I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Rise up like a butterfly
BlaaQ Catt by Maurial Spearim is a rich one hour show that weaves Ruby's experience of living as an Aboriginal woman in contemporary Australia, and the sordid history of white colonialism. BlaaQ Catt is one of the many deadly, brave and beautiful new works in the Next Wave Festival 2016 at Northcote Town Hall.
BlaaQ Catt begin's with Ruby's experience as a Noongar woman and her transition from living on 'country' to living in the city and the significance of Gamilaraay language, stories, dance and song to her identity. Within these stories Ruby recalls historical traumas and social justice issues; the land wars against colonialists,Terra Nullius, the Stolen Generation, Mabo, the right to vote, the Tent Embassy and a host of other unresolved human rights issues that prevent Australia from moving forward to reconciliation and healing.
The mood of the performance moves 'like a cat with nine lives' from anger to grief and loss with contrasting moments of quiet, like the call of the Kookaburra, the message stick and the sounds of the bush.
My favourite part of the performance is when Ruby sings 'Rise Up Like a Butterfly" an anthem in which we hear the richness of Maurial's Gospel/Blues voice. BlaaQ Catt is dense with important issues and many elements for Ruby and the audience to navigate and I hope this work engages many new audiences to talk about these important issues.