‘Yumi Danis (We Dance)’ Project Documentary

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Yumi Danis (We Dance) is co-curated with Ni Vanuatu songwriter, musician and author Marcel Meltherorong (also known as Mars Melto), and brings together dancers and musicians from Papua, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Yumi Danis is staged as an immersive multimedia installation animated by contemporary dance, and consciously addresses the issues involved in translating and contextualising ephemeral performances from these regions for a broader audience.

The installation they look at you has been created by Kanak artist Nicolas Molé, in response to discussions with Meltherorong and 15 dancers who attended a creative workshop as part of the Emyo Tinyo Dance and Music Festival on the island of Ambrym, Vanuatu, in 2014. In they look at you, visitors enter the installation through the tangled roots of a banyan tree into a cleared open space, a common feature of many Melanesian villages. The pathway articulated in light on the mat underfoot references a ni Vanuatu sand drawing. The intricate designs of sand drawing, traditionally produced in one action, share stories and are destroyed upon completion. In the context of Yumi Danis, the sand drawing initiates ideas of a journey to be traced or learnt. The surrounds are animated with Molé’s animated video projections, featuring a mysterious forest inhabited by animals, spirits and villagers. A large dwelling containing 11 projections presents performances from throughout the region.

This video contextualises Mole’s installation in APT8.