Dance, Physical Theatre, WORLD PREMIERE Australia


[Straight Talk]
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Presented by Darwin Festival and Darwin Entertainment Centre

Unfortunately Jurrungu Ngan-ga [Straight Talk] will not be able to perform on Fri 13 Aug and Sat 14 August due to COVID-19 border restrictions. We will be presenting the show as part of the 2022 Festival. Ticket holders will be contacted with more details. Click here for more information on program updates.

Australia’s shameful fixation with incarceration is confronted in a powerful and provocative new dance work.

Challenging, joyful and deeply affecting, Jurrungu Ngan-ga – literally ‘Straight Talk’, tears down walls and builds bridges in a frank conversation with the Australian psyche.

Jurrungu Ngan-ga is inspired by perspectives on incarceration by Yawuru leader Patrick Dodson and Kurdish-Iranian writer and former Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani. Three years in development in the company’s dual homes of Broome and Sydney, this mesmerising multimedia dance theatre piece reflects on the disgraceful disproportion of Indigenous Australians in custody and first-hand descriptions of life inside Australia’s immigration detention centres.

For 26 years Marrugeku’s famous intercultural dance theatre has addressed local and global issues of the fear of cultural difference. Through movement, spoken word, installation and a powerful musical soundscape, its multi-talented cast draw on their intersecting yet distinct cultural and community-informed experiences (Indigenous, immigrant, people seeking asylum, transgender and settler) to ask: who really is in prison here?

Devised by an exceptionally talented cast through Marrugeku’s hallmark intercultural dance process, facilitated by choreographer Dalisa Pigram and director Rachael Swain, Jurrungu Ngan-ga is set within a large-scale installation designed by leading West Australian visual artist Abdul-Rahman Abdullah. Searing truths blend with dark humour, courage, fear, sadness and anger to shine a light on new ways to resist and abolish. Like the renowned company that has created it, this performance presents new and empowering narratives to rewrite our future.

  • Mind-blowing intercultural and interdisciplinary performance!

  • An intriguing amalgamation of exotic music, cultural storytelling and superb dance.

    The Australian

  • Concept Dalisa Pigram & Rachael Swain with Patrick Dodson

  • Choreography Dalisa Pigram with the performers
  • Director Rachael Swain
  • Dramaturg Hildegard de Vuyst
  • Cultural Dramaturgs Behrouz Boochani, Patrick Dodson, Omid Tofighian
  • Music Sam Serruys, Paul Charlier, Rhyan Clapham
  • Sound Designers Sam Serruys & Paul Charlier
  • Scenic Designer Abdul-Rahman Abdullah
  • Costume Designer Andrew Treloar
  • Lighting Designer Damien Cooper
  • Co-devising Performers Czack (Ses) Bero, Emmanuel James Brown, Chandler Connell, Luke Currie-Richardson, Issa el Assaad, Zachary Lopez, Bhenji Ra, Feras Shaheen, Miranda Wheen

    Additional Music

  • Far from Home
  • Farhad Bandesh & Anna Liebzeit (composition)
  • Farhad Bandesh (recorded vocals sung in Kurdish)

    The Ha Dub Rewerk’d

  • MikeQ (composer and performer)

    Jalangurru Wiyi

  • Emmanuel James Brown (live vocals sung in Bunuba)

    This is Australia

  • Donald Glover, Ludwig Göransson & Jeffery Lamar Williams (composition)

    Beni ‘Bjar’ Hasler (Lyrics and backing vocals)

  • Luke Currie-Richardson (live vocals)
  • Zachary Lopez (recorded vocals)
  • Chandler Connell (recorded Yidaki)

    Additional instrumental recordings

  • Natasha Rumiz – Viola

    Additional Choreography

  • Krump Army: Stacy Peke aka Red Ladybrui5er

    Production Manager & Lighting Operator Aiden Brennan

  • Audio Technician Raine Paul
  • Company Manager Denise Wilson
  • Marrugeku

  • Co-Artistic Directors Dalisa Pigram & Rachael Swain
  • General Manager Robina Burton
  • Strategy & Sales Justin Macdonnell

Co-commissioned by Carriageworks and the City of Melbourne through Arts House

Marrugeku is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and is supported by the WA State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Create NSW.

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