Co-artistic director of Marrugeku Dance Company Dalisa Pigram brings her internationally acclaimed one-woman dance piece to the studio of Sydney’s Opera House from June 27.

Gudirr Gudirr fuses traditional and contemporary dance with Silat (Malaysian martial arts), spoken word and projected text, in a searing performance that lights a path from a broken past to fragile present, and towards an undetermined future.

As a multicultural with both Indigenous and Malay heritage, Dalisa produces culturally informed works to audiences around the globe about social and political issues stemming from very raw and personal connections.

I’m exploring some of my concerns for my community and country, and coming to terms with our not so nice history…it is on a very personal level,” says Dalisa.

‘Gudirr Gudirr’ can be translated as a “small bird that calls to tell you when the tide is turning”. Dalisa’s grandfather (or great uncle in other terms) who has stood by her since the inception of this dance piece helped title her work.

You are just like that little bird, that little bird is telling people to get to higher ground or you’ll drown,” Dalisa says, reminiscing.

Dalisa Pigram performing Gudirr Gudirr. Heidrun Lohr – Sydney – March 2013

Metaphorically, the tide is turning in many ways in our communities. Dalisa says, “We are faced with devastating issues like suicide in our young people at such high rates, which is something we do not like claim as having the highest rates in the world, it is one of the saddest things we have to live with every day.”

Dalisa adds that the tide turns with regard to industrialisation on First Nation soil and being at those crossroads of staying true to your culture but also evolving with other cultures.

I hope the audiences will come with open hearts and be able to take on the concepts I am exploring. I hope they appreciate the process and movement that is drawn from raw and very personal connections to a place and people—history.”

There are many contributors assisting to this one-woman piece including choreographic collaboration with Belgian choreographer Koen Augustijnen, and visual artist Vernon Ah Kee providing highly technical installations. This combination between art and dance provides the basis for Dalisa’s Greenroom award and Australian Dance Award, including a Helpmann nomination award.

This is a must-see show that is bound to captivate and educate. You can purchase your tickets here.