Challenging, joyful and deeply affecting, Jurrungu Ngan-ga confronts Australia’s shameful fixation with incarceration in a powerful and provocative new dance work. Inspired by perspectives on incarceration, Jurrungu Ngan-ga reflects on the disgraceful disproportion of Indigenous Australians in custody and first-hand descriptions of life inside Australia’s immigration detention centres. Searing truths blend with dark humour, fear, sadness and courage to shine a light on new ways to resist and to empower us all to rewrite our future – together.

Important information: Marrugeku has made the decision to officially withdraw Jurrungu Ngan-ga from the Sydney Festival program. As co-commissioners of Jurrungu Ngan-ga with Marrugeku, Carriageworks maintains its commitment to the company and this important work and will continue to present the long-awaited premiere season of Jurrungu Ngan-ga over the period 27-29 January. All Jurrungu Ngan-ga tickets issued through Sydney Festival will be refunded by the Festival. Tickets can be re-purchased here.

In a statement, the company said “We took this decision in light of Sydney Festival’s actions to seek and retain funding from the state of Israel. It is our responsibility to ensure that the strong voices within Jurrungu Ngan-ga: First Nations Australians, people seeking asylum alongside allied settler artists from diverse backgrounds can perform with clear liyan (spirit and wellbeing). It is critical that the dancers will be heard, particularly in these circumstances as Jurrungu Ngan-ga embodies the essence of solidarity.” They added: “With that in mind we respectfully ask that the festival review their decision to return the funding for the sake of community harmony, the cultural safety of artists and the benefit of our audiences.”

Watch trailer.

Image 1: Bhenji Ra, Emmanuel James Brown, Miranda Wheen, Zachary Lopez, Chandler Connell, Feras Shaheen, Issa el Assaad, Luke Currie-Richardson & Ses Bero in Jurrungu Ngan-ga, Marrugeku. 2021 Photo by Abby Murray
Image 2: Emmanuel James Brown in Jurrungu Ngan-ga. Marrugeku, 2021. Photo by Abby Murray
Image 3: Issa el Assaad, Emmanuel James Brown & Bhenji Ra in Jurrungu Ngan-ga, Marrugeku. 2021 Photo by Abby Murray

Thu 27 Jan, 7.30pm  (Sold out)

Fri 28 Jan, 7.30pm + Post-show Q+A (Sold out)
Audiences are invited to join Marrugeku’s Co-Artistic Directors Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain, along with Jurrungu Ngan-ga co-devising performers Czack (Ses) Bero, Emmanuel James Brown, Chandler Connell, Luke Currie-Richardson, Issa el Assaad, Zachary Lopez, Bhenji Ra, Feras Shaheen and Miranda Wheen in a post-show Q+A. The session will be moderated by Nancia Guivarra, a Meriam (Magaram), Wuthathi and Bindal Juru woman who was born in Brisbane and raised in Gladstone, Queensland. Nancia is a board member of Marrugeku and has more than twenty years’ experience in media production, communications, entertainment, the arts and government policy.

Sat 29 Jan, 2pm (Sold out)

Sat 29 Jan, 7.30pm (Sold out)

Jurrungu Ngan-ga has sold out. 

Reserved Full Price: $50 + fee
Reserved Concession: $40 + fee

A transaction fee of $4:40 applies to all bookings.

Jurrungu Ngan-ga contains depictions of violence, racial abuse and police/border security brutality as well as references to self harm. This performance contains the names of people who have passed away. The performance also contains partial nudity, low-level strobe light and is recommended for ages 15+.

Lockout applies.

Carriageworks is an accessible venue.

Further information on access can be found on our VISIT page.

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
Music: Sam Serruys, Paul Charlier and Rhyan Clapham aka DOBBY
Sound Design: Sam Serruys and 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 CurrieRichardson, Issa el Assaad, Zachary Lopez, Bhenji Ra, Feras Shaheen and Miranda Wheen

Additional music
Far from Home
Farhad Bandesh and Anna Liebzeit (composition)
Farhad Bandesh (recorded vocals sung in Kurdish)

The Ha Dub Rewerk’d
MikeQ (composer and performer)

Jalangurru Wiyi
Emmanuel James Brown (live vocals sung in Bunuba)

Additional instrumental recordings
Natasha Rumiz – Viola

Additional Choreography
Krump Army: Stacy Peke aka Red Ladybrui5er

Carriageworks is a COVID-safe business and the health and safety of our visitors, producers, contractors and staff is our top priority. Help us keep everyone safe by reading our COVID-Safe Plan before your next visit.

Jurrungu Ngan-ga [Straight Talk] was co-commissioned by Carriageworks and the City of Melbourne through Arts House, and has been funded by the Australian Government through the Australia Council it arts funding and advisory body and the Indigenous Language and Arts Program, the Government of Western Australian through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries; Create NSW; and the Nelson Meers Foundation.