Jurrungu Ngan-ga [Straight Talk]
Presented by Arts House and Marrugeku
Wednesday 18 – Sunday 22 August, 2021
Wed – Fri, 7.30pm
Sat, 2pm & 7.30pm
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St
Suitable for ages 16+, contains coarse language, adult themes and partial nudity. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the production contains names of people who have died.
Marrugeku confronts Australia’s fixation with incarceration in a visceral, turbo-charged new dance work.
White Australia was founded of a dream of imprisonment, and that mission has evolved into a fixation with locking people away. Jurrungu Ngan-ga — literally ‘Straight Talk’— exposes the deep-seated fears that create Australia’s ‘prison of the mind’ and bar our way forward to truth and justice.
This fearless feat of the imagination examines the common thread that connects outrageous levels of Indigenous incarceration to the indefinite detaining of asylum seekers.
Through movement, spoken word, installation and a powerful musical soundscape, Jurrungu Ngan-ga’s large cast draws on intersecting yet distinct cultural and community-informed experiences – Indigenous, immigrant, people seeking asylum, transgender and settler – to ask: who’s really in prison here?
Three years in development in Marrugeku’s twin homes of Broome and Sydney, this mesmerising epic of dance theatre is inspired by perspectives on incarceration shared by Yawuru leader Patrick Dodson, Kurdish-Iranian writer and former Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani and philosopher Omid Tofighian. Featuring a dazzling design by Abdul-Rahman Abdullah and a sprawling ensemble cast, this is performance of a rare scale, exploring questions of vital urgency.
“Marrugeku cements its place as one of Australia’s most exciting dance companies.”
– Alison Croggon, Witness, on Marrugeku’s Le Dernier Apple/The Last Cry
“Their dance is not just comment but is the very negotiation and substance of the drama.”
– Manheim Morning
Jurrungu Ngan-ga is collaboratively created by:
Concept: Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain with Patrick Dodson
Choreography: Dalisa Pigram with the performers
Direction: Rachael Swain
Dramaturgy: Hildegard de Vuyst
Cultural Dramaturgy: Behrouz Boochani, Patrick Dodson, Omid Tofighian
Music: Sam Serruys, Paul Charlier and Rhyan Clapham
Sound Design: Sam Serruys and Paul Charlier
Scenic Design: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah
Costume Design: Andrew Treloar
Lighting Design: Damien Cooper
Co-devising Performers: Czack (Ses) Bero, Emmanuel James Brown, Chandler Connell, Luke Currie-Richardson, Issa el Assaad, Zachery Lopez, Bhenji Ra, Feras Shaheen and Miranda Wheen
Far from Home
Farhad Bandesh and Anna Liebzeit (composition)
Farhad Bandesh (recorded vocals sung in Kurdish)
The Ha Dub Rewerk’d
MikeQ (composer and performer)
Emmanuel James Brown (live vocals sung in Bunuba)
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
Co-Artistic Directors: Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain
General Manager: Robina Burton
Strategy and Sales: Justin Macdonnell
Supported by – 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.
Image: Abby Murray