Artistic Co-Director: David McMicken
Responsible for the company’s program, conception and artistic direction of all productions. Also responsible for managing commissioned work and for the engagement of all artists and performers to realise these works.
A great strength of Tracks is the artistic talent and collective skills of the Co-Artistic Directors, Tim Newth AM and David McMicken AM, who have consistently produced excellent work for almost two decades. They approach the making of their work through a multi-arts lens, backing up their skills in dance, visual arts and design, drama, music, and literature. They use performance to inspire a wide range of Territorians of diverse cultural backgrounds: from youth through to the elderly, city to remote community.
David and Tim have an extraordinary ability to work collaboratively, honed over two decades. This is a core value of their creative process.
David completed a B.Ed in dance, theatre, and education at Rusden State College, Melbourne, 1980. His first professional arts job was as a drama tutor at Arena Theatre, Melbourne in 1978, and he has remained employed in the performing arts sector ever since. He has also studied music and literature. He was a founding member of Tasdance, Director of St Martins Youth Dance Company, and founded Storm in a Teacup Dance Theatre (supporting independent movement and film artists). He has taught dance and theatre in secondary and tertiary institutions, and in many community settings.
After a brief stint in 1991, David moved to Darwin in 1992 as the Dance Development Officer with Browns Mart Community Arts. He steered the formation of Tracks Dance Company as a leading community based dance and performing arts company, becoming the Artistic Co-Director of Tracks, a position he still holds with Tim Newth. Since 1988, the company has a cultural development relationship with the remote indigenous community of Lajamanu, and has run the Grey Panthers seniors dance troupe.
With a community development interest, he explores being a contemporary Australian through questions of race, age, place and culture, and by working with local artistic and cultural workers, and populations. He is particularly interested in creating work that comes from the specifics of place, as well as through collaborative processes. He enjoys the way that dance can exist in our bodies at any age and stage. David believes that dance has a unique power in community, as it makes our aspirations visible, making physical our dreams and aspirations. As a collective activity, dance builds confidence, community, and pride.
David was made a Member (AM) in the general division of the Order of Australia in 2014