Jurrungu Ngan-ga


Presented by Darwin Festival and Darwin Entertainment Centre

Australia’s shameful fixation with incarceration is confronted in a powerful and provocative new dance work.

Challenging, joyful and deeply affecting, Jurrungu Ngan-ga – literally ‘Straight Talk’, tears down walls and builds bridges in a frank conversation with the Australian psyche.

Jurrungu Ngan-ga is inspired by perspectives on incarceration by Yawuru leader Patrick Dodson and Kurdish-Iranian writer and former Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani. Three years in development in the company’s dual homes of Broome and Sydney, this mesmerising multimedia dance theatre piece reflects on the disgraceful disproportion of Indigenous Australians in custody and first-hand descriptions of life inside Australia’s immigration detention centres.

For 26 years Marrugeku’s famous intercultural dance theatre has addressed local and global issues of the fear of cultural difference. Through movement, spoken word, installation and a powerful musical soundscape, its multi-talented cast draw on their intersecting yet distinct cultural and community-informed experiences (Indigenous, immigrant, people seeking asylum, transgender and settler) to ask: who really is in prison here?

Devised by an exceptionally talented cast through Marrugeku’s hallmark intercultural dance process, facilitated by choreographer Dalisa Pigram and director Rachael Swain, Jurrungu Ngan-ga is set within a large-scale installation designed by leading West Australian visual artist Abdul-Rahman Abdullah. Searing truths blend with dark humour, courage, fear, sadness and anger to shine a light on new ways to resist and abolish. Like the renowned company that has created it, this performance presents new and empowering narratives to rewrite our future.

Duration: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Post-Show Talk: Saturday 14 August 5:00 pm