MOKUY (Spirit)

Gary Lang NT Dance Company


MOKUY is a series of vignettes that depict an evocative reflection on the journey of the spirit following death through contemporary dance, projections and traditional and contemporary music. For Gary Lang, MOKUY is his personal response to youth suicide in remote Indigenous communities.

MOKUY draws together an interpretation of ceremonial song cycles (manikay) played in the elaborate funeral rites of the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land with contemporary music and dance. Traditional oral lore and storytelling are blended through an intricate series of song and dance progressions that express Lang’s grief and the poignancy of mortality.

MOKUY begins at the moment of death with the sun’s last rays and follows the passage of the spirit till the journey’s end at the morning star. Traditionally, song men perform complex song cycles to ensure the ancestral spirit’s safe arrival at its final resting place.

MOKUY draws upon the ancestral worlds of Yolgnu and Larrakia culture whilst speaking in the present to all audiences as it marries the traditional and the contemporary.

Cast & crew

Gary Lang is a Larrakia choreographer born in Darwin. Gary created Gary Lang NT Dance Company in 2004; the company work in, and reflect the cultures of Darwin with Aboriginal, Phillipino, Torres Straits Islander, African and Anglo heritage.

Lang was awarded a Dance Board Fellowship by Australia Council for the Arts for 2013/14. Artback NT will work closely with Gary on his program of activity and professional development during the next few years. This development includes presentations nationally at Dance Massive, creative development with OCHRE Dance Company in Perth and a work in 2014 with contemporary New Zealand Dance companies.


Darwin Entertainment Centre

Darwin, NT