Direct from Elcho Island, Djuki Mala (Djuki meaning 'Chooky' with a Yolngu accent and Mala meaning 'mob') perform a high-energy and stunning fusion of traditional Indigenous culture, contemporary dance and storytelling. Since their 2007 clip of 'Zorba the Greek' went viral, they have thrilled audiences with reinterpretations of popular culture and traditional dances in a way that juxtaposes contemporary Yolngu culture.
The show tells the genesis of Djuki Mala, formerly known as The Chooky Dancers, interspersed with multimedia, giving audiences the opportunity to experience some of the more intimate moments and turning points that have shaped them, in a show that is a marvel of timing comedy and clowning, with a hefty dose of heart and soul.
From the broken asphalt of the open-air Galiwinku Saturday Night Disco, the Chooky Dancers of Elcho Island captured 1.4 million YouTube fans worldwide with their exuberant interpretation of Zorba the Greek.
Elcho Island is home to a remote Northern Territory community called Galiwinku. In Ngurru-milmarrmiriw (Wrong Skin), Elcho Island community and Elders collaborate with award-winning director Nigel Jamieson (Honour Bound) to create a Romeo and Juliet tale of forbidden love in a community where the complex laws of ‘skin’ and clan define all relationships.
Ngurru-milmarramiriw (pronounced nurru-mill-murra-myrew) is a contemporary Indigenous dance theatre piece, combining traditional Indigenous and contemporary dance to create a unique Australian work. Performed by Yolgnu artists include the wildly spirited Chooky Dancers – whose unbridled interpretations include everything from Bollywood to Taiwanese martial arts alongside traditional creation stories – Wrong Skin also reveals how new technologies, in the hands of the island’s media-savvy youth, can connect the remote with the global and inspire us all.