Burrbgaja Yalirra 2 Triple Bill

Burrbgaja Yalirra 2 traces histories of migration, adaptation, and survival in two fiercely physical dance solos and an awe-inspiring duo, each exploring the presence of ancestors in contemporary life.

This powerful triple bill traces histories of migration, adaptation, and survival in two fiercely physical dance solos and an awe-inspiring duo, each exploring the presence of ancestors in contemporary life.

Nyuju embodies longing for Country in the central Kimberley, told through the lens of senior Wangkatjungka artist Nyuju Stumpy Brown’s paintings. Beautifully reflected in Sohan Ariel Hayes’ animations, the immersive solo piece is performed by her great-grandson, dancer and actor Emmanuel James Brown, and co-choreographed by Dalisa Pigram, with Associate Choreographer Zunnur Zhafirah.

A lunar eclipse marks the mesmerising solo performance by artist Bhenji Ra in No New Gods. Co-created with choreographer Melanie Lane, Ra channels the colonial histories, epic narratives, and flora and fauna of the Philippine archipelago. Incorporating Filipino stick fighting and her own unique gestural hyper-expressivity, Ra’s narrative pulses with power, dominance, and resistance.

Dancers Ses Bero and Stan Nalo perform a breathtaking exchange of cultural and contemporary dance forms as they grapple with the brutal history of blackbirding. The duo counteract this violent period – during which South Sea Islanders were forcefully enslaved and transported to eastern Australia in the early 1800s – through their intercultural and intra-Melanesian exchange, facilitated by Ghenoa Gela and Miranda Wheen.

Form and Style

Burrbgaja Yalirra is Marrugeku’s multiyear program of intensive dance research laboratories and new short works. Curated by Marrugeku’s co-artistic directors Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain the initiative aims to build capacity in the next generation of leading change makers in community and culturally informed contemporary dance. Burrbgaja Yalirra began in 2017 for an evolving group of ten NSW and WA independent dance artists.

The Burrbgaja Yalirra new short works program deploys startling new trans-Indigenous and intercultural collaborations to revivify, remember and reimagine contemporary dance in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Each project reveals distinct facets of the compelling power of intercultural and trans-disciplinary collaboration and enables new choreoaesthetics to emerge from anti-colonial investigations between Peoples, Country, stories, movements and images.

Following the successful premiere of Marrugeku’s first triple bill in 2018, Burrbgaja Yalirra 1, in Broome and Perth (commissioned by Carriageworks and PICA) and subsequent touring to regional and remote WA communities in 2019, Marrugeku is thrilled to announce the second triple bill of new short works conceived and performed by artists within the program. Burrbgaja Yalirra 2 premiered in seasons at Carriageworks, Sydney and PICA, Perth in April-May 2023.

Community Engagement
  • Q&A with the artists
  • Dance workshops with the artists
  • ‘The process of making a cultural story through movement’ workshop tailored for Indigenous community members

“Marrugeku’s Burrbgaja Yalirra program gives the lead artists the opportunity to take time working to explore and expand something important for them now. Working in Fitzroy Crossing, Broome, Cebu, Nouméa and Sydney the artists have uncovered unique stories of their connections to their ancestors through who they are today. Exploring old and new dance they embody places and rhythms that are never forgotten.” Dalisa Pigram

We are thrilled to be sharing each unique intercultural collaboration that make up Burrbgaja Yalirra 2. The works reflect the power and possibilities of dance to share new ways to belong in a changing world. In dialogue with their communities and investigations between memories, movements and images the dancers have woven stories of relocation, cultural adaption and survival.” Rachael Swain

Available Marketing Collateral
  • Full marketing kit
  • Performance photos by Carlita Sari from the Carriageworks season
  • Trailer video (4:19)
  • Sample poster/flyer artwork

Artistic Direction: Dalisa Pigram & Rachael Swain
Musical Director and Co-composer: Corin Ileto
Set Design: Nicolas Molé
Costume Design: Matthew Stegh

No New Gods
Concept, Co-choreographer, Performer: Bhenji Ra
Co-Choreographer: Melanie Lane
Dramaturg: Rachael Swain
Media Artist: Sohan Arial Hayes

