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Direct from Elcho Island, Djuki Mala (Djuki meaning ‘bird’ with a Yolngu accent and Mala meaning ‘mob’) perform a high-energy and stunning fusion of traditional Indigenous culture, contemporary dance and storytelling.

Djuki Mala wow audiences with a spectacular fusion of traditional dance, pop-culture and storytelling that is a marvel of timing, comedy and clowning with a hefty dose of heart and soul.

Lighting designer Christian Lovelady says his brief was more learned over the years through subtle modifications with Josh Bond the director, trying new looks and new techniques to enhance very specific moments became his goal for the design.

“Meeting the brief is often easy while touring some Granston Productions’ Martin MAC Quantums and Mac Auras,” commented Christian. “To put it incredibly simply, strong side light from Auras and punchy texture with potential party mode from Quantums is a perfect formula for the show.”

Christian says that the biggest challenge in touring to small regional places is coming to terms with losing grip on the incredibly artful and meaningful moments of the show. The lighting not only enhances it but can lead to a greater cheer, better feeling for the dancers and better show for everyone overall.

“These days, if a venue is limited to a point of needing to completely change the show, as long as it is incredibly interesting and the dancers are lit, it’s a beautiful show nonetheless,” he said.

Christian’s design incorporates four MAC Quantums in the roof, four MAC Auras on the floor, one ShowPro LED VW Profile with 36 degree lens and for control, an MA Lighting grandMA 2 onPC setup. The Regal Theatre shows required another two MAC Quantums from Granston Productions which really refined a new low side shin shot position for very subtle movement in gobos on dancers, better emulating rain and such.

“I also added six Ayrton Mistrals from Brock Preston at EAVP,” added Christian. “To finally see a rig of them in refined specific purposes shocked me …. these units met and exceeded my expectations.”

Christian’s says his favourite lighting moment is incredibly hard to pick however the two most vital scenes for him are firstly at the end of a section called Lungurrma when Baykali Ganambarr performs a funeral dance.

“That’s probably the most moving moment in the whole show ending it with a moment far downstage, hands in the air and gazing upward,” said Christian. “This moment for me is treated very carefully with all side light out, all overhead movers dimming slowly until the last moment where they’re pulled quickly out as if the dim curve is the end of a roller coaster.”

Christian’s second favourite moment is as the dancers enter during projection and often you can’t quite see what moved until the projection goes dark at times. Then all of a sudden they’re there on stage, the lighting for it currently is the Aura backlight only in a colour that amplifies most of the boy’s skin tone as much as possible.

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