Rooftop, Multi Deck, Casuarina Shopping Square, Darwin

June 19-23, 2002

Darwin has always been seen as ‘young’, and having been bombed in the 1940’s and almost blown off the map by Cyclone Tracy in 1974, it reinvented itself with energy and gusto. Building a relationship with the Territory’s youth had long been a priority for Tracks when Betchay Mondragon challenged the company as to the lack of mainstream engagement with young members from her community. Tracks knew that multicultural youth were not afraid of performing, they were wary of a ‘Western’ system in which they felt uncomfortable. Adopting a new language for speaking about ‘dance’ led to Ignite, the first Tracks mainstream youth performance in 2002. A cast of emerging dancers, representing many different cultural backgrounds, explored life as they experienced it, from living in two or more cultures, to family conflicts, to sex, drugs and … hip hop.

Contemporary multicultural youth dance at its most dynamic. Seventeen of Darwin’s young people told their own stories of hardship and joy, pressure and release, the search for responsibility, the desire for freedom. It showed what ignites young people’s passions. 

Directors' Notes

Being young in Darwin has its differences. A rich gathering of cultures and backgrounds influence us. Our issues are unique because we live in a special place. IGNITE celebrates those differences.

IGNITE began because of need to provide high quality performance opportunities for our youth, opportunities that are often taken for granted elsewhere. Having gone through stringent auditions, we chose our highly talented cast for their range of skills and abilities. Through an ensemble building process, the cast brought forward issues that they considered important. We have shaped those ideas into tonight’s performance. Ignite explores their ups and downs, their dreams and desires to take on responsibilities and commitments.

Our cast has given up a great deal of their own personal time to train and create this performance. We hope it offers insights into their world; a mysterious place of which adults often have little idea about.

Tonight our brave cast put themselves on the line for you. They have ignited their fuses, set a train of events in place, and we eagerly await their outcomes. A destructive explosion, or the best firework display ever? This is a group of dancers to watch out for.  David McMicken & Betchay Mondragon

Performance Notes

Our show takes us on a journey into some of the characteristics that make up our youth. Although this may seem a mammoth task our first half looks at 8 archetypes. Tim plays the wise man, the teacher, a role that the character is at first unaware of but he grows into his strengths. Kristy’s cheerleader stops at nothing to get to the top. Nina’s character struggles with the demands of two cultures and begins to rebel while Marko loves the mirror. Tara explores the Warrior princess, protecting her heart and her sense of self, while Erwin brings to life a romantic white Knight, everything a women wants, or is it? Lydia, as the Waif, shows us what happens when we play on our weaknesses to get others to do everything for us. Finally Josh in the role of the angry young man shows us a world of rage and fighting and his attempts to keep control.

In the second half of the show we see each dancer showing off for us, giving us a glimpse of themselves and what they are good at. We also explore their constant struggle to emerge as intact ,whole and valuable members of our community. We create our own “West Side Story” dance-off drawing on influences such as cultural martial arts and very now hip hop.

With a cast that represented the many cultures of Darwin, the Ignite dancers made the audience burn! Performed on the car park rooftop of Casuarina Square, the largest shopping centre in Darwin and the place where Darwin’s youth hang out.

Creative Personnel

Co-Directors: Betchay Mondragon and David McMicken
Choreographer: Julia Quinn
Additional Choreography: Jolanda George, June Intachot, Joanna Noonan, Kristy Rickert, Marko Taopo, Erwin Fenis, Josh Mu, Tim Omaji, Cristina Pantazis, Tara Robertson and Lydia Szczyglowski
Lighting Designer: Matthew James

Production and Promotion Personnel

Sound Engineering: Matthew Cunliffe, Kakadu Studios
Poster Image and Design: Mark Marcelis


Core: Kristy Rickert, Marko Taopo, Erwin Fenis, Josh Mu, Tim Omaji, Cristina Pantazis, Tara Robertson, Lydia Szczyglowski
Chorus: Estelle Quindara, Leanne Scott-Toms, Emily Mornane, Hal Brophy, Dana-Rose Dizon, Jessica Rosewarne, Chelsea Quong, Raylee-Jo Rozario, Darren Minchin
Junior Hip Hop Boys, Ricardo Dance Studio students: Tim McMeel, Nicholas Martin, Ben Goodvach-Draffin, Michael Roe, Foti Vazanellis, Shannon Beneforti


Act One:  Prologue: the fuse is lit
Scene 1            Tim: Who do I up look to?
Scene 2            Kristy: Ride it to the top
Scene 2            Nina: She’s a Rebel
Scene 5            Marko: More beautiful than you
Scene 3            Tara: Warrior Princess
Scene 4            Erwin: I’m the man of your dreams
Scene 6            Lydia: So fragile I might break
Scene 8.           Josh: Caught in the cross fire

Act Two: As the fuse keeps burning, different situations flare up. Choices are made and consequences follow. What does our fuse eventually lead to?
Act 2 is a representation of the struggle that each day presents; barriers to overcome or be overcome by.

Tracks 2002

Artistic Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
Office Administration /Bookkeeper: Heather Richards
Production Manager: James Forest
Multicultural Artist in Residence: Betchay Mondragon
Grey Panthers Coordinator: Merrilee Mills
Publicist: Sue Camilleri

Committee Members:  David Taylor (Chair), Jackie Wurm (Vice-Chair), Glenn Bernardin (Treasurer), Kyleigh Hindson (Secretary/Public Officer), Ken Conway, Nicole Cridland, Kay Brown (Ordinary Committee Members), David McMicken and Tim Newth (Ex-Officio Members)



Explore Further

Eras of Youth Dance

A Culturally Diverse Voice

Iconic Tracks Works


"The energy came right off the stage and hit me somewhere between the eyes." Kim Webster, General Manager, Darwin Entertainment Centre

Search for Work by Title or
by Person:

› Search for Work by year