My Urrwai > Bleach* 2019
A journey into the life stories, family and culture of Torres Strait Island dancer, comic, teacher, TV star and sometime guitarist, Ghenoa Gela, My Urrwai explores the interplay of political, social and colonial expectations that Gela dances with daily.
My Urrwai, supported by a stellar team, including director Rachael Maza and dramaturg Kate Champion, is a revealing reflection on and celebration of cultural and familial inheritance, and an unflinching comment on race relations in Australia.
With no direct English word that translates its meaning, Urrwai is a combination of “my spirit, my style, my essence” in the Kala Lagaw Ya language, indigenous to the Torres Strait.
Laughter and deep reflection go hand in hand in this unique and intimate story told through movement and words. A recipient of the renowned Keir Choreographic Award and the Deadly Funny Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award, Ghenoa’s energetic auto-biographical journey is funny, moving and, ultimately, enlightening.
Creator/Performer: Ghenoa Gela
Director: Rachael Maza
Dramaturg: Kate Champion
Composer: Ania Reynolds
Lighting Designer: Niklas Pajanti
Set & Costume Designer: Michael Hankin
Photo Credit: David Collins
My Urrwai is produced by Performing Lines, in association with ILBIJERRI Theatre, the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts its arts funding and advocacy body, and the New South Wales Government through Create NSW. Originally co-produced by Belvoir and Performing Lines in association with ILBIJERRI Theatre and Sydney Festival.