Sydney Festival: Jurrungu Ngan-ga

Dance as resistance. Challenging yet joyful, Jurrungu Ngan-ga — meaning ‘straight talk’— is a provocative new dance theatre work by Marrugeku which confronts Australia’s shameful fixation with incarceration. The mesmerising multimedia production is a frank conversation with the Australian psyche, exposing the deep-seated fears holding us back from truth and justice.

Inspired by perspectives on incarceration shared by Yawuru leader Patrick Dodson as well as Kurdish-Iranian writer and former Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani with philosopher Omid Tofighian, Jurrungu Ngan-ga examines the common thread that connects outrageous levels of Indigenous incarceration to the indefinite detaining of asylum seekers.

Through movement, spoken word, installation and a powerful musical soundscape, the cast draws on intersecting yet distinct cultural experiences (Indigenous, immigrant, people seeking asylum, transgender and settler) to ask: who really is in prison here?

Harsh truths blend with dark humour, fear, sadness and courage to shine a light on new ways to rewrite our future – together.