Endurance 2009

Text 

The Velodrome (bicycle stadium), Darwin

Capturing the dogged spirit, passion and resilience of the Northern Territory. Transforming a bicycle-racing track into a spectacular outdoor theatre, Endurance features a cast of over thirty dancers, long distant runners and bodybuilders

Director’s Notes

This story is set during one of our intense November build-ups, the time just before the first big rain of the wet season. Locals know this is the ultimate form of endurance. Often referred to as “Mango Madness” or “Going Troppo” this is a time when some reach the end of their tether and get up and leave town. As a constant bead of sweat runs down the back of your neck, relationships may endure or break down.

Endurance is a story of the Aussie battler, in our case three contemporary Darwin Aussie battlers. These people want to get on with life, have dreams, fall in love, set goals, save the world, and plant seeds for the future. People just like us who know that life has its highs and lows, that things live and die, and this is all just part of the bigger journey.
In my karate class I watched my fellow classmate being tested for his black belt. In this endurance test he had to fight each member of the one-hundred-strong school, starting with the newest recruit through to the most highly ranked. At the end of this he was left alone, his body a breathless piece of quivering jelly. My heart goes out to him, but this was his choice, what he needed to do to fulfil his dream of becoming a black belt.

Another day, I watched a young boy ride his bike down to the beach. He had a kite. Carefully he unravelled the string and ran - up went the kite, then down came the kite - it didn’t fly. Patiently he readjusted the string and again he ran, up then down came the kite. Again he made readjustments. This continued for the next hour, the sun now well set. I went down to him to see if I could help. I couldn’t. He had made the kite at school but it didn’t fly and he just wanted to make it work. As far as I know his kite never flew but he never got flustered. I admired his endurance.

In making this work, we thought about people’s commitment. Is choosing to run a marathon any different to committing yourself to a relationship or indebting yourself to a mortgage? To what do we commit in order to become the person we dream of being? What must we let go of? How do we deal with the things that are thrown onto our life’s path, things that appear as obstacles put there to test us? Often we are left alone to make the big decisions.

Tim Newth

Creative Personnel

Direction: Tim Newth, David McMicken
Original Concept / Design: Tim Newth
Choreography: Joanna Noonan, Josh Mu, Jessica Devereux, Julia Quinn, David McMicken in collaboration with dancers
Original Music / Soundtrack: David McMicken
Costume Designer / Supervisor: Lynn Ferguson
Lighting Designer: Tristan Bourke
Sound Engineer: Matthew Cunliffe

Production and Promotions Personnel

Production / Stage Manager: Kelly Blumberg
Production Manager: Suzi Cordell
Sound Operator: Eugenio Hallen
Wardrobe Assistant: Matilda Studders, Sam Edwards
Front of House Manager: Nicola Jackson
Lighting Operator: Tristan Bourke
Assistant Stage Managers: Mary Fox, Mara Dobrini, Jade Fitton
Properties and Stage Construction: Don Whyte Framing, Grant Billsborrow, Chris Kluge
Promotions / Publicity: Susan Congreve, Gail Evans
Graphic Design: Mark Marcelis, Narelle Sullivan
Photographic Documentation: Peter Eve
Film Documentation: Todd Williams, Katie Saunders, Ian Redfearn, Andy Hyde

Performers

The Hot and Bothered Mother and her Feisty Adult Daughter
Daughter: Shaan Myall
Mother: Shauna Ricardo
Office: Rachel Ortner, Ruttiya Suansri, Vera Tabuzo, Sid Vemuri, Kathryn Lawrence
Gym: Catie Kirke, Rachel Ortner, Ruttiya Suansri, Carlo Novak, Shane Shewring, Eddie Costello
Mini Me/Kite: Tahnee Cvirn

The Busy Superhero and his Loveable but Neglected Girlfriend
Superhero/Boyfriend: Ricky Borg
Girlfriend: Taylor Hailes
Fantastic Four: Corina Nichols, Matthew White, Grant Nery, Ricky Borg
Street/Office Crew: Vera Tabuzo, Sid Vemuri, Kathryn Lawrence
Mini Me/Kite: Nathaniel Kelly

The Young Asian Man and his New Found Home
Nephew/New Land owner: Erwin Fenis
Uncle: created for Jo Lin, due to injury performed by Josh Mu and Tim Newth
Labourers: Stevie Kirke-Groves, Kelly Beneforti, Caleb Japanangka Patrick, Paul Coleman
Gardeners: Tanya Esden, Ellie Johnston, Xavier Lane-Mullins, Gener Lapina, Jenelle Saunders, Enrico Escalona, Nicole Lyne, Jess Devereux (role shared between six performers each night)
Mini Me/Kite: Jordan Medoza

