Uncle Bruce Bax­ter, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Uncle David Tournier offered the story of the Platy­pus for the project. This tra­di­tional story was brought to life using pro­jec­tion, cul­tural dance and pup­petry. In addi­tion we explored the story in a con­tem­po­rary con­text and through this process cre­ated a par­al­lel drama that inter­wove the pro­jec­tion, pup­petry and dance. Com­mu­nity mem­bers from African back­ground joined the project when Uncle Bruce decided that it would be excit­ing if the project embraced peo­ple from diverse cul­tures, so not only were Abo­rig­i­nal young peo­ple learn­ing their cul­ture, but the lat­est migrants were learn­ing the cul­ture as well. He believed that this would help the migrant com­mu­nity liv­ing in Swan Hill feel more con­nected to the land they now inhab­ited. Uncle Bruce Bax­ter passed away dur­ing this project, the production’s open­ing night was the night of his funeral, and it served as a beau­ti­ful send off to a truly won­der­ful man.

In the begin­ning, the world was dark and cold, until one day the Kook­aburra came fly­ing…
This was the first year with­out Uncle Bruce at the helm, and the project went into a re-​design. For the first time, The Mar­ruk Project moved into a the­atre! Now with a full light­ing rig to take advan­tage of, Bring­ing Up The Sun was more heav­ily the­atri­cal than the pre­vi­ous per­for­mances. The per­for­mance still relied on pup­petry and dance, and the entire pro­duc­tion was an inti­mate cer­e­mony. Bring­ing Up The Sun is the re-​enactment of the story of the Kook­aburra. Bring­ing Up The Sun was the largest event of The Mar­ruk Project yet. It included tra­di­tional dances from the local Seikh (Indian) com­mu­nity. The South Sudanese moth­ers per­formed tra­di­tional dances, and there were orig­i­nal dances chore­o­graphed by Jere­miah Kirby and tra­di­tional dances chore­o­graphed by Uncle Hank Kerr. This pro­duc­tion involved over 80 participants.

Long ago, all the Kunawaa (black swans) were white…
Aunty Yvonne Mitchell pro­vided a tra­di­tional story of how the Swans feath­ers became black. With pro­jec­tions, pup­petry, a music score and cul­tural dance chore­o­graphed by Uncle Hank Kerr, young peo­ple cre­ated a sacred night of pow­er­ful visual story telling. The project con­tin­ued to build young people’s skills in per­for­mance, as well as the tech­ni­cal aspects of the­atre pro­duc­tion includ­ing stage man­age­ment, set, light­ing, sound and projection.

Ini­ti­ated by Uncle Bruce Bax­ter, this project was a pup­petry and dance per­for­mance per­formed by 16 young Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple and two Elders on the banks of the Mur­ray River to an audi­ence of approx­i­mately 300 peo­ple. Young peo­ple were involved in learn­ing the story, build­ing pup­pets, design­ing and build­ing the set, cul­tural dance, music and nar­ra­tion. Two Elders Aunty Ivy Bell and Aunty Yvonne Mitchell painted the Mur­ray River on fab­ric across the stage as the hunter pur­sued the giant Mur­ray Cod.

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