Djuki Mala dancer Baykali Ganambarr worked with Mackay students to teach them about dance and indigenous culture.
Djuki Mala dancer Baykali Ganambarr worked with Mackay students to teach them about dance and indigenous culture. Ashley Pillhofer

Mackay to star in documentary

AN INTERESTING mix of contemporary and traditional culture has taken Mackay school students by storm.

In a workshop with indigenous dance sensations Djuki Mala, students from Sarina State High School starred in a documentary, danced their hearts out and learnt about their indigenous culture.

The workshop, which will be delivered to 100 local students presents a fusion of traditional Yolngu and contemporary dance. Djuki Mala dancer Tibian Wyles said for him, the most important thing he wanted students to take away was not to be ashamed of themselves or their culture.

"That was one thing I spoke about at the workshop, (not being ashamed). The kids will be the next leaders in our generation," he said.

"It is important we teach and share and get a spark in them to find more about their identity and their cultural background."

And this happened before his eyes at the workshop as students who were unwilling to participate began to get involved.

"For us, the boys and our company manager we all felt goosebumps," he said.

"It gave us goosebumps (when) they got comfortable. It is good to see them breaking out of that and getting out of the shame of not wanting to perform."

The workshops were made possible by Pathways to Performance and the Regional Arts Service Network. Queensland's centre of contemporary touring knowledge, ArTour, will feature the Mackay workshop in a documentary which will highlight the importance of bringing performing arts to regional areas.

A MECC spokesperson said documentary will help ArTour provide insight and inspiration to other performing arts companies who may wish to tour Queensland.

Djuki Mala will take to the stage at the MECC today at 7.30pm. Tickets are still available via the website.