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My Name Is Jimi bille brown studio

Music, dance, stand-up and fireside storytelling combine in the powerful story, My Name is Jimi, which plays in Brisbane after its World Premiere in Cairns.

Presented by Queensland Theatre, Centre of Contemporary Arts and Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, My Name is Jimi is based on a story by Dimple Bani, Jimi Bani, and is co-created with Cairns-born Director, Jason Klarwein. Charismatic actor and storyteller, Jimi Bani (Mabo, The Straits, Redfern Now) tells his own family story, weaving in history about his homeland – the remote Torres Strait Mabuiag Island, the keeper of thousands of years of rich history and culture.

As well as musicians and dancers, there’ll be four generations of Jimi’s family on stage – his grandmother Petharie, mother Agnes, son Dimitri, and brothers Conwell and Richard. The family, leaders of the Wagadagam tribe, will share yarns of totems, traditions and childhood memories, as they emphasise the importance of preserving their culture and heritage in a constantly changing world. There are also humorous moments such as Jimi joking in three languages with his grandmother and torturing his son with spontaneous break-dancing.

The production has also involved Cairns-based designers, the Italian-born Simona Consentini and Simone Tesorieri, whose innovative set combines three-dimensional maps, live video projection and lighting that transforms the stage into Jimi’s island home. This, combined with traditional music and dance, creates ‘an entirely new theatrical form that acts as a metaphor for the richly diverse cultural identity of the Bani family’. It certainly sounds like one not to be missed!

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By Vicki Englund

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