Presented by Gravity & Other Myths and Djuki Mala
Reviewed 5 March 2022
If you missed seeing MACRO I feel bad for you son, I got ninety-nine problems but seeing GOM (and Djuki Mala) ain’t one.
In the heart of Australia’s festival state, it really doesn’t get much better than a seven-thousand-strong audience and (totally free) opening night event for the Adelaide Festival, featuring talent harboured and honed in SA by international circus performance legends, Gravity and Other Myths (GOM). Pair these acrobatic wonders with some of the best musical talent from Scotland, and the beloved Indigenous dancers and performers, Djuki Mala (previously known as the Chooky Dancers), and you have yourself a jaw-dropping show that lives within the audience’s memories for a prolonged time.
‘Macro’, meaning large-scale as an adjective, is more than appropriate for the title of this staggering one-hundred person cast show. There is nothing small about it, with explosive agilities, unbelievable balance, mermerising contemporary dance moves and heart-racing acrobatic actions, paired with a dramatic local chorus and hauntingly beautiful Scottish folk artists.
Just picture jaw-dropping human towers that are four-people high, moving effortlessly around the stage to the shock of the audience as a pitch-perfect. Combine this height with dramatic and gasp-inducing leaps, twists, grabs and pulls and you’ll feel your heart racing and your eyes unable to blink to ensure not a second is missed. This is all in front of a background of dramatic lighting and smoke that intensifies an already electrifying performance as the silhouettes of mortal bodies swing, fly, leap, fall, twist, toss and reach across the stage. You don’t think that the human body is capable of feats like this until GOM not only shows you they are, but does it with a grace, finesse and confidence that is almost other-worldly.
Critically acclaimed Indigenous Australian dance group and theatre sensations, Djuki Mala, continue the flow of Indigenous influence throughout the show, following a moving Welcome to Country that will live for a long time in the minds and hearts of the audience. This North East Arnhem Land-based group add both musical aspects (the didgeridoo, vocals) and traditional and contemporary dance movements in a cohesive blend with the acrobatics of GOM, the hauntingly beautiful Scottish sounds and the angelic vocals of Adelaide’s youth.
The fascinating blend between dramatic Scottish bagpipes performed by Bridghe Chaimbeul, Aidan O’Rourke’s quick fingered fiddle playing and Kathleen MacInnes’s vocals (which permeate every sense of your being), all blend cohesively and contrast in a complementary manner with the Indigenous dance and music. These, plus the dramatic body movements of GOM, are dramatically complemented by Adelaide’s acclaimed youth vocal ensemble, Aurora, who give the emotionally swelling performance of a lifetime.
If you haven’t seen GOM in person before, do yourself a favour and go to their website right now, book tickets and enjoy the astounding performance that is always guaranteed (I Want To Touch You is currently at Adelaide Fringe). Unfortunately, MACRO won’t be an option to experience for a while, but it has already solidified its place within the international arts circuit, being announced as an international highlight at this year’s prominent Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. Stay tuned for updates on the next performance in Adelaide.
We, as South Australians, are so lucky to have the option to watch a spectacle like this that rivals the world-renowned Cirque Du Soleil, and one that is also free and open to all. MACRO was a spectacular way to launch the 2022 Adelaide Festival and makes us all incredibly proud of the jaw-dropping standard of South Australian and Australian artists that we can show off to the world.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Season Ended – One Night Only
Rating out of 5: 10