The 2018 Milpirri performance theme focuses on artefacts. Tracks has collaborated with the Lajamanu Warnayaka Arts Centre towards making sets of Milpirri artefact props; boomerangs for the men and clap-sticks and dancing boards for the women.
Nineteen young men were active throughout the year painting sixteen sets of Milpirri artifact props which they will dance with in this year's Milpirri performance. They were supervised through the process by established Lajamanu artists. The artifact props were inspired by the Milpirri banners and they look fantastic!
To read more about the Milpirri Banner designs that have been painted on the props, search through the Milpirri Banner Home Page. The banners are like a coat of arms to the Warlpiri people of Lajamanu.
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 artefact prop carvers from the Barkly region, particularly Joseph Williams.
See what the Women in Lajamanu have been busy painting.
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.
Yellow Group - Japaljarri, Jungarrayi, Napaljarri and Nungarrayi
Male Artefact - Boomerangs (Karli and/or Malpa)
Female Artefact - Bean Necklace (Yinirnti)
Respect is how we co-exist. With respect for each other, for ourselves, for the land and for the law.
We are all parts of the same body. The body of humanity. We are the arms and legs of each other. Just as in the human body, every part is important. If the parts of the body do not work together, the body will be powerless and our ability will be limited. If we work together, if we treat each other fairly, if we value everybody equally, then everyone will succeed. The body of our community will thrive.
The Karli - the boomerang - is given as a symbol of respect. It is used for hunting, and for bringing the ceremony alive with the boomerang clapping. The two boomerangs represent the two moieties, land and sky. The knowledge of the sky, the law of the land; with equal respect for both. They reflect each other’s understanding.
The bean necklace – yinirnti - represents the choices we make, and the consequences of those choices. It can guide us to make sense of the choices, and keep us on the right path.
Blue Group - Jangala, Jampijinpa, Nangala and Nampijinpa
Male Artefact - Stone Axe (Kurrwa)
Female Artefact - Water Carrier (Mardu)
Look after the law and the law will look after you. It will flow, just like it’s supposed to. It is up to us to keep it flowing. Blow on the embers to make it strong again.
Kurrawarri is the way everything flows. Like the eco system, it is something we are all part of. Our existence lies within Kurrawarri. We all have our own part to play. And so, we must take on the kurruwa that is handed to us. If we take up responsibility for our land, our story and our culture, it will shape our identity and look after us into the future.
We need to adapt to the seasons and maintain the flow of mother earth. Adapt to our challenges. Move forward together. Our Kurruwa/responsibility is what will shape the system into balance again. Like the Milpirri’s cold air forming and hot air rising we can make sense of adapting to each other. Then we become the rain, the nourishment for our home country.
The stone axe, kurruwa, is a tool that requires great skill to master. It is essential to survival on country. It gives us respect ,discipline, justice and eventually gives us the understanding we need to survive on this great land. To be given the stone axe is to accept responsibility. If it falls into the wrong hands, our ability to hunt and make tools will be jeopardised.
The mardu, water carrier, holds life-giving water. It holds that which nurtures us, nurtures the system of life itself. To carry the mardu is to shoulder responsibility. Without water, ngapa, we will not survive. If we have ngapa, we are rich.
Red Group - Jakamarra, Jupurrula, Nakamarra and Napurrula
Male Artefact - Black Headed Spear (Mangurlpa)
Female Artefact - Grinding Stone (Ngalikirri)
Law is like a road, laid out for us to follow. If we look to the milky way – Warntarri Tarri – its knowledge and guidance will steer us on the right path. If you do not follow the law, the law will follow you. You cannot escape it. Both the sky and the earth carry you. Ngurru Kanyi Kangu.
If we do wrong by the law, justice will be done. It may hurt us. But justice can make a wrong thing right and make a bad thing good.
This restorative process of justice is represented by the Mangurlpa – black-headed spear – and by the Ngalikirri – the grinding stone. As the spear dispenses its justice bringing in balance, the grinding stone winnows the bad from the good. Righting wrongs. Shaping and restoring the balance.
Green Group - Japanangka, Japangardi, Napanangka and Napangardi
Male Artefact - Stone Knife (Junma or Wulampi)
Female Artefact - Coolamon (Parraja)
Discipline is taking time to know, understand and follow the law. With discipline, our lives are full. We can keep our stories alive. We can help our country. With discipline, we are free.
We often see the effects of living an undisciplined life. We see lawless behaviour, and how it impacts our community. We see scars on the back of those who have been undisciplined. We wear scars on our chests to remind us of the importance of discipline.
In Warlpiri law, these scars are made by the Wulampi – the stone knife. But similar scars can be seen in other types of law. Prison is a scar; community service is a scar. The mental scars we bear are not always worn on our bodies, but they show devastating consequences like suicide.
When a baby is first born, it is put in the Coolamon – called Parraja – where it is carried by its mother. For the first few weeks of its life, the child cannot be touched by its father while it is in the Coolamon. This is a test of discipline and also to not interrupt the sacred bond between mother and child.
If there is no discipline the consequences will be too big to handle.
By practicing discipline, we gain strength and freedom.
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.’
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."