Adelaide Fringe Review: Djuki Mala – Garden of Unearthly Delights (17.02.17)

The Chooky Dancers achieved overnight success when Frank Djirrimbilpilwuy uploaded a video clip of the group dancing to “Zorba the Greek” on YouTube in October 2007.

After touring extensively around the country and in places as far flung as Canada, China and Europe, Djuki Mala are now part of the Adelaide Fringe, performing in the eclectic Garden of Unearthly Delights.

The five young lads come out on stage in traditional garb and perform two indigenous dances before launching into Zorba the Greek. This is a defining moment in the performance. These cheeky boys are not taking themselves seriously and want the audience to have a great time. The crowd, of course loves it, clapping and swaying along.

But Zorba the Greek is just the beginning. The repertoire includes songs from Motown, Hollywood, Bollywood and more. Each new song delights the crowd even more. Sometimes the costumes are simple, sometimes a full suit and tie affair, but always appropriate.

Between songs, there are pre-recorded interviews with members of the Yonglu family talking about the development of the group and how the vision to get the young people away from the dangers of alcohol and petrol sniffing has grown into a worldwide phenomenon.

Djuki Mala is one of those performances that leave you happy and content. It’s impossible not to enjoy these young guys and their infectious enthusiasm for music and dance, blurring the boundaries between cultures.

A standing ovation at the end of the performance was testament to their talent. A show not to be missed.

This show is appearing at The Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 5.