‘Walanbaa Yulu-Gi’ Burn the Ground: An electrical celebration of dance

The Concourse, Chatswood, Sydney.
13 August 2023.

Sunday, thirteenth August 2023, was the ultimate present for the tour of Burn the Ground (Walanbaa Yulu-Gi) that includes Mitch Tambo, at Chatswood Concourse Theatre. Showcasing the nation’s finest ballroom dancers, the night was fused with Indigenous Australian dance, music and cultural components. This mixed resulted in probably the most electrical celebration of dance.

The touring dance manufacturing Burn the Ground is thought for its high-energy reveals, that includes quite a lot of dance types, together with ballroom, Latin and modern dance. Over the previous twenty years, the corporate has revolutionised Ballroom fashion – taking it out from behind closed doorways of the aggressive circuit and bringing it to audiences across the globe – gracing the levels of Broadway, London’s West Finish and the Sydney Opera Home. Gaining immense recognition through the years with their infectious vitality, jaw-dropping strikes and sensual fashion, audiences throughout 180 cities and 30 nations proceed to return to see their manufacturing.

Australian musician, singer and songwriter Mitch Tambo is thought for his distinctive mix of latest pop music with Indigenous Australian components featured on this manufacturing. Identified for creating new sounds, and a brand new cultural panorama for artists, Tambo appeared on Australia’s Received Expertise in 2019, the place he carried out the rendition of the John Farnham basic “You’re the Voice,” which integrated conventional Indigenous language and devices. Opening the present on Sunday night, he celebrated his Aboriginal heritage, the forged’s members of the family within the crowd, and the chance to deliver each dance types collectively, selling cultural consciousness and understanding alongside the best way.

The opening was probably the most mesmerising and charming fusion of dance I’ve seen shortly. Unashamedly biased towards each artwork kinds – Latin Ballroom and Indigenous modern dance – the scene was set with smoke and dramatic lighting, accompanied by the track “Yaama,” adopted by the intoxicating sounds of “Yugal Yulu Gi.” The rhythmic beat with Tambo’s lyrics and layered vocals, contrasted with the undulating pulse of the didgeridoo, resulted in a sonic and visible meshing of sensuality and spirituality in probably the most easy manner. Properly-known ballroom fast steps melted into grounded Indigenous modern actions and shapes. The best way the dancers immersed themselves, adapting and adopting each motion kinds, was groundbreaking, and unearthed a brand new dance language. 

The 2023 tour forged – lots of which have appeared on So You Suppose You Can Dance, in addition to Dancing with the Stars – included choreographers Jorja Freeman, Gustavo Viglio, Jemma Armstrong, Sophie Holloway, Lily Cornish, Julian Caillon, Robbie Kmetoni, Anne-Janette Phillips, Jessica Raffa with new dancers Lyu Masuda, Craig Monley and Sriani Monley. Additionally that includes within the manufacturing – together with Tambo – was his vocalist spouse Lea Firth, First Nations modern dancer Albert David, and Sermsah Bin Saad, with music carried out by Tyler Azzop Aroi and Mark Stefanoff, and Jamie Valente and Pat Madden.

Taking to the stage song-by-song, showcasing swift, sensual and synergetic steps, the dancers danced to Australian rock favourites with costumes to match, from Midnight Oil’s “Energy and the Ardour,” INXS’s “By no means Tear Us Aside,” ACDC’s “Freeway to Hell,” the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive,” Chilly Chisel’s “Khe Shan” and extra. Some Archie Roach anthems, plus “You’re the Voice” sung by Tambo within the Gamilaraay language and “Walanbaa,” a particular spotlight that includes Gustavo Viglio, Lily Cornish, Lyu Masuda, Jorja Freeman, Craig Monley, Sriani Argaet, Julian Caillon, Jemma Armstrong, Sermsah Bin Saad and Albert David, which preceded an attractive conventional cleaning ceremony, and modern romantic duo. 

The choreography of Native Tongue was a standout piece with Robbie Kmetoni, Lyu Masuda, Jorja Freeman, Albert David, Sermsah Bin Saad and Jemma Armstrong. The male dancers on this part had been sturdy, fluid and clear. Combining components of every dance fashion into a recent method was putting. This flowed into extra upbeat progressions because the females dancers joined the stage sporting quick earthy-toned clothes with leather-based tassels. The choreography was ballroom distinguished, with iconic Indigenous shapes interjected all through because the vocals and didgeridoo drove the accented tempo.

Act One closed with a recent waltz to INXS’s “By no means Tear Us Aside.” Highlighting attractive traces – in a merely white slim gown – the couple floated throughout the stage with delicate, modern waltzes that intertwined into lifts earlier than different {couples} joined them once more on stage. 

In distinction, Act Two felt jolted because it powered up the celebration of Australian music. It was an eclectic mixture of rock, jazz blended with romantic waltz, foxtrot, cha cha, samba, rumba and jive – the performers didn’t maintain again. An ongoing conceptual thread would have made the manufacturing extra cohesive, as would extra growth to include the Indigenous components of dance throughout the second half. The modern choreography to Sia’s “Chandelier” was powerfully carried out by Sophie Holloway and Jemma Armstrong, as was the finale with John Farnham’s basic “You’re the Voice” carried out by Tambo.

The corporate is extra than simply dance and showmanship. It’s a household. This was evident by the best way the forged and crew interacted with each other and their members of the family within the viewers. The present was produced by Harley Medcalf, Maria Medcalf and Nic Notley, below the path of Peta Roby and creation path of Alberto Faccio, and was an entertaining feast for the eyes and ears. 

By Renata Ogayar of Dance Informa.