Sacred Space 1994

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Brown’s Mart Theatre, Darwin

An Evening of three dance and mixed media works reflecting the Northern Territory, especially the links with Indigenous Australia. Dorathea Randall was Indigenous Dance Artist in Residence and Karyn Sassella was writer in Residence this year thanks to the Australia Council for the Arts.

Creative Personnel

D-Dreaming
Choreographer – Dorathea Randall
Musical Director - Robb Hoad
Composer Musicians - Robb Hoad, Barney, Michael Havir, Anja Tait
Vocals - Alison Mills

Me Myself and Her
Choreographers Berenice Franklin, Danielle Spruyt, Andrea Clements
Musical Director - Rob Hoad
Musician – Barney

Sacred Space
Choreographers: David McMicken, Sarah Calver
Composer and Sound Engineer: Robb Hoad
Live Musicians: Robb Hoad, Barney, Anja Tait
Slides: David McMicken
Spoken Text: Written and Spoken by Karyn Sassella

Production Personnel

Costume Designer: Inge Clements
Technical Management and Lighting Designer: Matthew James
Technical Designer and Assistant: Peter Twigg

Performers

Dorathea Randall, David McMicken, Sarah Calver, Julia Quinn, Berenice Franklin, Andrea Clements, Daniel Spruyt

Scenario

D-Dreaming
Choreographed by Dorethea Randall, is made up of five parts. The first is a solo, related to herself in the spiritual world. Here unseen figures are put into movement showing the relationship with the land and the power it has.“ The silence of the bush taught me a quietness of the soul that put me in touch with another world, the world of the spirit.” Dorathea Randall 1994

The second part shows Spirits of the bush sending messages and magic to those who are awake, they signify the coming of a new world or of a new life.

Part three is again a solo, relating to the expression of her concept of her own space, and of how her family feels today. “As the sun slowly fades on the western horizon. It’s rays fire up the evening sky. The gentle breeze blow’in’cross the ocean. Slowly memories fade of those days gone by.” Allen Randall 1993

The fourth part is a duet, the expression of freedom in a sharing space.

The last part is a solo, portraying the inner space.

Me, Myself and Her.
Have you ever considered what a dancer does for a living? If not, “Me, Myself and Her” will enlighten you as to some of the experiences had by choreographers Andrea, Bereni and Danielle. It’s bizarre, witty, wild at heart and sensitive. Fasten you seat-belts as this zany trip unravels the many images the mirror on the wall has revealed.

Sacred Space.
Choreographers Sarah Calver, and David McMicken, writer Karyn Sassella, and musician Robb Hoad have worked together to create “SACRED SPACE”. The material blends movement, images, design, language, music and text.

Sarah, David and Karyn have strong connections to an Aboriginal community called Lajamanu. However, none of them have ever been in this community at the same time. As a result their relationships with the people and the place have developed in different ways. Lajamanu is 950 km away from Darwin, one of the most remote communities in the Territory. The Warlpiri people who live there still maintain a strongly traditional way of life. Whenever we are in this community, we are the minority, constantly being reminded of whose land we are on.

Issues that are raised include; a sense of belonging, identity, ritual or lack of, secret and sacred ceremonial behaviour, strong relationships with people and “family”, health, isolation and distance, materialism and lack of it, sexual identity and gender roles, activity and spare time, story telling, and the brutality of desert life. It is an unusual experience to be a minority foreigner on land that you had previously thought of as your own, as part of your heritage. Suddenly you realise that you have been misinformed and your sense of culture is thrown into high relief.

“Sacred Space” looks at the effect that remote Aboriginal Communities have on European people such as ourselves; physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The artists have looked to these influences and experiences as a basis for a strongly visual work. “White” people often go into communities and assume that they have all the skills. It is less often that they are able to build the relationships that we were privileged to forge. There is no attempt in this work to deal with the Aboriginality itself, rather we are looking at how it has influenced us and the deep insights which remain.

Regarding Sacred Space - "It is an unusual experience to be a minority foreigner on land that you had previously thought of as your own, as part of your heritage. Suddenly you realise that you have been misinformed and your sense of culture is thrown into high relief. Sacred Space looked at the effect remote Aboriginal communities have on European people such as ourselves; physically, emotionally and spiritually. Strangers in a strange land." David McMicken and Sarah Calver

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]

Photos: 

“Calver and McMicken gave a very honest, powerful and emotional performance … an expression of a wish for understanding between two cultures … a poignant and striking glimpse into aspects of Territory life. Randall, both in dance and prose, conveyed to the audience the overwhelming importance of tradition and the need for the preservation of Aboriginal Autonomy”. Geraldine Green, NT News

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