Rooftop, Multi Deck, Casuarina Shopping Square, Darwin

    June 19-23, 2002

    Darwin has always been seen as ‘young’, and having been bombed in the 1940s 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, and 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 influences us. Our issues are unique because we live in a special place. IGNITE celebrates those differences.

    IGNITE began because of the 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 shaped those ideas into the performance. Ignite explored their ups and downs, their dreams and desires to take on responsibilities and commitments.

    Our cast gave 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 that adults often have little idea about.

    Tonight our brave cast put themselves on the line for you. They have ignited their fuses, and 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

    Ignite took us on a journey into some of the characteristics that make up our youth. Although this may seem a mammoth task our first half explored eight archetypes. Tim played 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 woman 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 things under control.

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

    The cast 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 crossfire

    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)

    Photo: Mark Marcelis. Front: Leanne Scott-Toms, Dana-Rose Dizon, Estelle Quindara, Jessica Rosewarne
    Photo: Mark Marcelis. l - r: Marko Taopo, Tim Omaji, Josh Mu, Erwin Fenis
    Photo: Mark Marcelis. l - r: Dana-Rose Dizon
    Photo: Mark Marcelis. l - r: Kristy Rickert, Marko Taopo, Lydia Szczyglowski, Josh Mu, Tim Omaji, Erwin Fenis, Tara Robertson, Cristina Pantazis
    Photo: Mark Marcelis. Erwin Fenis
    Photo: Mark Marcelis. Josh Mu
    Photo: Mark Marcelis. Kristy Rickert
    Photo: Mark Marcelis. Marko Taopo
    Photo: Mark Marcelis. Cristina Pantazis
    Photo: Mark Marcelis. Tara Robertson
    Photo: Mark Marcelis. Tim Omaji
    Photo: Mark Marcelis. Lydia Szczyglowski

    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

    Tracks Dance Company Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

    Tracks Inc is proudly sponsored by the Northern Territory Government.

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