The Endurance Runners: Karen Lewis, Phil Lewis, Kate Hosking, David Crane, Brooke Smith, Dean Becker, Steven Flynn, Chris Warfield, Clint Bailey, Seamus Christie-Johnston, Shelly Earle, Jarrad Williams, Roger Decurtins, Nikki Higgins, Rebekah Higgins, Catrina Collins, Rose Stephens (shared role across performance season)

Scenario

  • Introduction
  • When we were young
  • Endurance building - trying to fly a kite
  • The principal relationship
  • All in a day’s work
  • The phone call - things change
  • Getting physical
  • The departure of the one closest
  • Facing the world alone
  • Big rain resolution with young self
  • Finale - Northern town

Thank You

Ushers and Front of House Volunteers, Darwin City Council, Darwin Festival, Darcy Franklin, Wayne Miles - Tin Shed Gallery, Catie Kirke, NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services Training College and it's physical training team, Brenda Lord, Fiona Sommerville, Charles Darwin University, Lois’s Gymwear, Tina - Danceworld, Anne - Bay Side Dance, Finn O'Branagain, Corrugated Iron Youth Arts, Darwin Theatre Company, Suzanne Fermanis, Chris Kluge, Garry Ferguson, Pedro, Carl Farmer, Darwin Entertainment Centre, Anna Reece, Dennis Matthews - Telstra Shop Darwin, Damien Pree, Ray Petrie, James and his Correctional Services Team, David Taylor, Jill Vanda, Mike Clancy, James Shenfield, Kim Jackson, Helen McMillan, Top End Sounds, Wormald, Palm Springs, Temporary Fencing Hire Darwin, Darwin Party Hire, Night Watch Security, Stickers & Stuff, Quality Outdoor Exteriors, Force Rentals, Tracks’ family and friends.
A special thank you to Theresa deGroot & Steve Tiley and all the members of the Darwin Cycling Club, more info www.darwin.cycling.bvit.com.au.

Sponsors

Darwin City Council, Southern Cross Television

Funding Bodies

Tracks is assisted by: the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; and the Northern Territory Government.

Tracks 2009

Artistic Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
General Manager (Acting): Susan Congreve
Dance Animateurs: Julia Quinn, Jessica Devereux
Administrator: Gail Evans, Ciella Williams, Kelly Beneforti
Bookkeeper: Julie Ann Stark
Development Consultant: Suzanne Fermanis
Production Manager: Kelly Blumberg

Committee Members: (Chair) Jill MacAndrew, (Vice-Chair) David Taylor, (Treasurer) Glenn Bernardin, (Secretary/Public Officer) Traci Keys, (Ordinary Committee Members) Ken Conway, Nick Papandonakis, Joanna Barrkman, Donna Quong, (Ex-Officio Members) David McMicken and Tim Newth

Public Fund Trustees: Rev. Steve Orme, Dr Anita Toth, Paul Wan

Photos: 

Videos 

Media Response

“The high-energy production…challenges the boundaries of traditional theatre.”  Daniel Bourchier, Northern Territory News

“Mesmerizing… emotional engaging…. It seemed like everyone belonged including the audience. The creators of Endurance know this community connected through an inescapable, shared experience. In knowing their community so well, Tracks Dance continually adds to the unique cultural heart of the Northern Territory.” Caroline Reid, Lowdown

Audience Response

"I was so impressed with Endurance. Loved how there was always something to entertain the eyes, and how a journey was created for the audience, by the three different stages. And as for the soundscape...AMAZING!!"  Jason De Santis

"Loved the show - incredibly moving & beautiful, innovative as always, inspired location and story telling- just lovely"  Katie Saunders

"Don't miss this if you are in Darwin!! It's awesome! "  Nim Jayawardhana

"Another Tracks masterpiece. I laughed, I cried, you took my breath away.... Exquisite."  Gail Evans

"Awesome show"  Nicole Boucher

"Stunning. Each panel of the triptych a sparkling gem from the dust of the Territory itself"  Darryl Butler

"Really impressed by the Endurance show, wonderful performances, great music and ingenious staging. Viva Tracks"  James Dunlevie

"…a beautiful and visually stunning performance"  Eden Thomsen

"So captivating."  Poppy Kathopoulis

"It is a true Territory experience."  Gerry McCarthy, Northern Territory Minister for the Arts

"…. a very memorable and thought provoking show. The concept was realised and made visible in the multi-layering of the show both in its setting and staging, the roaming audience, the tiered levels of performance beyond the stage to the perimeters, its fantastic soundscape and in the actual content that inspired the movements and performances - this truly excited me as your unique talents in identifying performance spaces to enhance and add meaning to your concepts was yet again brilliantly done. Awesome work and once again Tracks successfully challenged and extended audiences appreciation of Dance."  Sarah Calver

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