4WD Sweat Dust and Romance 1997


Darwin Botanic Gardens

In 1997 Tracks ventured on a trip into Northern Territory culture and found themselves covered in ‘Sweat, Dust and Romance’. Here was an extraordinary dance performance drawing together professional and community dancers in a show of skill, wit and diversity that celebrated what it was to be local. The rest of the country sat up and took notice as Tracks' performance of 4WD, bush-bashed its way from the local community onto the Australian cultural map. The company’s reputation was established.

Fuelled by stories of 4WD travel in the Territory this show was performed by a cast of hundreds in the Darwin Botanic Gardens. It featured a core group of dancers made up of Darwin’s best local dancers and guests from Melbourne and PNG, with local movers, musicians and four 4WDs. This performance was Track Dance's first full-length Festival of Darwin performance, August 26 - 30

Creative Personnel

Conceived and Directed: Tim Newth
Original Composition and Musical Arrangements: Scott Trenwith
Musical Direction: Drum Drum - Airi Ingram
Musical Direction: Arafura Ensemble - Claire Kilgariff
Produced by Tracks Dance: David McMicken, Tim Newth, Sarah Calver, Bereni Franklin
Publicist, Administrator: Suzanne Fermanis
Administration Assistant: Liann Stephenson
Guest Choreographers: Markham Galut (PNG), Michael Collins, Michael Leslie, Nicky Fletcher, Beth Shelton
Additional Choreography: Richard Gumbula, Traditional Dancer, Elcho Island, Desmond Madala, Traditional Dancer, Elcho Island, Nicky Fearn
Lighting Design: Matthew James
Stage Manager: Vanessa Hutchins
Sound Technician: Colin Simpson
Festival of Darwin Staff: Fabrizio Calafuri, Nic English, Andrew McMillan, Gary Outten


4WD Core Dancers: Sarah Calver, David McMicken, Michael Collins, Suzanne Fermanis, Nicky Fletcher, Bereni Franklin, Markham Galut, Michael Leslie, Stanley Stanislaus
Arafura Ensemble: Tony Cavenagh, Zoe Crawford, Anna Faehse, Bill Grose, Stephanie Higgs, Paia Ingram, Tau Ingram. Ranu James, Fay Johnstone, Claire Kilgariff, Merrilee Mills, Bronwyn Myers, Mark Smith, Scott Trenwith
Drum Drum: Phillip Eaton, Anna Faehse, Bill Grose, Airi Ingram, Mark Smith
Yolngu Manikay: Richard Gumbula, Desmond Madala
Black Cockatoo Operators: Ros Harper, Merran Hughes, Janet Irvine, Christina Shepherd, Nonie Whales
White Cockatoo Operators: Eric Austin, Rowan Austin, Aiva Kadiba, Meshak Laeke
Acronym: Michelle Hooper, Hemlock Mejarne, Daniel Oster, Melinda Warren
Darwin Dance Mob (Tracks community dance group): Kate Evans, Paul Harvey, Elka Kerkhofs, Belinda Kinsella, Natasha Miller, Rebecca Neil, Cindy O’Neil, Liz Pearse, Sara Scrutton, Stephanie Sims, Moira Stronach, Lisa-Marie Walters
Casuarina Senior College: Sharon Burns, Kelly Cridland, Angie Diaz, Jill Eveleigh, Angela Griffith, Colleen Harvey, Derek Hewson, Karen Hurley, Natalie Irvine, Matthew Kurle, Rainbow Mannion, Elizabeth Moore, Jade Saxelby, Sue-Ellen Sheperdson, Lisa-Marie Walters
Grey Panthers: Kath Baldwin (dec), Kay Brown, Adie Bruce (dec), Del Cooke, Audrey Gorring (dec), Glad Morris, Greta Quong (dec), Hanna Stamm, Audrey Svara
Ballroom Dancers: Stephen Burrett, Amy Fairhall
Lisa Campbell’s School of Ballet: Phobe Costigan, Gabrielle Diplock, Kate Fisher, Sarah Anne Fong, Natalie Irvine, Shaan Myall, Anneke Outred, Emma Pantazis, Hayley Pulsford, Angela Robertson, Amy Suchbery
Additional Men: Paul Harvey, Terry Hine, Patrick Mitchell
Women’s Circus: Lesley Blasch, Erin Farley, Nicky Fearn, Maureen Mossop, Chantal Munro, Wiyana Munro, Angie Sublime, Briany Willcocks
St Mary’s Football Team: Dennis Carrol, Joseph Hill, Rick Nolan, Stewart Sceeney, Tim Schatz, Jamie Thomas
Child: Zoe Crawford
Siale Dancers: Eric Austin, Rowan Austin, Paia Ingram, Tau Ingram, Ranu James, Aiva Kadiba, Meshak Laeke
Nightcliff Primary School: Alex Aagaard, Elle Chandler, Martin Childs, Tim McMeel, Mitchell Patteson, Kelly Walton, Liam Wardle, Koel Wrigley
Cockatoo Puppets designed by Dripstone High School: Emmett Hale, Kelly Hedger, Renee Lambert, Natasha Lawrence, Joel Mu, Marianna Papazoglou, Camellia Salam, Amanda South
Prop Construction Assisted by: Paul Hill, Elka Kerkhofs, Merran Hughes, Nonie Whales


Buckle up your seat belts for a very wacky, very Darwin ride. Let us take you on a journey into the heart of the Territory. As we head down a rough, outback road you will find yourself in a whirling trail of dust. What spirits do we see as we cross this ancient land? We ride on into romance, circumnavigating a sea of anthills, as we approach the camping ground. Although mosquito ridden at sunset, the night eventually descends delivering tropical delights. The new day beckons, harsh and bright. The sweat drips, as the land demands feats of physical skill and endurance. We push on down the track to a place of sensual earth beats and rhythms. We take a breath, a moment of stillness. The light shines onto unknown territory; the past and future fall away. We have discovered the heart.

Tracks Dance 1997

Co-Artistic Directors: Sarah Calver, David McMicken, Tim Newth
Administrator: Liann Stevenson

[Under Brown's Mart Community Arts – Executive Officer Ken Conway]



"A cast of old ladies, footballers and four wheel drives - a performance event that is, to say the least, unusual."  Debra Jopson, The Sydney Morning Herald

"Remarkable sense of community." Ron Banks, The West Australian

"Exuberance Triumphs."  Louise Nunn, The Adelaide Advertiser

"Highlight of the Festival."  Joyce Morgan, The Age

"Extraordinary Community Spectacle…"  Suzanne Spunner, Real Time


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