Fringe Review: Djuki Mala


Presented by Bond Creatives
Reviewed 11 March 2018

It was billed as a joyous celebration 75,000 years in the making, and Djuki Mala definitely lived up to that promise bringing a joyous, energy-filled, cultural phenomenon to The Factory in The Garden of Unearthly Delights.

The Djuki Dancers (FKA the Chooky Dancers) hail from Elcho Island in North East Arnhem Land, a place steeped in traditional Indigenous culture, a fact that is very obvious from the minute the guys step on stage, beginning with traditional dancing, bringing their culture to Adelaide Fringe goers.

The Factory was hushed as the Djuki Dancers open with a traditional Yolngu dance, hushed that is until Zorba the Greek pumped through the speakers to raucous applause.

For the uninitiated, Zorba is what brought the dancers to an international stage with a viral YouTube video clip in 2007. (Which you should definitely watch here.)

But the culture mash-up of Yolngu meeting the world doesn’t stop with Greece, the show is a non-stop dance-fest with homages to Bollywood, Michael Jackson, Singing In The Rain, and more featuring throughout the show, interspersed with an oral history of the Djuki Dancers and their family.

From the grins on the dancers, and the audiences faces, you can tell that the energy exchange between the stage and crowd is uplifting. Djuki Mala is high energy and infectious storytelling at it’s finest, bringing a joyous fusion of Yolngu and popular culture to the stage.

If you’re only going to one Fringe show this year, then Djuki Mala is the must see of the season.

Reviewed by Grace Marryat

Rating: 5/5

Season: Until 18 March 2018
The Factory @ The Garden of Unearthly Delights
60 mins

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