Review :: Gudirr Gudirr – Sydney Festival

January 20th 2014

Gundirr Gundirr

This reviewer can barely distinguish contemporary dance from twerking, but one woman show, Gudirr Gudirr, ensured that anybody present would be touched by this masterful combination of dance, acrobatics, comedy and oral history.

After touring internationally, Broome based dance company Marrugeku found itself at Sydney Festival over the weekend reaching a home audience with a close-to-home subject.

Using her body, voice, and a fishing-net turned dance-rope, Dalisa Pilgram expressed that which can never adequately be described with words: hundreds of years of disintegration of indigenous culture in the North West, and, similarly, over most of Australia.

As the modern day was reached, the bold lettering of “THE TIME IS NOW” filled the screen, before we were bombarded visually and aurally of the factual reminders of a dark history invading our present: “The time when suicide was a word that did not exist in Aboriginal languages is over.”

In the final scene, Pilgram brandished more expletives than any gangsta rapper would dare, filling the screen with innumerable images of the word “fuck.” I turned to see the woman next to me shed a tear, while many in the crowd continued to laugh.

Gudirr Gudirr strikes on so many levels you don’t know how to react, you know only that you need to.


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