The Opportunity of Distance - Tour 1996

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Wangaratta, Albury, Wodonga, Melbourne

A compelling three-piece performance: THE OPPORTUNITY OF DISTANCE was a distinctive slice of Territory life. Its inspiration came from remote Aboriginal communities and life in the Northern Territory. Tracks takes its work to places where there is already some connection. In this case it was family connections. Our Lajamanu family insisted on meeting our real ‘Down South Families’. The tour also included exhibition of the artworks from the Lajamanu Women.

Albury Wadonga: Barry Jackson Performing Arts Centre June 27. This included workshops and a collaborative work with the Moving Line Project.

Wangaratta: Wangaratta Town Hall. July 4 -7

Melbourne: Dancehouse.  July 4 - 7  Hosted by Dancehouse as an umbrella event for the Green Mill Dance Festival. "A program of rituals and performance from both Indigenous and white cultures in the Northern Territory, as well as an exhibition of Warlpiri dot paintings. This unique event runs in conjunction with this years Green Mill Dance Conference theme of New Forms Old Traditions."

SACRED SPACE

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. SACRED SPACE was a multimedia work, blending movement, images, design, language, music and text.

For more information see: 1994 Sacred Space

SILENT THOUGHT

Inspired by John Williamson’s version of Ted Egan’s song, the Drover’s Boy, this work explored the role of black and white relationships in outback Australia. The story alluded to a young Aboriginal woman who is both ‘stockman’ and bed mate to a drover in the North. The ‘stockman’ was taken away from family and dominated and broken like an animal, all the while satisfying the sexual desire of the drover. The relationship was hazardous, ambiguous and dangerous. It exposed the hidden dilemma of a man showing affection when he should not, all the more poignant when she/he dies.

For more information see: 1993 Land - Silent Thought

YAWULYU, LAJAMANU CEREMONIAL DANCES - NGAPA JUKURRPA (RAINSTORM DREAMING)

Traditional dances from the Tanami Desert. Prior to the performance audience were invited to arrive early to observe the 'painting up' of body designs and singing rituals performed by the women.

Some of these dances were the response of a 3-week journey exploring the relationship and commonalities between a group of traditional aboriginal landowners and two white Australian artists. The dreaming path travels for over 2,000 kilometres from Alice Springs to Darwin. Tim Newth met artist and a Traditional Owner Freddy Jangala Patrick in 1988, a renowned Lajamanu painter and carver and one of the two traditional owners of the Ngapa Jukurrpa. Freddy Jangala Patrick, with works hung in the National Gallery of Victoria, adopted Tim into his family, and later devised a project top around passing on the Water Dreaming to his son Steve Jampijinpa Patrick. Sadly Freddy has not lived to see the project through.

Creative Personnel

Choreography: David McMicken, Sarah Calver, Tim Newth
Lighting Designer, Operator & Touring Production Manager: Matthew James
Additional text: Karyn Sassella
Original Music: Robb Hoad, Merrilee Mills
Warlpiri Cultural Liaison: Steve Jampijinpa Patrick, Christine Napangardi James

Performers

Sarah Calver, David McMicken, Karyn Sassella, Rob Hoad, Merrilee Mills
Yawulyu, Lajamanu ceremonial dancers: Myra Nungarrayi Patrick, Molly Napurrula Tasman, Rosie Napurrula Tasman, Maisie Napangardi Granites (dec), Gladys Napangardi Kelly, Topsy Nangala (dec), Judy Napaljarri Walker, Alice Napaljarri Kelly
The Moving Line Project (Albury Wadonga): Phillip Piggin (Artistic Director), Tony Barnett (Administrator), Christos Linou, Cate O'Brien, Elizabeth Ryan, Jeff Larsen (Lighting Designer and Technician)

Tracks Dance 1996

Co-Artistic Directors: Sarah Calver, David McMicken, Tim Newth
Administrator: Liann Stevenson

[Under Brown's Mart Community Arts – Executive Officer Ken Conway]

Photos: 

"An 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."  Geraldine Green, NT NEWS (Sacred Space)

"Fresh, alert, compact ... A triumph."  Robin Grove, The Age, Melbourne (Silent Thought)

"I had the unusual feeling of never having seen this before, something genuinely ‘authentic'."  Eleanor Brickhill, Real Time (Yawulyu, Lajamanu ceremonial dances)

"For those who have little experience of this country’s Aboriginal culture beyond the daily media, this program will provide insight, inspiration and an understanding of our own situation and cultural fragility. For those who have, it will be a refreshing reminder." Geraldine Bate - Dancehouse

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