Future Age - The Grey Panthers


Darwin Airport Aviation Institute, Darwin

June 21 - 23, 2013

The Grey Panthers

Tracks Dance Company celebrates the new in its latest full-length production Future Age, and what better way to celebrate than to feature the uniquely Darwin dance troupe of senior performers - the Grey Panthers - who this year are celebrating their 25th anniversary.

Future Age features new works by local choreographers about how the dance experience is held within senior’s bodies - and how their past informs our future. Examining the psyche and physicality of ageing within our community.

Exploring the wisdom and roles of our elders in an aging Australian population, professional Darwin choreographers will collaborate with the Grey Panthers to commemorate dance as a ‘whole of life’ activity.

Creative Personnel

Artistic Directors: David McMicken, Tim Newth
Choreographers: Gary Lang, Joanna Noonan, Jess Devereux, Bryn Wackett, David McMicken and Tim Newth
Costume Designer and Construction: Ann Gibb


Joanna Noonan, (Northern Territory Choreographer who lives in Humpty Doo) is working with a group of women who live beyond the Berrimah Line, and has created a beautiful work about women who made choices to live rurally, exploring the world of these women as they share their lives and the growing up of their families upon this land we call the Territory.

Gary Lang (Gary Lang NT Dancers and first NT artist to be awarded an Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship) has paired five Grey Panthers with five of his dancers to create an evocative set of duets that reflect the changes in the physicality of dancers as they age – the elders still holding their dreams and aspirations as they hand these on to a younger generation.

Tracks Artistic Directors, Tim Newth and David McMicken, have created a series of vignettes utilising the “The Design Files by Colin Bisset” from the ABC Radio National program “By Design”, exploring how often something is created for one purpose only to be transformed over time, much like our seniors who have reinvented themselves over the years.

Future Age will also feature some of the works the group has in repertoire, usually only seen in their community charity performances. Choreographer Jess Devereux’s haunting Bolero, Bryn Wackett’s You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, Joanna Noonan’s breezy Who Can Remember Sweet November, and David McMicken’s wacky Water Ballet seen at last year’s Darwin Festival Pool Party.

Production and Promotions Personnel

Production and Stage Manager: Kelly Blumberg

Stage Manager: C J Fraser-Bell
Assistant Stage Manager: Katie Ciesiolka
Equipment and Staging: Dreamedia

Promotions/Publicity: Gail Evans, Susan Congreve

Front of House Manager: Gail Evans
Poster Image and Design: Mark Marcelis

Graphic Design: Narelle Sullivan

Film Documentation: Todd Williams
Photographic Documentation: Jess Devereux


The Grey Panthers: Carmel Alderson, Judith Allen, Kay Brown, Darryl Butler, Bette Chapman, Marge Duminski, Liz Gammon, Ellen Hankin, Jan Hastings, MaryAnn Hinton, Marg Lee, Lillian Mann, Helen Mannion-Esparon, Linda Mansour, Judy Markwell, Judy McKerr, Patricia O’Neil, Judi Samuels, Jenni Sanderson, Shirley Somers, Janine Sutter, Punny Vegter, Maria Vlastuin and Mavis Waddell
Guest Performers: Michele Dott, Darren Edwards, Ruttiya McElroy, Jenelle Saunders, Bryn Wackett and Piper Whiting


The Design Files

Concepts: Tim Newth and David McMicken
Cast: Carmel, Judith, Kay, Liz, MaryAnn, Helen, Patricia, Janine and Mavis.
Music: The Design Files – Colin Bisset, By Design, ABC Radio National overlaid with Rock House, Melancholy Serenade, Cugi’s Cocktail, So Nice (Samba De Verao)

Water Ballet

Choreography: David McMicken
Cast: The Grey Panthers
Music: You Made Me Love You and You Make Me Feel So Young (Kay Brown and Mark Smith), Holiday For Strings, Whatever Lola Wants, Prelude No.7 in A, Op.28


Choreography: Jess Devereux
Cast: The Grey Panthers
Music: Bolero

Duets One

Choreography: Gary Lang
Cast: Linda and Bryn, Darryl and Darren
Music: Sweet Lullaby (Ambient Mix), Reverie

Swings and Flings

Choreography: Joanna Noonan
Cast: Bette, Marge, Marg, Lillian, Judy M, Dianne, Jenni, Shirley. Appearance by Piper Whiting
Music: Finale: The Promise of Living, 100 Pipers/Irish Washerwoman, Hit The Road Jack, In The Mood, cast’s voices

Duets Two

Choreography: Gary Lang
Cast: Punny and Ruttiya, Ellen and Michele, Jan and Jenelle
Music: Maya’s Theme – Kama Sutra, Without Your Love, Stormy Weather

Who Can Remember Sweet November

Choreography: Joanna Noonan
Cast: The Grey Panthers
Music: Only Time

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

Choreography: Bryn Wackett
Cast: The Grey Panthers
Music: You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

Thank You

Ian Kew, Sarah Lyn Lingerie & Fashion Boutique, Shirley Somers, Maria Vlastuin, Mavis Waddell, Punny Vegter, Josh Salmon, Margie West, Casuarina Senior College, Marita Smith, Noya Chung Wah, Charlie Marengo, Mary Cunningham, Dixi Joy, Robert Russo, Ciella Williams, Darwin Correctional Services, James Shaw, Carmel Hinton, Fiona Ferguson, Uniting Church Rapid Creek, Country Women’s Association of the Northern Territory, Wendy White, Julie Blyth, Corrugated Iron Youth Arts, Denis Taylor, Darwin Festival, Michael Loughhead and Terrie Crozier


Darwin International Airport, Eddie Willoughby-Smith – NT Wine Sales, Dreamedia

Funding Bodies

Tracks Inc is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; and is proudly sponsored by the Northern Territory Government.

Tracks 2013

Artistic Co Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
General Manager: Susan Congreve
Administrator: Gail Evans
Production Manager: Kelly Blumberg
Production Manager: Kelly Blumberg
Dance Animateur: Jess Devereux
Bookkeeper: Heather Van Anholt
Committee Members: (Chair) Michael Grant, (Vice-Chair) David Taylor, (Treasurer) Glenn Bernardin, (Secretary/Public Officer) Nick Papandonakis, (Ordinary Committee Members) Ken Conway, Liz Trevaskis, Stephanie Cvirn, (Ex-Officio Members) David McMicken and Tim Newth

Public Fund Trustees: Rev. Steve Orme, Dr Anita Toth, Ippei Okazaki

Patron: Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory



Explore Further

Older Adults Home Page

Cast Responses

“… a beautiful piece of theatre.” Liz Gammon

“The approach to abstract choreography opened my mind to new ways of thinking.” Judith Allen

“I loved seeing old friends that I have not seen for ages come to the show.“ Jenni Sanderson

“Dancing in front of people, I am nervous but it is all so beautiful, together everybody helping each other.” Punny Vegter

“Magic moment was really the whole thing. Being embraced by the women. The intimacy and solidarity. Learning heaps from all the people I am working with. The respect Darren [Edwards] constantly gave me as an older man.” Darryl Butler

Audience Responses

“I feel very lucky to live in a town that is home to TRACKS Dance and the Grey Panthers. Thanks for bringing tears to my eyes and making my face ache from smiling! I look forward to growing up enough to be a Grey Panther one day.” Angela O'Donnell

"A powerfully moving, wonderful show." Marita Smith

“I loved seeing the artistry in the group, and the range of styles, an openness to trying new things, and a willingness to explore. It is great for younger people to see this, that you can be like this.” Jess Devereux (Choreographer)

Media Links

ABC Stateline Report


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