Australian Dance Awards 2010
State Theatre, Melbourne
Tracks Dance and seven Lajamanu youth performers, including Youth Dance Leader Caleb Japanangka Patrick, were invited to perform at the Australian Dance Awards in Melbourne at the end of June. As the creative producer Kath Papas stated in her invitation:
“As inaugural winners of the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth or Community Dance in 2009, it is fitting that Tracks has an opportunity to showcase its work next year for the Australian dance industry at the industry's only regular national gathering. A performance by Tracks would also be the first time in the event's history that an NT company has been part of the Australian Dance Awards program; this would represent a terrific first, and an important step towards making the event truly national and representative of the diversity of dance in Australia.”
Nick Power and Jess Devereux oversaw intensive rehearsals held with nine school age boys in both Lajamanu and in Melbourne (with great thanks to Lucy Guerin Inc who allowed us to use their studio).
The group of seven, (originally nine but two were not in the community when the plane left) travelled on two charter planes from Lajamanu thanks to the generous support of Newmont Asia Pacific who sponsored the charters to Darwin on short notice. From there we flew onwards to Sydney. Watching the young men under the guidance of Caleb, Nick and Jess as they navigated confidently through the very differenet landscape of Melbourne city was invigorating – these performers learned the fine art of travelling on trams, trains, eating at cafes and restaurants, the markets of Melbourne, and the difference of being in a western environment. The boys had to partake in interviews for newspaper, television and radio, as well as photo shoots.
Kath Papas, Creative Producer of the awards, was keen to make sure that the Lajamanu crew had maximum support to ensure that their performance was both at its highest quality, and particularly, that it be seen in the correct context. To this end she created a section of the awards that started with Auntie Joy Murphy Wandin, (Senior Wurundjeri Elder with whom Tracks has had some contact, and who had met many of the performers’ grandmothers) giving an extended introduction and support for the boys. This was followed by their performance, and a great deal of applause and noise afterwards. Tim and David followed up as presenters of the awards for Excellence in Youth and Community, the award that Tracks received the previous year.
The Australian Dance Awards attracts audiences from across the country and the performance provided the boys with an experience of the professional dance world as well a raising the profile of Milpirri and Lajamanu. The performance and visit to Melbourne received a lot of national media attention including stories for SBS News, Stateline NT and the Australian.
Choreographer and Carer: Nick Power
Rehearsal Assistant, Carer: Jess Devereux
Co-Artistic Directors: Tim Newth, David McMicken
Ananais Japaljarri Tasman (Yogi)
Corey Jungarrayi Raymond
Richard Japaljarri Payton
Saverio Jungarrayi Jurrah (Sibby)
Caleb Japanangka Patrick (Dance Leader)
Michaelis Jangala Sampson
Howard Jangala Sampson
Say What you Feel (Katalyst)
Kath Papas, Ausdance National, Ausdance Victoria
Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NT, Newmont Asia Pacific, Rio Tinto Aboriginal Fund
Artistic Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
General Manager: Fiona Carter
Dance Animateurs: Julia Quinn, Jessica Devereux
Administrator: Gail Evans
Bookkeeper: Julie Ann Stark
Development Consultant: Suzanne Fermanis
Milpirri Executive Officer: Susan Congreve
Production Manager: Kelly Blumberg
Committee Members: (Chair) David Taylor, (Vice-Chair) Jill MacAndrew, (Treasurer) Glenn Bernardin, (Secretary/Public Officer) Michael Grant, (Ordinary Committee Members) Ken Conway, Nick Papandonakis, Joanna Barrkman, Stephanie Cvirn, (Ex-Officio Members) David McMicken and Tim Newth
Public Fund Trustees: Rev. Steve Orme, Dr Anita Toth, Paul Wan
“The curatorial panel was most impressed by the talent of the young Lajamanu dancers, and by 'Milpirri' as an exemplar of how Tracks works with the NT community to make rich, exciting and relevant contemporary performances.” Kath Papas - Creative Producer, Australian Dance Awards