For three nights, from 30 May – 1 June, Sydney’s Carriageworks will present Burrbgaja Yalirra (Dancing Forwards), a triple bill of solo works curated by Marrugeku’s artistic directors, Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain.
The three works are Ngarlimbah, performed by Walmajarri/Nyikina painter and poet Edwin Lee Mulligan over an animation by Sohan Ariel Hayes; Miranda, conceived by performer Miranda Wheen and Burko Faso/Belgian director Serge Aimé Coulibaly; and Dancing with Strangers, a collaboration between Yuin/Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwaan/Gumbangirri dancer and violinst Eric Avery and Belgian choreographer Koen Augustijnen.
“Marrugeku are leading change makers in intercultural contemporary dance,” Swain says. “We are dedicated to Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians working together to develop new dance languages that are restless, transformative and unwavering.”
All three works explore the complexity of reciprocity and aim to challenge our understanding of our history and relationship to the land in Australia.
Ngarlimbah (You are as much a part of me as I am of you) tells the stories of two dingoes, the calm Yungngora and the dark dog Jirrilbil whose final resting place is a billabong near Noonkanbah, Central Kimberley where waterlilies grow. Yungngora and Jirrilbil visit poet Edwin Lee Mulligan in his dreams to speak back to contemporary concerns in his community.
Miranda explores the stumbling, often awkward and painful position of settler Australians grappling with understanding Indigenous Australian experience and perceptions of land, while negotiating their own troubled belonging to it.
Dancing with Strangers explores the first colonial contact period, including early and missed opportunities for exchange in language, dance and sharing knowledge.
Burrbgaja Yalirra – Three Short Works will be presented at Carriageworks from 30 May – 1 June. For tickets and more information, visit carriageworks.com.au/events/burrbgaja-yalirra-2019.