Concept, Co-choreographer, Performer: Czack (Ses) Bero and Stanley Nalo
Director and Co-choreographer: Ghenoa Gela
Associate Choreographer and Dramaturg: Miranda Wheen
Additional Music: Stanley Nalo
Cultural Advisor Kanaky: Pierre Boerereou

Concept, Co-choreographer and Performer: Emmanuel James Brown
Co-choreographer: Dalisa Pigram
Dramaturg: Rachael Swain
Media Artist: Sohan Arial Hayes
Associate Choreographer: Zunnur Zhafirah
Cultural advisors for Nyuju’s story: Mr May, Nancy Brown, Tina Brown and Mankaja Arts

Production Manager: Aiden Brennan
Audio Technician and Associate Sound Designer: Raine Paul
Company Manager: Denise Wilson



1 April 2024


Ballet and Dance


Indigenous community members, contemporary dance devotees, CaLD community members with particular focus on Filipinos and Pacific Islanders, ages 15+


85 Minutes

Bump In

2 Days

Bump Out

4 Hours


Weekly Fee: $12,000.00
Royalties: 10%

Company Contacts

Contact Name: Guy Boyce
Email: gm@marrugeku.com.au

Tell me more


Venue Format

Suits Proscenium Arch or Black Box theatres - requires a seating block that enables the stage floor to be seen

Touring Party



Maximum performances a week: 5

Does this show require a remount? Yes

First Possible Performance: Evening of Day 2

Minimum Break Between Shows: 3 Hours

Minimum stage dimensions:  Measurements are taken from the downstage edge as the setting line.

  • Stage width: 10 metres, plus at least 2 metres on stage right and stage left offstage of the performing to allow for lighting booms.
  • Stage depth from the downstage edge to the back wall: 10 metres (less depth may be possible)
  • Depth from downstage setting lines to last fly line position: 10 metres
  • Proscenium width: 10 metres
  • Proscenium height: 6-8 metres
  • Height for lighting bars and borders: 6-7 metres
  • Flat, smooth stage floor with no rake or impairment.
  • Stage floor ideally to be sprung. No creaking floors.

Staging and Set Description: Burrbgaja Yalirra is a compilation of three short works that combine dance with video and sound art. The constructed elements onstage consist of a number of “trees” made from fabric, and a submerged buffalo scenic object. The production is suitable for an audience between 100 and 400 people. A central ‘end on’ seating block will be the most ideal however the show can make lighting and staging adjustments for other configurations.

Lighting requirements: Presenter to supply:

  • Venue standard lighting equipment
  • Additional show specific lighting equipment (by negotiation)
  • ETC Gio/ION lighting control console (no Congo or Cobalt consoles)
  • ETC Fader wing if ION is provided
  • 10x 2.5m lighting boom with base & counterweight
  • 40x lighting boom arms
  • Completed pre-rig as detailed on the lighting plan
  • All colour, pre-cut and added to fixtures
  • Appropriate cable as per the lighting plan
  • Spare lighting fixtures as appropriate

Audio requirements:  Presenter to supply:

FOH Speakers:

  • A professional PA system capable of full coverage of the audience. (D&B, L’Acoustics, Meyer, Nexo)
  • PA positioned in a Left, Centre, Right configuration
  • Subs should be capable of a high level of output without vibration of rig or cabinets

Stage Monitors:

  • 2x full range loudspeakers of 15 inch or greater for onstage fold back for cast
  • 2x full range loudspeakers of 15 inch or greater for upstage sound effect fill

FOH Console:

  • Minimum 8 mic inputs + 8 line inputs totaling 16 input channels.
  • Minimum 8 individual output busses,
  • Yamaha CL/QL preferred – please confirm console with the touring company.
  • Dante/USB connection to console preferred, or XLR cabling to connect to company provided audio interface


  • 1x Switchable SM58 at the FOH audio position.
  • 4 x channels of high quality UHF wireless system (Shure, ULXD, Senn G3),
  • 3 x Beltpack transmitters
  • 1 x Handheld transmitter with suitable vocal capsule

Other technical or performance notes: The dance space is to be covered in Black Harlequin Dance Floor or similar product/brand. Please confirm the brand and specs with the Production Manager. The dance floor must start at the downstage edge and cover to a minimum area of 10 metres wide by 8 metres deep. This should be run downstage to upstage.