4WD Sweat Dust and Romance


Darwin Botanic Gardens, The Gardens, Darwin

August 26-30, 1997
Festival of Darwin

In 1997 Tracks ventured on a trip into Northern Territory culture and found themselves covered in ‘Sweat, Dust and Romance’. Here was an extraordinary dance performance drawing together professional and community dancers in a show of skill, wit and diversity that celebrated what it was to be local. The rest of the country sat up and took notice as Tracks' performance of 4WD, bush-bashed its way from the local community onto the Australian cultural map. The company’s reputation was established.

Fuelled by stories of 4WD travel in the Territory this show was performed by a cast of hundreds in the Darwin Botanic Gardens. It featured a core group of dancers made up of Darwin’s best local dancers and guests from Melbourne and PNG, with local movers, musicians and four 4WDs. This performance was Track Dance's first full-length Festival of Darwin performance, August 26 - 30

4WD is seen as the first of Tracks Iconic works, where highly skilled professional dance artists were brought together and fully integrated into a large scale community work as dancers, choreographers, and animateurs.

Creative Personnel

Conceived and Directed: Tim Newth
Original Composition and Musical Arrangements: Scott Trenwith
Musical Direction: Drum Drum - Airi Ingram
Musical Direction: Arafura Ensemble - Claire Kilgariff
Guest Choreographers: Markham Galut (PNG), Michael Collins, Michael Leslie, Nicky Fletcher, Beth Shelton
Additional Choreography: Sarah Calver, David McMicken, Berenice Franklin, Lisa Campbell, Richard Gumbula, (Traditional Dancer, Elcho Island), Desmond Madala, (Traditional Dancer, Elcho Island), Nicky Fearn

Produced by Tracks Dance: David McMicken, Tim Newth, Sarah Calver, Bereni Franklin
Publicist, Administrator: Suzanne Fermanis
Administration Assistant: Liann Stephenson
Lighting Design: Matthew James
Stage Manager: Vanessa Hutchins
Sound Technician: Colin Simpson
Festival of Darwin Staff: Fabrizio Calafuri, Nic English, Andrew McMillan, Gary Outten


4WD Core Dancers: Sarah Calver, David McMicken, Michael Collins, Suzanne Fermanis, Nicky Fletcher, Berenice Franklin, Markham Galut, Michael Leslie, Stanley Stanislaus

Arafura Ensemble: Tony Cavenagh, Zoe Crawford, Anna Faehse, Bill Grose, Stephanie Higgs, Paia Ingram, Tau Ingram. Ranu James, Fay Johnstone, Claire Kilgariff, Merrilee Mills, Bronwyn Myers, Mark Smith, Scott Trenwith

Drum Drum: Phillip Eaton, Anna Faehse, Bill Grose, Airi Ingram, Mark Smith

Yolngu Manikay: Richard Gumbula, Desmond Madala

Black Cockatoo Operators: Ros Harper, Merran Hughes, Janet Irvine, Christina Shepherd, Nonie Whales

White Cockatoo Operators: Eric Austin, Rowan Austin, Aiva Kadiba, Meshak Laeke

Acronym: Michelle Hooper, Hemlock Mejarne, Daniel Oster, Melinda Warren

Darwin Dance Mob (Tracks community dance group): Belinda Kinsella, Cindy O’Neil, Elka Kerkhofs, Kate Evans, Lisa-Marie Walters, Liz Pearse, Moira Stronach, Natasha Miller, Paul Harvey, Rebecca Neil, Sara Scrutton, Stephanie Sims

Casuarina Senior College: Angela Griffith, Angie Diaz, Colleen Harvey, Derek Hewson, Elizabeth Moore, Jade Saxelby, Jill Eveleigh, Karen Hurley, Kelly Cridland, Lisa-Marie Walters, Matthew Kurle, Natalie Irvine, Rainbow Mannion, Sharon Burns, Sue-Ellen Sheperdson

Grey Panthers: Kath Baldwin (dec), Kay Brown, Adie Bruce (dec), Del Cooke, Audrey Gorring (dec), Glad Morris, Greta Quong (dec), Hanna Stamm, Audrey Svara, Jo Davis

Ballroom Dancers: Stephen Burrett, Amy Fairhall

Lisa Campbell’s School of Ballet: Amy Suchbery, Angela Robertson, Anneke Outred, Emma Pantazis, Gabrielle Diplock, Hayley Pulsford, Kate Fisher, Natalie Irvine, Phoebe Costigan, Sarah Anne Fong, Shaan Myall

Additional Men: Paul Harvey, Terry Hine, Patrick Mitchell

Women’s Circus: Angie Sublime, Briany Willcocks, Chantal Munro, Erin Farley, Lesley Blasch, Maureen Mossop, Nicky Fearn, Wiyana Munro

St Mary’s Football Team: Dennis Carrol, Jamie Thomas, Joseph Hill, Rick Nolan, Stewart Sceeney, Tim Schatz

Child: Zoe Crawford

Siale Dancers: Eric Austin, Rowan Austin, Paia Ingram, Tau Ingram, Ranu James, Aiva Kadiba, Meshak Laeke

Nightcliff Primary School: Alex Aagaard, Elle Chandler, Kelly Walton, Koel Wrigley, Liam Wardle, Martin Childs, Mitchell Patteson, Tim McMeel

Cockatoo Puppets designed by Dripstone High School: Emmett Hale, Kelly Hedger, Renee Lambert, Natasha Lawrence, Joel Mu, Marianna Papazoglou, Camellia Salam, Amy South

Prop Construction Assisted by: Paul Hill, Elka Kerkhofs, Merran Hughes, Nonie Whales


Buckle up your seat belts for a very wacky, very Darwin ride. Let us take you on a journey into the heart of the Territory. As we head down a rough, outback road you will find yourself in a whirling trail of dust. What spirits do we see as we cross this ancient land? We ride on into romance, circumnavigating a sea of anthills, as we approach the camping ground. Although mosquito-ridden at sunset, the night eventually descends delivering tropical delights. The new day beckons, harsh and bright. The sweat drips, as the land demands feats of physical skill and endurance. We push on down the track to a place of sensual earth beats and rhythms. We take a breath, a moment of stillness. The light shines onto unknown territory; the past and future fall away. We have discovered the heart.

Tracks Dance 1997

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

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



Explore Further

Iconic Tracks Works

A Culturally Diverse Voice

Older Adults Home Page

Eras of Youth Dance


"A cast of old ladies, footballers and four wheel drives - a performance event that is, to say the least, unusual."  Debra Jopson, The Sydney Morning Herald

"Remarkable sense of community." Ron Banks, The West Australian

"Exuberance Triumphs."  Louise Nunn, The Adelaide Advertiser

"Highlight of the Festival."  Joyce Morgan, The Age

"Extraordinary Community Spectacle…"  Suzanne Spunner, Real Time


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