THEY may not be classically trained, but for sheer joie de vivre the Djuki Mala dancers are in a class of their own.
The troupe’s Fringe show starts with a potted Aboriginal history, pre-white “invasion”, up to the stolen generation.
“Despite the past we are still here, we have survived. This is us,” the audience is told, as the throb of a didgeridoo introduces the rest of the Arnhem Land group.
The show challenges western anthropological views of indigenous culture with humour, dance and storytelling, Baykali Ganmbarr says.
“We take our culture out of the museum and place it very firmly in the 21st century–with a bit of circus and bling.”
Singing in the Rain is a fantastic piece of cultural appropriation as Gene Kelly’s famous routine morphs from Hollywood to corroboree, and back again, with umbrellas as spears.
The dance that shot the group to international fame, a cheeky Zorba the Greek, had the audience cheering, laughing and stamping its feet.
And their Bollywood routine was hilarious. Djuki Mala is on until February 25. Tix fringeworld.com.au