The University of Melbourne

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posted on 2024-06-03, 05:33 authored by CHRISTOPHER MEADCHRISTOPHER MEAD, Jacob Boehme, Warren Milera, Sonya Rankine, Zoë Brown Holten, Cheeky Chandler, Luke Currie Richardson, Shana O'Brien, Jordan O'Davis, Jada Narkle, Eden Porter, Caleena Sansbury, Aunty Lynette Newchurch, Uncle Rex Angie, Aunty Deanna Newchurch, Uncle Edward Newchurch, James Henry, Jenny Hector

Guuranda is a monumental new theatre work telling the Narungga Creation stories of South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula from Narungga/Kaurna theatre-maker Jacob Boehme. Commissioned by Adelaide Festival, Guuranda has been created by a collective of First Nations artists, Narungga Elders and non-Indigenous artists. It is written and directed by Jacob Boehme with artwork by Narungga visual artist Kylie O’Loughlin and sung by Narungga songwoman Sonya Rankine and songman Warren Milera, supported by the Narungga Family Choir.


Creative Australia;;

Adelaide Festival;;

Australian Government - RISE Fund;;

Insite Arts;;

Opera Australia;;

Bunjil Place;;

Creative Victoria;;



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  • Yes

NTRO Output Type

  • Live Performance of Creative Work

NTRO Output Category

  • Live Performance of Creative Work : Other


Adelaide, Australia


Her Majesty's Theatre

NTRO Publisher

Adelaide Festival

Start Date


End Date



Dance, Opera, New First Nation's writing

Research Statement

Writer-director Jacob Boehme and I have a long-standing working relationship, since the multi-award winning 'Blood on the Dancefloor' (2016). Continuing to work with Jacob as his dramaturg, this new Adelaide Festival commission featured Narungga creation stories. Narungga creation stories—from interviews conducted by Jacob with his elders—have never been shared before publicly. Starting with over 100, we initially selected ten but ultimately used five. As one of only two non-Indigenous artists, the creative process was a model for regardful creative collaboration. ‘Guuranda’, performed entirely in the Narungga language with an extended Narungga family choir, featured puppetry, animation, live and recorded singing, and dance, and was received to acclaim. Jacob and I continue to work on two other show, but this was a piece that was our largest to date. It was conceived to work at a huge scale for a 1500 seat theatre and in the context of an international Arts Festival. Our thoughtful, detailed process continues a unique collaboration between First Nations' story-telling, dance and a hybrid dramaturgy. Also, the show was a sell-out and garnered excellent reviews. 'Guuranda, is an expertly woven tapestry of traditional stories that will hold your heart up and envelope your mind. Come sit with an ancient past that beats strong and true from across the gulf.' InReview 'Guuranda is a work of immense significance.' Australian Stage ' . . . breakthrough work of Indigenous storytelling.' The Conversation

Size or Duration of Work

The dance/opera piece ran for four performances, at 1.25hours/show


Chris Mead, University of Melbourne

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