New Australian dance company, Ginar, brings authentic Torres Strait Island music and culture to audiences
A new far northeast Australian dance company, Ginar, will be captivating audiences and bringing authentic Torres Strait Island music and culture to audiences in October.
While the last two years have seen people yearning for international excitement, right here on home soil, a resounding rhythm has been growing. Bursting with the raw, tribal, full-bodied drums and melodies of Australia’s far northeast, Ginar not only brings mesmerising entertainment to audiences, but also an immersive introduction to other Australian indigenous culture – that of the islands of the Torres Strait.
Ginar, a Torres Strait Islander word meaning dance, weaves together live dance, music, and documentary vignettes, to present a vibrant tapestry of cultural and historical styling of this tropical region.
Founder and Director of Ginar, Bala Mosa, said that the show pays homage to the land and sea from the top of Australia to the border of Papua New Guinea.
“It has been a true community effort to bring this show to life. To authentically capture the music, history, and cultural style of my home country, I had to not only draw on my own experiences, but also the experiences of many tribal groups,” said Bala.
“In fact, this dance company is probably one of the most multi-talented you’ll find anywhere. Just like in community, our dancers are also the musicians, singers, and crafters of costumes and drums. This authenticity, this window into what community is really like, is what Ginar offers audiences. It’s the difference between seeing a hand-fed croc jump at the zoo and seeing one in its natural state,” he continued.
The Ginar show is a refreshing tropical breeze through the Australian entertainment scene. From its first moments, the ‘warup’ drum immediately transports you to the Torres Strait Islands. Central to much of the music, its sound reflects the “bumer”, or the thunder quintessential to summer storms.
Mosa is eager to share cultural elements unique to the Torres Strait, such as the warup drum, with mainland Australian audiences.
“There are hundreds of different indigenous languages, with broad or subtle cultural differences, throughout Australia,” he said.
“Mainland Indigenous dances don’t really use drums, but we use the bass drum bellow frequently! There are many songs in the show that perfectly demonstrate the layering of the beats from the drums, the percussion from the lumut, the melody from our choirs, and the crackle and swish from our dancers in costume.
“Each of our costumes is hand-made by the Ginar troupe, using materials local to our Torres Strait communities. There are few items that we don’t make in-house, and are instead made by specialist artisans in community. One example is the ‘Dhari’ or traditional headdress worn by the male dancers, which needs particular feathers and 2 types of cane”
The songs and dances in Ginar reflect daily life in the Torres Strait Islands, ranging from everyday stories about the men going fishing and diving, to wedding dances and mourning dances. The troupe includes different families with their own distinctive style and series of dances, each one sharing their stories with the audience. This is reflective of showcases in community, giving audiences an experience, they would not otherwise have access to.
“Our goal is to bring Torres Strait musical heritage to the world,” said Mosa. “With Ginar, we are stepping boldly into the spotlight, and we are so proud of every element of culture in the show. We can’t wait to share these with audiences as our family welcomes yours.”
Catch Ginar on its premiere Australian tour before it takes the world by storm! Ginar Australia will be touring throughout October in Narre-Warren (Victoria), Toowoomba (Queensland), Frankston (Victoria), and Albury (New South Wales).
For more information on Ginar Australia and to book tickets, visit https://www.ginar.co/