My House 1994
Darwin, Katherine, Kununurra, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Broome, Derby, Wyndham
My house was a Tracks and Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre, dance/theatre production. Workshops held in Term Four 1993 aimed to skill a core group of participants and to initially workshop some ideas. From that process David McMicken and Sarah Calver collated the ideas and formulated a structure from the successful workshop material that had been covered, these included: Cycles of life, environments, natural and person made, family life cycles and the place of people in the family, domestic scenes. Observation of other people to create characters, people in their houses being affected by close proximity of neighbours, a closer look at members of a family, the use of an empty space and how this can be filled with action.
An important aspect of the show was the integration of the design by Tim Newth. The set was made of PVC poles that slotted together in a variety of different ways, finally ending in three house like structures, with sets of louvers able to attach to the structure to give it a truly Darwin feel.
Director's Notes - David McMicken
My House is an exciting, original piece of dance theatre, created and presented by members of the Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre. The project, held over two terms of workshops, stretched performers, allowing adequate time to explore and create this piece of movement theatre. In this production the energy of Darwin’s youth has been harnessed and transformed into a tightly choreographed full-length work. ‘My House’ explores the places we live, the effect that our living has had on this land, and our relationship with other family members. Enter a world of natural formations, animals and environments; see how we have altered this land in an attempt to make ourselves at home. Travel with the young performers as they explore extraordinary events that go to create ordinary lives.
We do not believe in any marked differences between performance for youth, or for adults. Performers were trained in a variety of skills: movement, voice, image work, focus. Performers grew into the required commitment. It was rewarding to hear over and over from audience members that they were greatly impressed with the performers commitment, focus and energy.
A major success of the show is that the material came from the performers. Due to the mixed age of the cast, the younger performers were constantly supported and driven to behave professionally. This performance pushed audience’s concepts of what performance was, as well as what young people are capable of. Movement theatre is a good vehicle for youth who may not have the required maturity of performance, or vocal skill, to handle heavily scripted theatre. And yet they still have an important view of the world and an ability to present their notions. They already have quite articulate bodies.
The end result of this project was a group of well trained performers with a commitment to vicing their own concerns through performance. Through touring across the Top End, they realised that they share a life style with other edge of the desert/tropical residents. The coproduction between Tracks and Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre meant that resources went further and the performers were very well supported.
Director: David McMicken
Co-Director: Sarah Calver
Assistant to Directors: Andrea Clements
Designer: Tim Newth
Technician: Matthew James
Technical Assistant: Peter Twigg
Jason Davies, Megan Burgess, Kayt Douglas, Kate Mornane, Emily Mornane, Rachael Lilliebridge, Tina Buic, Helen Roussos, Chantal Marks, Sara Caldwell, Leanne Coleman
- Scene 1. Before we came. Large mythical animals take on flesh and bone, scale and feather and move across an empty landscape.
- Scene 2. The creation of land formations. First a desert, followed by lakes, rivers and oceans, and finally dense jungles.
- Scene 3. Land developers arrive and clear the land.
- Scene 4. The cleared land has buildings erected upon it with little regard for what was originally there.
- Scene 5. Three different houses and three different types of family. All are trying to share the same street.
- Scene 6. What things change ‘my house’ into ‘my home’?
- Scene 7. Mother: Her connection with the family and how intricate and complicated these connections become.
- Scene 8. Father: This is a lighthearted look at Dad and the cockroach. Who will win this battle?
- Scene 9. Older people and their place in my house. Thoughts of people who seem distant in age.
- Scene 10. Our youth are making their own decisions and going out on the town. Parents give advice to their children. Who will listen to these words of wisdom?
Tracks Dance Collective 1994
Collective Members: Sarah Calver, David McMicken, Tim Newth, Berenice Franklin, Lisa Campbell
Brown’s Mart Community Arts Dance Development Offices: Sarah Calver, David McMicken
[Under Brown's Mart Community Arts – Executive Officer Ken Conway]
“An intimate look at our youth, their powerful views and opinions, and the way they show this to the rest of the world.” Northern Territory News April 2nd