Allure of Paradise


Brown's Mart Theatre, Darwin City

November 10 - 13 & 17 - 20, 2010

What is the ‘Allure of Paradise’? What brings us to the tropical north of Australia – the gateway to paradise? Why do we holiday here? Why do we settle here?

Tracks Dance Company brings together some of Darwin’s best-loved choreographers and dancers to explore what paradise means to them. A collection of short stories set in dance, ‘The Allure of Paradise’ tells four local tales: the freshly arrived newcomer; the local boy who returns after escaping “down south”; the Balinese woman who trades one paradise for another, and a ride on the tourist trail that offers the best  and worst of paradise. 

Directors' Notes

Welcome to ‘Allure of Paradise’, Tracks Dance latest banquet. As many of you know, Tracks usually feeds its audiences with large servings of outdoor spectaculars. Tonight however, while the heat of the Build-Up is upon us we have invited you inside an intimate (air-conditioned) theatre. This is so we can show you dance that is smaller, more personal, more local, allowing you to fully savour the details.
Tracks is supporting local Darwin based choreographers, some who have gone away and trained and come back, others who have made Darwin their home. For this Wet Season treat, Tracks Dance Company brings together some of Darwin’s best-loved choreographers and dancers to explore what this paradise means to them and what has attracted them here.

'Allure of Paradise’ is a collection of short local stories set in dance that share and celebrate this paradise many of us call home.


Direction: David McMicken and Tim Newth
Choreographers: Julia Gray, Kristy Rickert, Joanna Noonan (with Desak Putu Warti), Gary Lang, Jess Devereux, Susan van den Ham, Paula Lay
Lighting Designer: Chris Kluge
Design: Tim Newth

Production and Promotion Personnel

Production/Stage Manager: Kelly Blumberg
Sound Engineer: Matthew Cunliffe
Sound Operator: Leigh Bramall
Front of House Manager: Charlie Marengo
Lighting Technician: Neil MacKnight
Lighting Operator: Matty McHugh
Deputy Stage Manager: CJ Fraser-Bell
Assistant Stage Managers: Stuart Fong, Jess Devereux, Julia Gray, Tim Newth, David McMicken
Entrance Construction: Don Whyte Framing
Promotions/Publicity: Gail Evans, Fiona Carter
Poster Image and Design: Mark Marcelis
Graphic Design: Narelle Sullivan
TV Advertisement: Todd Williams - Cutting Edge
Photographic Documentation: Peter Eve
DVD Documentation: Cutting Edge

Scenario and Performers

Welcome to Paradise!

A ride on the tourist trail that offers the best of paradise. Tourists have a particular view of new places, but locals know otherwise.
Choreographed and performed: Julia Gray & Kristy Rickert
Music: Soundscapes (J.Gray), Battle Without Honor Or Humanity (Hotei Tomoyasu), Pearly Shells (Edwards W/Pober L), Talanoa Te Pate (Foai Matatia Hendrix), Big Yellow Taxi (Mitchell Joni)

We asked Julia and Kristy to respond to the glossy tourist images of Paradise you might find in a magazine or on a postcard. Julia’s dancing comes strongly from a Pacific Islander heritage, Kristy has just returned from overseas where, amongst other things, she has been performing as a commercial showgirl.
These two local women were brought here as children. Now with their own dance practice, both of them know very well the truth behind the commercial images promoted as Paradise.

A Balinese Butterfly Takes Flight to Paradise

The Balinese woman who trades one paradise for another.
Choreographed: Joanna Noonan with Desak Putu Warti
Cast: Desak Putu Warti, David McMicken, Suryani Sumendra, Yuliana Pascoe
Music: Ho Renono (B. Eno), Rejang dance (Traditional Balinese), Two Rocks And A Cup Of Water (Del N/Davidge N)

Many of us think of Bali as being Paradise. We were interested in local dancer, Desak Putu Warti’s story. Putu is an amazingly skilled Balinese dancer who lives in Darwin. How did she come to call Darwin home? Putu said she was interested in working with a choreographer who could help tell this story. Joanna Noonan, a well-respected Darwin choreographer, comes from a totally different dance background to Putu and was keen to take on the challenge.

