Direct from Elcho Island in North East Arnhem Land, Aboriginal dance sensations and landmark Australian dance/theatre company that tool the world by storm are back by popular demand with their internationally acclaimed smash hit of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe. Djuki Mala return to the Assembly George Square Theatre for August 2018.
They spoke with The Fountain about how thrilled they are to be back as well as their suggestions for the Fringe which include Arthur’s Seat and the Mosque Kitchen.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Yes we’re absolutely thrilled to be returning to Edinburgh Fringe this year. We had a phenomenal premiere season last year and we’re looking forward to building on that success. And to seeing loads of new shows, catching up with other artists and experiencing this beautiful city once again!
TF: The show certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
Our show tells the genesis of Djuki Mala, we share our culture and inspiration for the show. From humble beginnings in a tiny remote North East Arnhem Land community at the very Top End of Australia to performing at the Sydney Opera House, The Cairo Opera House and many other wonderful locations in between! The show features traditional dance and is interspersed with storytelling by members of the company and Djuki Mala elders along with a high-energy mix of pop culture. It’s like seeing two shows in one. Highly entertaining and you’re guaranteed to leave with a huge smile on your face even though we tackle some of the harder issues that Indigenous cultures experience.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
Firstly in sharing our rich Yolngu culture steeped in 60,000+ years of tradition and ancestral knowledge but also sharing our inspirations from pop-culture that have shaped us over the years. Our influences lie in traditional culture but also in contemporary pop culture, Michael Jackson, Motown, hip-hop and even Bollywood!
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
We plan to present a brilliant show and hopefully pack out every performance. We also will be supporting many other Australian artists at the Fringe and also artists we met from all over the world last year. Our advice would be firstly to support each other in any way you can, seeing each other’s shows, spreading the word to presenters and audiences by spruiking after your show, get some rest, have fun!!! Climb up Arthur’s Seat, go for a few healthy and hearty meals at the Mosque near George Square Gardens, explore the beautiful city.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond The Fringe?
We have a pretty busy touring schedule after Edinburgh but we also will be going into development for a new show that we hope to return to Edinburgh with in 2019… bring it on!!!
Djuki Mala, Assembly George Square Theatre, George Square, 4.10pm, 2nd – 26th August (except 13th & 20th)