1992 Community Dance Program - Brown's Mart


Darwin, Alice Springs, Lajamanu

Throughout the year, 1992

Due to increased funding from the Australia Council for the Arts to cover a Lajamanu performance and an Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Dancer in fresidence, the 1992 the Dance program was able to expand.  David McMicken relocated from Melbourne to act in Sarah's role of Community Dance Artist at Brown’s Mart Community Arts,  Sarah Calver,  on maternity leave, was able to work part time on projects that she had instigated.


Major performance events were:
Old Spice Club Cabaret – Older adults
Tracks and Clusters  – Community dance performance
Flying Off the Edge  – Local Troupe (professional dance artists) season of new works
From Little Things Big Things Grow  – Yipirinya Aboriginal School
Lajamanu Kurra Karna Yani  – Lajamanu community in Darwin

Aboriginal Dancer/Choreographer in Residence – Dorethea Randall

Community Dance:
Dance Mob classes: children 5-9, children 9-15, adults 15+, Older Adults 50+
Creation and performance of Tracks and Clusters, Old Spice Club
Additional performances at community events:
Fringe Festival
Government House
Hey Hey It’s Saturday (Second Place) – Older Adults
University of the Third Age – Older Adults
Life Be In It - Older Adults
Palmerston Markets: Local troupe and Dance Mob
Evergreen club – older adults
Mixtures at the Mart – Dance Mob, older adults

Choreography for theatre shows:
Pacific Schools Games Opening Event (Co-production with Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre)
Radio for Help (with Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre)
Comin’ Thru (with Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre and St John’s College)
Trials and Tribulations of Corrugated Kate (with Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre)
Bouncers (with Darwin Theatre Company)
No Man’s Land (with Darwin Theatre Company)

School workshops:
Casuarina Secondary College, Kormilda College, Ludmilla Primary, Parap Primary, St John’s College, Driver High, ASPA program Palmerston High

Additional Workshop:
Workshop Series with Kulay Lupa Filipino cultural group, and Betchay Mondragon
Corrugated Iron youth dance workshops
Get Tuned at the Garage – 6 workshops for arts workers to explore alternative ways to approach the creation of new work
Migrant Resource Centre
Music Therapy session for wheelchairs
Staff development – Brown’s Mart Community Arts
Cross-cultural training – Nungalinya College
Company classes for Aboriginal Islander Dance Company
Planning and the Individual Artist – paper presented for the Northern Territory Arts Muster

Director's Notes - David McMicken

Sarah was on maternity leave and David McMicken held the position this year. There is no doubt that the dance activity is growing in the Northern Territory. Ausdance now has a paid position, becoming full time in 1993. A new dance company, Juniper Tree, has been formed by Joanna Noonan and Julia Quinn. With an increase in support for an Indigenous dancer/choreographer in residence we were able to expand our work through artist Dorethea Randall. Also grants for two Aboriginal community shows allowed for work to continue in the regions.

It is difficult to service any ongoing needs while there is only one Dance Officer as when one leaves to work outside the Darwin region, activities have to be interrupted. This will eventually be solved as the program can afford to employ two officers, hopefully by 2003. As the annual program shows, there is more than enough work for one person. The additional input form Dorethea, Maggi Phillips, Tim Newth and Sarah Calver has been invaluable.

As there is increasing dance activity and requests for dance services, we need to re-evaluate our role in servicing these people. While there is not enough support to warrant a professional dance company in the Territory, we do not seem far away. This year, the professional dance performance of Flying Off the Edge, was well received, and an arts forum held by the Northern Territory Government’s Office of the Arts, showed that people are eager for homegrown culture.

It is still apparent that people need to be “imported” into the Territory to counteract the isolation that is keenly felt here. Distances needed to be travelled, even to see small towns relatively close (eg Katherine 320km away) makes meaningful exchange difficult.

Creative Personnel

David McMicken
with Sarah Calver, Dorethea Randall, Tim Newth, Maggi Phillips, Berenice Franklin, Lisa Campbell, Joanna Barrkman, Merrilee Mills, Annie Gastin, Faridah Whyte, Neil Cameron, Matthew James, Lajamanu Yawulyu Ceremonial Dancers, Bronwyn Liddle, Rob Hoad, Bronwyn Calcutt


Dance Development Office: David McMicken

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

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