whatchaupto? dalisa pigram

Dalisa Pigram, Gudirr Gudirr

Dalisa Pigram, Gudirr Gudirr

Dalisa Pigram, Gudirr Gudirr

I am working on a solo dance piece called Gudirr Gudirr for the Marrugeku company. The concept came from my grandfather Patrick Dodson. He spoke about Gudirr Gudirr or Guwayi (its proper Yawuru name), a small shore bird that calls out to warn you when the tide is about to turn. He related this bird to the work I do in my community keeping Yawuru language alive but also with how Marrugeku has been finding new ways of storytelling that ensure our culture survives. I have taken this idea as a starting point and have been exploring dance themes through animals that function as omens or warnings to the community. My story is influenced by my mixed heritage of Malay, Philipino and Indigenous Australian cultures, practices like Malaysian martial arts (Silat), gymnastics and memories of traditional movements.

When creating ideas for a work we sit and talk with Elders from the community and are culturally guided by appropriate people at every stage of development. As co-conceiver/dancer/choreographer of Gudirr Gudirr I will collaborate with Belgium-based director Koen Augustijnen. This collaboration has grown from a long-term commitment by Marrugeku to develop new possibilities for contemporary Indigenous dance artists. Gudirr Gudirr will premiere at Dance Massive in Melbourne in March next year followed by its Broome premiere at Shinju Matsuri in September 2013.

And I will continue to work at Cable Beach Primary School teaching Yawuru language to students there and enjoy time watching my three children grow.

Dalisa Pigram became Co-Artistic Director of Marrugeku in 2009 and is a founding member and core performer with the Broome and Sydney-based contemporary intercultural performance company. She has toured extensively both overseas and throughout Australia with shows Mimi (1997), Crying Baby (2000) and Burning Daylight (2006/9). Pigram comes from the Yawuru people of Broome in the Kimberley region of WA and Marrugeku’s recent work Buru was conceived, choreographed and co-directed by her. She is currently working on her solo piece Gudirr Gudirr, a work accompanied by video art by Vernon Ah Kee.

RealTime issue #111 Oct-Nov 2012 pg. 22

© Dalisa Pigram; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

9 October 2012