Return to Paradise. A Boy Journeys Home

The local boy who returns home after escaping “down south”
Choreographed: Gary Lang
Cast: Darren Edwards, Tara Robertson, Kay Brown, Ellen Hankin, Kathleen Harding, Jan Hastings, Val Hristova, Shirley Somers, Janine Sutter, Mavis Waddell, Dianne Mount, Marg Lee, Maria Vlastuin, Patricia O'Neill, Judi Samuels, Joan Worth
Music: Sweet Dreams (Gibson Don Eugene), Crazy (Nelson Willie), Leavin On Your Mind (Pierce W/Walker W), Rockin Chair (Carmichael Hoagy), Parce Mihi Domine (Morales/Garbarek Jan/Potter John), Concerto For Violin And Orch In B Min (Op 61) (Elgar Edward), Concerto For Piano And Orch No 2 In C Minor (Op 18) (Rachmaninov E Szergej V)

Gary was born in Darwin but as a young adult, he pursued a flourishing dance career in the big smoke. This all changed when he received a phone call from his brother, telling him to come home for his grandmother. We asked Gary to tell this very personal and moving story of his return home.

Paradise impressions - New obsessions

Freshly arrived newcomers, wide-eyed, new impressions and new obsessions.
Choreographed and performed: Jess Devereux, Susan van den Ham, Paula Lay*
Music: Intro (Sim O/Croft R/Smith J/Qureshi B), Aeroplane and frog soundscape (Devereux J), In The Flowers (Lennox N/Portner D/Weitz B), Summertime Clothes (Lennox N/Portner D/Weitz B), Sun In My Mouth (Ee Cummings)

These three women have all trained in contemporary dance in Melbourne, but like many of us have followed a road (or flight path) that has led them to Darwin. Jess has been here for almost two years and Susan for one, but Paula only arrived weeks ago. This piece captures the magic of how a new place can explode into one’s life, changing views and opening one's eyes to an expansive new world.

* Paula is a resident with Tracks as part of her Australia Council for the Arts ‘Arts Start’ grant.

A Credit to Paradise

A short presentation to conclude the evening
Performed: Stuart Fong
Music: I've Never Been To Me (Miller R/Hirsch K)

A young man takes a journey into a career as a performer. Stuart may already have been to Paradise, but in taking a journey South he hopes to enjoy more experiences that reflect his true self. We are sure you will understand why we have left this piece till last.

Thank You

Darwin Entertainment Centre, Brown’s Mart Theatre, Sean Pardy, Julie Blyth, Darwin Theatre Company, Sam Young, Alex Ben-Mayor, Fred Van’t Sand, Corrugated Iron Youth Arts, Sandra Thibodeaux, Dewa Sudiantrara, Ware House 73, Daniel Cunningham, Bill Davies, Front of House Volunteers and Tracks’ family and friends.


Southern Cross Television, Cutting Edge

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 2010

Artistic Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
General Manager: Fiona Carter
Dance Animateurs: Julia Quinn, Jess Devereux
Administrator: Gail Evans
Production Manager: Kelly Blumberg
Bookkeeper: Julie Ann Stark
Development Consultant: Suzanne Fermanis
Milpirri Executive Officer: Susan Congreve

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

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

Patron: His Honour Mr Tom Pauling QC, Administrator of the Northern Territory and Mrs Tessa Pauling



Explore Further

A Culturally Diverse Voice

Older Adults Home Page

Iconic Tracks Works

Media Response

“There’s a beautiful sensitivity to this production. And there’s no doubt it will stand as an enduring testament to why people come to the Territory and how they become Territorians.”  Daniel Bourchier, Northern Territory News

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