SILENCE breaks the silence Rockhampton Regional Council

Posted on August 12, 2022

THE SILENCE break the silence

Karul Projects will perform for the first time at the Pilbeam Theater in September, with their latest work THE SILENCE.

Karul Projects is an emerging First Nations professional contemporary dance company based in Yugambeh country, founded in 2017 by Thomas ES Kelly, Minjungbal-Yugambeh, Wiradjuri and Ni-Vanuatu, and Taree Sansbury, Kaurna, Narrunga and Ngarrindjerri.

THE SILENCE focuses on Australia being one of the only Commonwealth countries colonized by the British that did not have a treaty with the first peoples of the earth.

The show explores a 250-year denial of “meaningful listening” to First Nations people and the effect it has had on the psyches of people and the land.

“Through high-intensity dance and live drumming, SILENCE pulls unresolved conversations from under the rug and back on the table,” said co-artistic director Thomas ES Kelly.

THE SILENCE is about conversations that go unheard and responses that are muted. Through the beat of a drum, bodies cross frequencies to discover what lies hidden in the silence,” he said.

“The core purpose of Karul Projects is to tell stories about Indigenous knowledge, its relevance and responsibility in Australia’s modern and future identity,” he said.

“”Karul” is a Yugambeh word meaning “everything”. The company is so named because Karul Projects strives to strengthen and empower the cultural knowledge of this land so that future generations from all walks of life can continue to learn and to enjoy the rich heritage of Aboriginal Australia,” he said.

“SILENCE is an entry point into the complex political environment in which we find ourselves. It is a powerful contemporary dance show featuring seven performers on a minimalist set with evocative lighting. The intricate musical score, punctuated by Jhindu-Pedro Lawrie’s dynamic percussion, explores the past, present, alternate realities and dreamscapes. The whole scene is slowly being engulfed in dirt, representing the global call for the return of Indigenous lands,” Kelly said.

“SILENCE breaks the silence.”

Suitable for age: 12+

THE SILENCE is produced by BlakDance and this tour has received funding from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Touring Queensland Fund. The first production was co-commissioned by BlakDance, HOTA Home of the Arts, City of Gold Coast, Queensland Performing Arts Center and Brisbane Festival, with support from the Australian Government through the Australian Council for the Arts, its advisory body and fundraiser and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

THE SILENCE is presented by Rockhampton Regional Council and will be performed at the Pilbeam Theater on Thursday 15 September at 7.30pm.

Tickets are on sale now at the Pilbeam Theater box office, by phone on 4927 4111 and online at

Elna M. Lemons