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.