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The Chooky Dancers Travels from Darwin, NT

The Chooky Dancers


  • Corporate Entertainment
  • Entertainment
  • Performance

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.


The Djuki Mala style blends traditional dance with modern influences, in what seems like a reflection of life in Galiwin’ku Community. Just as mobile phones co-exist with Yolgnu languages, the joyful pop references in Djuki Mala are an embodiment of a living culture. Playful and warm, charming and informative, Djuki Mala is like a family-friendly diplomatic envoy, sharing hope and knowledge from north-east Arnhem Land.”

Sydney Morning Herald

There is no better offering at this year’s Perth Fringe World… an infectious celebration of different styles and cultures.

The West Australian

They had a tale to tell about a journey that began way back before time. The story of when their culture, which more recently has seen the edges of extinction, existed whole and unharmed. In bare feet, loin cloth and ceremonial white paint, their language is movement. At times fierce and at times menacing, they float through space and time. They clearly respect their ancestors’ spirits and are moved by the stories that created them.

Aussie Theatre



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