Australian Youth Dance Festival - Magnetic Island 1999

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Alma Beach, Magnetic Island

A special feature of this Festival held in June was the introduction of a large scale, community style, site specific dance event where the young participants worked each afternoon with various choreographers under the direction of Beth Shelton and Tim Newth, assisted by Paige Gordon, Tiina Ali-Haapala, Debbie Clements, David McMicken and Michael Hennessy with cultural advisers from Mornington Island. The closing event performed on Magnetic Island featured 100 buckets and festival participants. Tracks Artistic Director Tim Newth was Co-Director with Beth Shelton, while David McMicken came on board as Assistant to the Directors.The rehearsals took place initially in the concrete wastelands of the disused Sturt Street supermarket, over three afternoons. The final rehearsals were on Magnetic Island, a ferry ride from Townsville. This final piece, 100 Buckets, (named after the major design element) involved dance, movement and the visual arts, as well as an introduction to Indigenous arts. The performance took place on Arcadia Beach on Magnetic Island before hundreds of other AYDF participants and local residents.

Director’s Notes - Beth Shelton

Most of us are visitors, so this piece is about seeing a place for the first time. We started with the initial excitement of arriving for the festival, and checking out the place and each other. We then looked at the different processes we use to work with each other. In smaller groups we came up with Magnetic Island being the Koala Capital, followed by graceful possums, rock wallabies, reticent curlews, superior eagles, hawks, and flapping parrots.

Creative Personnel

Director: Beth Shelton
Co-Director and Designer:  Tim Newth
Assistant to the Directors:  David McMicken
Assisted by Choreographers: Paige Gordon, Tiina Ali-Haapala, Debbie Clements, and Michael Hennessy with cultural advisers from Mornington Island

Performers

Approximately 100 participants of the Youth Festival from around Australia

Tracks Dance 1999

Artistic Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
Administrator: Amanda Carlton

Inaugural Committee Members: David Taylor (Chair), Ken Conway (Vice-Chair) Chris Raynal (Treasurer), Rukshana Ramachandran (Secretary/Public Officer), Tania Lieman, Jackie Wurm, Kez Hall, Nick Papandonakis (Ordinary Committee Members), David McMicken and Tim Newth (Ex-Officio Members)

Photos: 

“Who needs an Auditorium,  orchestra, and stage props to be artistically fulfilled when you can dance on the beach with a plastic bucket?”  Ian Frazer, Townsville Bulletin

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