The Chooky Dancers; how it came to be what it is and how we came to be doing these dances.
“So in a sense this show is very much a retrospective or autobiographical work that reflects on the genesis of the company.
“It talks throughout the show about the history of the company, the ups and downs. It shares some of the more intimate moments that have shaped the company to be what it is today.”
Bond said the small cast drew on diverse cultural references from around the world and this diversity had created a show accessible to audiences of all ages.
Members of the Djuki Mala ensemble.