Broome’s wild west to hit Sydney
Press release from Cardinal Spin
Award winning Director of Samson and Delilah, Warwick Thornton has commissioned “karaoke noodle western videos” for a new dance theatre work, Burning Daylight.
It’s karaoke night, Broome style. Country meets hip hop meets Japanese love song. A lone cowboy blows into town, stirring its ghosts for a long and wild night.
Past and present dance it out on the street as the unforgettable story of Australia’s “Asian Wild West” is told by intercultural and Indigenous performance company Marrugeku in their explosive yet haunting new dance theatre work, Burning Daylight.
Hitting Sydney’s premier address for contemporary arts, CarriageWorks, on Thursday 12 to Sunday 15 November; Burning Daylight is not-to-be-missed during its national tour.
Director Rachael Swain says Burning Daylight was inspired by Broome’s notoriety as an “Asian Wild West” at the turn
of the 19th to 20th century.
This spectacular high energy production incorporates old and new forms to conjure an image of today’s Broome – the traces of its past as wild frontier town still real, but also mythologised in glossy tourist brochures.
Like the rest of the world, it is a place where young people live out complex identities spanning traditional cultures and
global street culture.
Swain teamed up with Belgian-based West African choreographer Serge Aime Coulibalay (former member of Les Ballets C de la B) and Indigenous choreographer Dalisa Pigram from Broome to achieve the multilayered levels of culture jamming required to conjure such a place.
The result, Swain says, is what locals call a “mixed breed” – of contemporary and traditional indigenous dance, and ‘Silat’, a Malaysian and Western Sumatran martial art form still practiced by the elder ethnic Malays in Broome.
Haunting Broome’s contemporary worlds are commissioned “karaoke noodle western videos” by Warwick Thornton, award winning Director of Samson and Delilah. Whips crack, geishas perform ceremony, pearl fisherman take to the sea, as Broome’s historic characters – the pearl diver, the Aboriginal Stockman, the geisha – are brought to life against their historic backdrops – the White Australia Policy, laws against inter-racial marriage, assimilation policies, the
internment of Japanese locals during World War II, and deportations.
“The assimilation policy of the Western Australian Government was one of the most brutal and far-reaching,” says Swain.
“There were a lot of deportations, a lot of ‘lost’ relatives and family breakdowns. We’re working with the legacy and
impact of this and what it means for young people in Broome now.
The physicality and raw energy of the performers is combined with tenderness and beauty. Performances by actor Trevor Jamieson of Ngapartji Ngapartji and Sermsah Bin Saad or Suri, a finalist in So You Think You Can Dance make for a stellar line-up.
Music by MC Dazastah of Perth-based hip hop crew Downsyde has pumping beats and rhymes live on stage that contrast with gentle guitar strums and melodies evoking outback campfires. Karaoke singers croon, alongside hip hop
raps, while memories of their grandparents’ generation flicker on screens.
Burning Daylight offers a rare view into Broome’s cultural and historical landscape. Following on from Marrugeku’s internationally acclaimed previous works, Mimi (Perth Festival 1996, Dreaming Festival 1997) and Crying Baby (Perth,
Sydney and Darwin Festivals 2000-02), Burning Daylight forges new ground in contemporary indigenous and intercultural dance theatre in Australia.
Toured by Performing Lines, presented by Performance Space, Carriageworks and Mobile States, with support from the
Australia Council and Playing Australia, Burning Daylight comes to Sydney from Broome and Perth, after performances
t the prestigious Zurcher Theater Spektakel in Switzerland; and will go on to Melbourne and Hobart.
DATES/ TIME: 12 – 15 NOVEMBER, THURS – SAT AT 8PM, PLUS SAT AND SUN 4PM MATINEE
ARTIST TALK SAT 14 NOV AFTER THE 4PM SHOW
COST: ADULT $30 / PSPACE MEMBER $25 / CONCESSION $20 / STUDENT RUSH $15
@ Ticketmaster http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/venue/157030
MORE INFO: http://www.carriageworks.com.au/whats_on.php?event=buringdaylight