Djuki Mala

dance review (adelaide) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 11 Mar 2018
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Djuki Mala

The Yolngu boys who make up Djuki Mala come from one of the strongest remaining Indigenous cultures in Australia. Hailing from the far north, the Yolngu culture thrives and through this show is presented to the world.

Beginning with a history of colonisation and its effect on the Indignous peoples of Australia, what follows is a beautiful acknowledgement and celebration of Yonglu culture.

The 'Chooky Dancers', as they are known, embrace Bollywood culture, Greek Zorba dance and Michael Jackson with both ease and respect. The dances they perform effortlessly blend their traditional dance with other cultures and exude confidence and energy. It's nearly impossible to not bop along to their fiercely exact movements as they bound across the stage.

The dances are broken up by video footage of other Yolgnu Elders – and the dancers themselves – as they describe how Dkuji Mala came to be, and the influence it has on their community. These videos are honest and tell a largely unrecognised story of the importance of dance in traditional Indigenous culture. 

The infectious energy on stage is enough to have every audience member clapping along – and to warrant a well-deserved standing ovation. Djuki Mala is a stunning display of tradition and contemporary dance, and how these two spheres can gracefully inhabit the same space.