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AusDance National hosted the 2018 Australian Dance Awards on Saturday 8 September at the Brisbane Powerhouse in Queensland.
Tracks Dance Company received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance for Man Made. Our 2017 cross-generational work calling on a diverse range of movement skills to produce an engaging examination of the male psyche.
Man Made drew together a cast of 27 passionate male community dancers, aged from 12-79, from diverse cultural and dance backgrounds and experience.
The creative team of 2 directors (Tim Newth and David McMicken), 4 choreographers (Aaron Lim, Josh Mu, David McMicken, and Kelly Beneforti), 3 composers, and the cast, collaborated to create this full-length outdoor performance, on a specific site soon to be eradicated and transformed into a 4-lane boulevard entrance to the city. It certainly took this whole community to make such a powerful and positive statement about the men of Darwin. Thank you to all the Tracks family for making this dream possible.
We'd like to congratulate and thank the other amazing nominees in this category, Sprung!! Integrated Dance Theatre, Annette Carmichael & James Gentle and QPAC, The Royal Ballet and Community Groups. And thank you to AusDance National for supporting Australian dance in all its forms.
More information, photo's and videos about Man Made are right here.
The 2018 Milpirri performance theme focuses on artefacts. Tracks is currently collaborating with the Lajamanu Warnayaka Arts Centre towards making sets of Milpirri artefacts; boomerangs for the men and clap-sticks and dancing boards for the women.
Nineteen young men have been active throughout the year painting sixteen sets of Milpirri artifacts which they will dance with in this year's Milpirri performance. They were supervised through the process by established Lajamanu artists. The artifacts were inspired by the Milpirri banners and they look fantastic.
Titus Jupururrla White, Lorenzo Jupururrla Lewis, Abraham Jupururrla Cook, William Jakamarra Lewis, Bradley Jakamarra Rockman, Graham Japaljarri Mcdonald, William Jungarrayi Mcdonald, Derek Jungarrayi Ronson, Corey Jungarrayi Raymond, Duane Jungarrayi Gibson, Brendan Jungarrayi Payton, Nicky Japanangka James, Demetrius Japanangka Sambo, Dylan Japanangka Gordon, Gerald Robbo Japanangka, William Jampijinpa Patrick, Micky Jangala Donnelly, Dion Jangala Anderson and Lazarus Jangala Hargraves
Supervising Male Elders:
William Jakamarra Lewis, Richard Japaljarri Payton, Clifford Jungarrayi Mcdonald, Steven Japanangka Dixon, Steve Jampijinpa Patrick
Thanks to Anna Spencer, Ralphie Japangardi Dixon, Gerald Jampijinpa Watson and Louisa Erglis from Warnayaka Arts Centre and the artefacts carvers from the Barkly region, particularly Joseph Williams.
See what the Women in Lajamanu have been up to also.
David McMicken and Tim Newth
"The seeds of this work were planted four years ago with an idea of exploring our local Australian identity as seen through generational evolution. Drawing together the creative team began when we recognised that two of our peers, (long term company collaborators, and strong community cultural drivers), Putu and Chandrika, both had young adult sons that danced. Discussions about what passes on from one generation to another grew. As the talks expanded, the emergence of sport and the passion for it, and how it often crosses generations, seeped in.
Putting our creative team together is always a joy and draws on our connections and relationships with the community. Kelly Beneforti, (Tracks’ Animateur and one of Darwin’s most exquisite dancers) has for many years been dancing with Putu’s Tunas Mekar Balinese dance ensemble, and was the best person to take lead with Putu of the Balinese/Football section. Other core choreographers, such as Chandrika, Bryn, Venaska, and Madeleine, have danced in other Tracks shows as well as participating in our choreographic development course.
Venaska has a background in the classical form of Bharatanatyam and has performed in a past Tracks collaboration with Putu. Also, having danced with Chandrika’s Multicultural Academy, she was a clear choice. Paring Venaska with Madeleine, who has recently studied Bollywood dancing in Mumbai, seemed the clear partnership to lead the Bollywood style Finale.
Madeleine and Bryn worked together this year as two of our Tracktivators. We knew Bryn as a versatile dancer, but discovered that she had a delightful sense of characterisation. Her ability to work with a broad range of people made her an obvious choice for our Captain of the Cricket team, formed predominantly with people from a non-dance background.
As with most Tracks Darwin Festival shows, we start with a big and not-fully formed concept that involves many collaborators, across many fields. Piece by piece the jigsaw is developed and refined. It is usually well into working with the community groups and core artists that the pieces begin to fuse. This moment keeps us on our toes as we sew together the action, design, compositions, and narrative of the work. Working with James this year with his rich musical, cultural and sporting passions has created a harmonising and dynamic soundtrack. And Chris Kluge’s lighting abilities enhances the magic of our site. Creating an outdoor theatre venue from nothing is a credit to our design and production staff.
Thanks to all the creative, production, and operational team, and cast for coming on board for yet another “it could only happen in Darwin” show. We hope you enjoy the ride, loving the people and place of Darwin as much as we do."
Grey Panthers Youth Development Fund
In 2018 The Grey Panthers launch their Youth Development Fund and perform on stage at Fresh Tracks with the inaugural recipient Will Nery.
Darryl Butler has danced with the Grey Panthers for seven year’s and in 2017 suggested to the Troupe that by making weekly donations of spare change they could raise funds to support a new generation of NT dancers. The whole group got behind the idea and the Grey Panther Youth Development Fund was born.
Darryl described his motivation as: ‘Tracks has given us so many opportunities to do things we wouldn’t otherwise do and we want to give back and give something to younger dancers, offer a helping hand.’
The inaugural recipient of the Grey Panthers Youth Development Fund.
With no territory dance education in Darwin, Tracks Choreographic Intensive is the NT’s flagship annual development program for emerging choreographers. Will Nery’s participation in the program was supported through the Youth Development Fund.
Will has been passionate about dance since he was five years old when his sibling brought home a DVD of a world champion break dancing crew. Since that time he has been driven to perfect his head spin and break dancing style.
“To be involved in the Choreographic Intensive program [and Fresh Tracks] for me, means to represent young people in the dance community here in Darwin, especially male dancers”, said Will Nery who went on to say “The message I wanna convey [through my dance] is that dance can connect anyone and everyone.”
Darryl described Will’s motivation to connect people through dance as ‘a big tick for the Grey Panthers.’
May 31, 2018
Tracks' newly appointed Patron, Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O'Halloran AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory invited the Grey Panthers and Tracks staff to join her for afternoon tea at Government House. Her Honour wished to celebrate the achievement and milestone of 30 years of The Grey Panthers.
Opening with a welcome from Her Honour, she reflected on the spirit of The Grey Panthers and their place in the Darwin community, followed by Tracks Artistic Co Director David McMicken reminiscing through the history and many delights that this group has been through. One thing was certain, that The Grey Panthers hold a very special place in both Tracks and the community of Darwin's hearts.
Grey Panthers Workshop begin