Buru is Marrugeku’s first production designed specifically for young audiences and young performers. It has been developed in close consultation with elders of the Yawuru people, traditional owners of Broome on Australias remote North West coast.
Buru is an impressionistic suite of stories based around the annual cycle of six seasons identified by the Yawuru:
Mangala – the hot wet season; Marrul – big tides and plentiful mangrove fruit; Wirralburu – comes the wind change and salmon time; Barrgana – cold time in which the bush animals hibernate; Wirlburu – comes the first hot wind, thunder and lightening; and Larja – hot winds from the south-east and the animals come out again ready for the return of Mangala.
The work has been devised in consultation with the Broome community and key story holders. Some of the retellings are traditional, some contemporary, drawn from the lives of young Broome people.
Buru tells traditional stories including Janyju – the Red Lizard story as told by Karajarri elder and Yawuru language specialist Doris Edgar and Walmanyjun – the Greedy Turtle story as told by Yawuru/Jabirr Jabirr elder Cissy Djiagween. Buru also acknowledges the two custodial Boss Lizard figures, as shared with Marrugeku by senior Yawuru law man Patrick Dodson.
Buru has been conceived and co-directed by Marrugeku’s artistic directors Dalisa Pigram and Rachael Swain. Buru premiered in Broome in Western Australian in October 2010. It toured to remote communities in the Kimberley area of north west Australia in October 2011, and is touring in April 2012 to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in Phoenix in the USA and to Manitoba Theatre for Young People in Winnipeg in Canada.
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