Kwongkan journeys from ancient cultures, through the present and into a future where the next generation struggles to save the planet and themselves. This international co-production is visually and sonically startling with passionately powerful physical performances at its core.

Indigenous Australian performers from Perth’s Ochre Contemporary Dance Company and Daksha Sheth Dance Company combine traditional and contemporary dance theatre with live music, son et lumière, and aerial acrobatics.

Kwongkan means ‘sand’ in Nyoongar language, referencing the cultural significance of this indestructible element in both Indigenous and Indian dance ceremonies; and what most of us are doing about addressing the tsunami of climate catastrophes engulfing our planet – putting our heads in the sand.

Created and directed by Mark Howett over three years of travel to sacred lands in desert Australia and tropical India with the ensemble; including principal Nyoongar dancer and actor Ian Wilkes, renowned dancer and Bollywood actress Isha Sharvani and musician and composer Tao Issaro, this world premiere is a profound and dazzling mix of beauty and terror, hope and fear.

Arrive early to experience the pre-performance rituals, warm-ups, set preparation, costuming and body painting and perhaps to play a role in the unfolding narrative.

Chairs and picnic blankets are welcome, and food and drinks will be available for purchase.


Created and directed by: Mark Howett
Performed and choreographed by: Ian Wilkes, Isha Sharvani, Phil Thomson, Tao Issaro, Kate Harmann, Mark Howett
Design: Dev Issaro
Composer and Associate Director: Tao Issaro
Costumes: Mand Marky
Dramaturg: Phil Thomson
Video Design: Michael Carmody
Videography: Mark Howett and Tao Issaro

Buy tickets

Kwongkan is part of the 2019 Perth Festival.

perth festival 2019 trans logo