"It would be a fascinating exercise to spend the show watching the same dancer the whole way through."
"This isn't TV. This isn't DVD. This is live."
The Tuesday night crowd are told to put their phones away and make plenty of noise as Djuki Mala are introduced — five young men from Elcho Island in East Arnhem Land, whose dance routines have captured a global audience. There's a respectful silence during the opening traditional dances. The young men move gracefully around the small stage with an intensity that ripples through the Magic Mirrors crowd. In between the songs, charming talking heads footage explains the genesis of the troupe and then about ten minutes in, halfway through a traditional piece, the young men launch into their Zorba The Greek — the original YouTube clip that has been viewed over 2.5 million times — and the crowd erupts.
What follows is a highly entertaining blend of traditional and contemporary, the dancers pulling moves from Michael Jackson, MC Hammer or Gene Kelly one moment and striking traditional poses or performing a beautiful Islander inspired solo the next. And this is a show that is tailor made for repeat viewing. There are five dancers, each with distinct personalities and cheeky grins, and it would be a fascinating exercise to spend the show watching the same dancer the whole way through.
Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter
Though some routines are more involved than others, this energy of the show is contagious and suggests that more world tours are on the cards for these fabulous and fun artists.