Jurrungu Ngan-ga

Past Event

Warning: Suitable for ages 16+, contains coarse language, adult themes and partial nudity. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the production contains names of deceased persons.


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

Challenging, joyful and deeply effecting, Jurrungu Ngan-ga — literally ‘Straight Talk’— tears down walls and builds bridges in a frank conversation with the Australian psyche. The mesmerising multimedia dance theatre production exposes the deep-seated fears that create Australia’s ‘prison of the mind’ and which bar our way forward to truth and justice.

Jurrungu Ngan-ga is inspired by perspectives on incarceration shared with Marrugeku by Yawuru leader Patrick Dodson as well as Kurdish-Iranian writer and former Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani. Three years in development in the company’s duel 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.
Marrugeku’s famous intercultural dance theatre addresses local and global issues of the fear of cultural difference. Through movement, spoken word, installation and a powerful original 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?
From the crucible of their danced resistance, sadness and joy, now comes the inspired alchemy of Jurrungu Ngan-ga: a searing, often darkly humorous and ultimately transformative portrayal of fear — and the way forward… together.
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.


Marrugeku is an unparalleled presence in Australia today, dedicated to Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians working together to develop new dance languages that are restless, transformative and unwavering.

Marrugeku builds bridges and breaks down walls between urban and remote dance communities, between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists and between local and global situations. Our works are created out of urgent and insurgent reciprocities, believing, on our watch, we face major change in Indigenous Australia and that telling stories together is one of the simplest and hardest things we can do.

Marrugeku is led by co-artistic directors: choreographer/dancer Dalisa Pigram and director/dramaturg Rachael Swain. Working together for 25 years, they co-conceive and facilitate Marrugeku’s productions and research laboratories, introducing audiences to the unique and potent structures of Indigenous knowledge systems and the compelling experience of intercultural performance. Marrugeku’s performers come from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, collaborating to co-create each production. Marrugeku’s patron is Yawuru law man and national reconciliation advocate Patrick Dodson.

Working from our bicoastal operations in the remote town of Broome Western Australia and the urban Centre of Carriageworks, Sydney, Marrugeku harnesses the dynamic of performance exchange drawn from remote, urban, intercultural and trans-Indigenous approaches to expand the possibilities of contemporary dance. Our productions tour throughout urban and remote Australia, to other Indigenous contexts internationally and throughout the world.

Jurrungu Ngan-ga is collaboratively created by:


Concept:  Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain with Patrick Dodson

Choreography: Dalisa Pigram with the performers

Direction: Rachael Swain

Dramaturgy: Hildegard de Vuyst

Cultural Dramaturgy: Behrouz Boochani, Patrick Dodson, Omid Tofighian

Composer: Sam Serruys

Additional Music: Paul Charlier and Rhyan Clapham

Sound Designer: Paul Charlier

Scenic Design: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah

Costume Design: Andrew Treloar

Lighting Design: Damien Cooper


Co-devising Performers: Czack (Ses) Bero, Emmanuel James Brown, Chandler Connell, Luke Currie-Richardson, Issa el Assaad, Zachery Lopez, Bhenji Ra, Feras Shaheen and Miranda Wheen


Additional Music

Far From Home, composed and performed by Farhad Bandesh

Elevate, composed and performed by MikeQ

The Ha Dub Rewerk’d, composed and performed by MikeQ

This is Australia, lyrics by Beni ‘Bjah’ Hasler


Additional Choreography

Krump Army: Stacy Peke aka Red Ladybrui5er



Production Manager & Lighting Operator: Aiden Brennan

Audio Technician:  Raine Paul

Company Manager: Denise Wilson



Co-Artistic Directors:  Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain

General Manager:  Robina Burton

Strategy and Sales:  Justin Macdonnell

Administrator:  Katrina Sparkes


Co-commissioned by Carriageworks and the City of Melbourne through Arts House



Event Details

Time: 7:00pm

Venue: Broome Civic Centre


Contact: Sam Bowra

Organisation: Shire of Broome

Position: Venue Supervisor

Phone: 0891918789

Email: SBowra@broome.wa.gov.au

Event Date(s)

  • Friday 30th April 2021

Back to All Events