Central Coast Australia

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Traditional Dance, Hip-hop, and Comedy Unite to Explore Culture and Identity in My Urrwai by Ghenoa Gela

Source: The Art House
Archived 11 Sep 2019 - Posted: 13 Jul 2019
Ghenoa Gela is using her many talents as a dancer, comedian, actor, community leader, and youth mentor to inspire dialogue of cultural politics in a fresh and accessible way, in her latest show My Urrwai.

There’s no English word that translates the meaning of ‘urrwai’ (Ooohrrr-why – roll your R’s), the closest being a spirit, a style, an essence. The spirit of Ghenoa charms audiences through her unique story-telling ability, humour and humanity, as she performs narratives from her life.

Ghenoa is a mainland Torres Strait Islander (TSI) woman and her story is informed by the many different and complex communities she interacts with. While we may each have different experiences of growing up, we can all relate to aspects of this relevant, funny and touching story.

My Urrwai draws on traditional Torres Strait Islander dance, alongside hip-hop and contemporary movement, which reflects Ghenoa’s many inspirations and unique artistry. Ghenoa trained at NAISDA Dance College on the Central Coast, and is one of their respected alumni of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers.

Through her work on NITV’s Move It Mob Style and mentoring young women, Ghenoa is a particularly captivating figure for young audiences. She’s both an air-guitar and lip synch champ, she won the Deadly Funny Award at Melbourne Comedy Festival, and loves 90s music. Her humour and creativity attract youth audiences, and helps them voice their sense of identity, belonging, and family. In fact, Ghenoa will be delivering movement, confidence and storytelling workshops alongside the tour of My Urrwai for teens and at-risk youth.

My Urrwai is a revealing reflection on cultural inheritance, and an unflinching comment on race relations in Australia. It comes to The Art House for two shows only on Tuesday August 20th.

“Employing her skills as a dancer, comedian, choreographer and actor, Gela charms her crowd with vivid storytelling, self-deprecating humour and wide-open expressivity under a sky of shifting colours” – The Sydney Morning Herald

“In just an hour, Gela covers a lot of ground – from the impact of Christianity on island life, to a critique of arts funding and training – as she navigates her way between traditional and contemporary worlds.”– Audrey Journal

“…she dances with great intention and great ease, like her body feels best in motion.”Timeout Sydney

The Art House Presents

My Urrwai by Genoa Gela

Produced by Performing Lines in association with ILBIJERRI Theatre

Tuesday 20 August 

11AM | 8PM

$20-$25 Online or 02 4335 1485

This article archived 11 Sep 2019

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