mimi

About the production

The Marrugeku Company was founded in 1994 specifically for the project Mimi and based on an original idea by choreographer Michael Leslie. Mimi was commissioned and produced by Festival of Perth 1996.

Mimi explores the relationship between humans and the spirit world. It is a metaphorical journey which takes place over a single night where spirits and humans meet at significant points through time. Performed by five stilt dancers, three traditional Kunwinjku dancers, three Kunwinjku musicians and with narrations by storyman Thompson Yulidjirri. Since its creation, Mimi has been presented throughout Australia and the world to great acclaim. The production was Australia’s ambassador at the World Expo in Hannover in 2000, as well as welcoming in the new millennium live from Uluru during the ABC’s New Year’s Eve coverage.

Mimi was developed as a collaboration between the performers of Stalker, contemporary Indigenous dancers and musicians from Western Australia and the traditional Aboriginal dancers, musicians and painters from the Kunwinjku tribe of Western Arnhem Land. Mimi’s extraordinary success, in Australian arts festivals, remote Aboriginal communities and international arts festivals is a measure of Marrugeku’s early achievement in synthesizing contemporary and traditional practices into dynamic performance.

Mimi was acclaimed worldwide. Audiences and critics are alike in agreeing on its astonishing skill, beauty and lyricism. The reception at the Olympics Arts Festival of Dreaming in Sydney, where it played to over 13,000 people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, was further evidence of the power and beauty of the production universally regarded as the success of that extraordinary event.

The Marrugeku Company was founded in 1994 specifically for the project Mimi and based on an original idea by choreographer Michael Leslie. Mimi was commissioned and produced by Festival of Perth 1996.

Mimi explores the relationship between humans and the spirit world. It is a metaphorical journey which takes place over a single night where spirits and humans meet at significant points through time. Performed by five stilt dancers, three traditional Kunwinjku dancers, three Kunwinjku musicians and with narrations by storyman Thompson Yulidjirri. Since its creation, Mimi has been presented throughout Australia and the world to great acclaim. The production was Australia’s ambassador at the World Expo in Hannover in 2000, as well as welcoming in the new millennium live from Uluru during the ABC’s New Year’s Eve coverage.

Mimi was developed as a collaboration between the performers of Stalker, contemporary Indigenous dancers and musicians from Western Australia and the traditional Aboriginal dancers, musicians and painters from the Kunwinjku tribe of Western Arnhem Land. Mimi’s extraordinary success, in Australian arts festivals, remote Aboriginal communities and international arts festivals is a measure of Marrugeku’s early achievement in synthesizing contemporary and traditional practices into dynamic performance.

Mimi was acclaimed worldwide. Audiences and critics are alike in agreeing on its astonishing skill, beauty and lyricism. The reception at the Olympics Arts Festival of Dreaming in Sydney, where it played to over 13,000 people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, was further evidence of the power and beauty of the production universally regarded as the success of that extraordinary event.

  • Venues and Dates

    World Premiere
    Mimi was first presented at the Perth International Arts Festival in February 1996.

    1999

    Uluru/2000 Today Millennium satellite broadcast.
    31st December

    1998

    Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre Noumea,
    New Caledonia.
    December

    ‘Celebrate Australia’ Department of foreign Affairs and trade, Manila,
    The Philippines.
    November

    1997

    Festival of the Dreaming: Sydney.
    September / October.

    Stage X Festival, Brisbane.
    August/September.

    European Tour.
    May/June.

    1996

    Arnhem Land Tour to Gunbalanya, Maningrida, Elcho Island, Yirrkala.
    August /September.

    World Premiere
    Mimi was first presented at the Perth International Arts Festival in February 1996.

    1999

    Uluru/2000 Today Millennium satellite broadcast.
    31st December

    1998

    Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre Noumea,
    New Caledonia.
    December

    ‘Celebrate Australia’ Department of foreign Affairs and trade, Manila,
    The Philippines.
    November

    1997

    Festival of the Dreaming: Sydney.
    September / October.

    Stage X Festival, Brisbane.
    August/September.

    European Tour.
    May/June.

    1996

    Arnhem Land Tour to Gunbalanya, Maningrida, Elcho Island, Yirrkala.
    August /September.

  • Creative Team

    Concept
    Michael Leslie

    Storyman
    Thompson Yulidjirri

    Director
    Rachael Swain

    Choreographers
    Michael Leslie and Raymond Blanco with the cast

    Musical Director
    Matthew Fargher

    Songman
    Bruce Nabegeyo

    Set Designer
    Andrew Carter

    Lighting Designer
    Ken Rainer

    Costume Designer
    Deborah McKendrick

    Special Effects
    Joey Ruigrok van der Werven

    Kunwinjku Liaison
    Steve Tribbeck

    Performers/Co-devisors
    Rexie Barmaja Wood, David Clarkson, Guidon Djorlom, Katia Molino, Eddie Nailibidj, Dalisa Pigram, Richard Talonga, Sofia Gibson, Steven Oliver. Cast variations for subsequent tours: Tanya Mead, Dallas Kelly. Co-devisor in initial development stage: Emily McCormick

    Musicians/Composers
    Bruce Nabegeyo (Songman), Steven Garnarradj (mako), Lorrae Coffin (guitar), Thompson Yulidjirri (backing vocals, clap sticks), Matthew Fargher (violin, keyboards, backing vocals), Brett Nancarrow (clarinet)

    Concept
    Michael Leslie

    Storyman
    Thompson Yulidjirri

    Director
    Rachael Swain

    Choreographers
    Michael Leslie and Raymond Blanco with the cast

    Musical Director
    Matthew Fargher

    Songman
    Bruce Nabegeyo

    Set Designer
    Andrew Carter

    Lighting Designer
    Ken Rainer

    Costume Designer
    Deborah McKendrick

    Special Effects
    Joey Ruigrok van der Werven

    Kunwinjku Liaison
    Steve Tribbeck

    Performers/Co-devisors
    Rexie Barmaja Wood, David Clarkson, Guidon Djorlom, Katia Molino, Eddie Nailibidj, Dalisa Pigram, Richard Talonga, Sofia Gibson, Steven Oliver. Cast variations for subsequent tours: Tanya Mead, Dallas Kelly. Co-devisor in initial development stage: Emily McCormick

    Musicians/Composers
    Bruce Nabegeyo (Songman), Steven Garnarradj (mako), Lorrae Coffin (guitar), Thompson Yulidjirri (backing vocals, clap sticks), Matthew Fargher (violin, keyboards, backing vocals), Brett Nancarrow (clarinet)

  • Gallery
  • Supporters

    MiMi was commissioned by the Perth International Arts Festival and made possible by Injalak Arts and Crafts Association, Oenpelli, NT.

    MiMi was funded by the Australia Council for the Arts,  Playing Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,  Sydney Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Festival of the Dreaming) , Millennium Celebrations 2000,  EXPO 2000, The Australia Foundation for Culture and the Humanities and BP Refinery Kwinana Pty Ltd

Mimi is a successful intercultural and interdisciplinary work. It is a great spectacle.

Lynn Fisher, West Australian.