Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Joy enhancing, inspiring, thrilling, intoxicating
Djuki Mala is an indigenous dance group from North East Arnhem island.
Never have I seen four young men with such energy. Djuki Mala's dancers give off exactly what they set out to give, pure joy and happiness to the crowd.
Throughout the whole show, the smiles and antics of the young men were just heart-warming.
Years ago, I had seen the original YouTube video that went viral Zorba the Greek Yolngu style when the group were known as the Chooky Dancers, and twelve years later here they still are with the same joy and enthusiasm that I had seen on the screen.
The production that I was fortunate to watch included; Yalyalwuy Gondarra, Baykali Ganambarr, Watjarr Garmu and Tibian Cristopher Wyles as the amazing dancers.
The show started with some wonderful banter between the lead and the audience, but we were soon to see several traditional indigenous dances, that then broke into their viral hit to much crowd stomping applause and laughter.
The show then morphed into their take on many different genres, with thrilling and infectious enthusiasm. The Djuki Mala (roughly 'Chooky Dancers' in Yolngu) danced their way through covers of Singing in the Rain, Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) to Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Bollywood and many more.
Every dance was professional and polished, but through every move, you could see the personality and feel-good waves just emanating from the group. Which on a 42-degree day was no mean feat.
If you are going to see anything at Perth Fringe World this year, this should definitely be high on your list. It was a privilege to see the fusion between pop culture and the traditional culture of Djuki Mala.
It is rare to see those so talented, doing what they love, with such obvious joy to such amazing laughter and happiness all around.