The Land the Cross and the Lotus
Jingili Water Gardens, Darwin
September 9-12, 16-19, 1998
Festival of Darwin
This performance drew together a powerful and diverse team of dancers, national choreographers, local community members and spiritual advisers to explore the ancient wisdom of Buddhism, Christianity and Aboriginal spirituality. Performed in and out of the water ponds of the Jingili Water Gardens. Spiritual advisers and communities involved in the production came from local Catholic and Uniting Churches, the International Buddhist Temple, and Larrakia and Tiwi Island Aboriginal communities.
The Land the Cross and the Lotus comes out of my life’s search for meaning, making sense of my own being and finding my place within my community. In living in the Northern Territory I have been tested and strengthened and then tested again.
My relationships with Aboriginal people and the opportunities I have had to place myself within their culture have deepened my understanding and knowledge of this land. As someone separated from my own blood family the church has given me a familiar place to go which is part of my culture. At my local church, Nightcliff Uniting, I can be enriched by wisdom that has been gained over many hundreds of years, yet simultaneously I can have young children on my shoulders. After spending considerable time sitting silently by myself my inner journey has become much richer by sharing it with other spiritual travellers at the Northern Territory International Buddhist Society. These Aboriginal, Christian and Buddhist elements feed my whole being and give me great hope. All are family to me.
This performance, like so much of our culture, draws its inspiration from religion and spirituality. It reflects on three life-journeys: Purukapali the creator of Tiwi culture, the Virgin Mary of Christianity, and Siddhartha the Buddha.
In Darwin, we live surrounded by a wonderfully diverse culture. The place is known for its spirit and the people for their tolerance. The Land the Cross and the Lotus celebrated this diversity, spirit, and tolerance. It affirms the words of the Buddha: “if you find truth in any religion accept that truth, and hopefully it will help us in our move towards building a National identity. As Aboriginal poet Kevin Gilbert commented: “you cannot build a nation until there is a national Spirit."
Conceived and Directed by: Tim Newth
Guest Choreographers: Michael Leslie, Beth Shelton, Kai Tai Chan
Musical Director: Claire Kilgariff
Lighting Design: Matthew James
Set design and Construction: Louise Carmichael
Construction Assistants: Annie Franklin, Grant Haeyward
Soloist: Stanley Stanislaus
Other performers: Marion Patterson, Steven Oliver, Yasmion Crawshaw, Matthew Patterson
Soloist: Rukshana Ramachandran
Other performers: David McMicken, Jaesshanth Yoganathan, Wendy Eccleston, Rosie O’Reilly, Ian O’Reilly, Shay O’Reilly, Sue Gleed, Tim McMeel, Fiona Ferguson, Michael Calwell, Elliot Ferguson-Calwell, Paul Kelly, Karen Weerramanthri, Kieran Kelly, Peter McMeel, Beth McMeel, Rosie McMeel, Gillian Rose, Dallas Elvery, Philip Piggin. (Many performers were drawn from the Nightcliff Uniting Church.)
Soloist: David McMicken
Other performers: Saeng Yodkhemarkul, Phang Fook Sin, Poolpern Saengjan, Ganthida Seangan, Rattana Saengan, Pimprapa Saengan, Tiarn Trigar, Jacey Trigar, Varleak Srey, Josephine Tchia. (Many performers were drawn from the Northern Territory International Buddhist Society.)
Tracks Dance 1998
Co-Artistic Directors: Sarah Calver, David McMicken, Tim Newth
Administrator: Liann Stevenson, Joelene Paterson, Bong Ramillo
Creative Development Residency: Phillip Piggin
[under Ausdance NT]