Open House (2)
Brown's Mart Theatre, Darwin City
March 27, 1994
As part of Brown's Mart Community Arts monthly Mixtures At The Mart program , Tracks Dance Collective ran and compared the March event OPEN HOUSE, a community dance performance, which brought together diverse groups, dancers and activities, it also included the Film “7 Colours” and a forum coordinated by TRACKS. Conceived in 1993, OPEN HOUSE was devised to allow for works in progress and short pieces from community dancers and groups, to get an airing. The popularity of these events attest to the community's desire to understand the processes that go into making dance, and the lively forum that followed was encouraging.
Aims of Project
- To provide performance opportunities for dancers and dance groups
- To establish an informal setting for the presentation of dance-works in progress
- To show to the general public the diversity of dance activity currently in Darwin and Palmerston
- To provide opportunity for audience to physically participate in dance activity
- To provide forum opportunities, for members of the dance community as well as the general public, to discuss relevant issues
- To provide an opportunity for a writer to look at dance and write about it from their perspective
There are very few opportunities for small community dance groups and dancers to show their work. There is even less opportunity for them to show work at an experimental or unfinished draft stage. Brown’s Mart has a monthly MIXTURES programme and it was decided that TRACKS Dance Collective would run the March Mixtures and fulfil our own aims as well as those of MIXTURES. This way we were able to share resources with Brown’s Mart.
In developing the programme it was decided to generally let the community know that this event was coming up as well as specifically contacting groups, (thus ensuring diversity both culturally and age wise.)
There were approximately 120 performers and 160 paying audience members. The age range of performers was 4 - 78 years old. The performers were all encouraged to watch the programme when they were waiting or finished. This allowed members of the dance community to see the diversity of activity available to them.
During interval Kulay Lupa ran an open dance workshop. They taught audience members a traditional Filipino dance that was later performed in the second half of the programme. The general public were thus introduced in a short time to the learning of movement from another culture as well as given the opportunity to perform this work with members of Kulay Lupa.
In discussions with AUSDANCE NT, it was agreed that this project would also be promoted as an activity leading into International DANCE WEEK. (April)
Andrew McMillan was employed as a way of getting another perspective on dance. The level of intelligent writing on dance is basically non-existent in the Territory. It is impossible to get review in the media and there are little or no opportunities for publication here. Andrew is a published author who had shown interest in the work of Tracks.
The project was successful in the extreme and the feedback was unanimously positive. This was the second OPEN HOUSE, the first being in 1993. This project is a low budget, low cost, high participation event. The organisation involved is relatively small. It is recommended that the event slot into an annual calendar of events. The format was most successful in giving community members access to performance opportunities.
Coordinators: Sarah Calver, David McMicken
Writer: Andrew McMillan
Lighting Technician: Matthew James
Stage Manager: Eunice Reid de Ramos
- Putu and Dewi, Indonesian Dancers WELCOME DANCE
- Saturday Dance Mob Groups - HERE IN THIS SPACE
- Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre - Palmerston Dance Group
- Dance 2000
- Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre - Artability Group, (People with different abilities)
- Lisa Campbell School of Dancing - Russian Fireworks
- Corrugated Iron Youth Theatre. Music Group with Geoff, (Northern suburbs children)
- Kulay Lupa (Filipino Dance and Cultural Group)
- Bala - Indian Dancer
- My House (Youth Dance Theatre)
- Casuarina Secondary College (Years 11 and 12)
- The Palmerston Tappers-Jan Hedenig
- The Grey Panthers - Folk Dancing (older adults group, over 50's)
- Monday Dance Mob Group - Road Works Ahead
- The Film "7 Colours"
- Open Discussion: a forum Coordinated by TRACKS
Tracks Dance Collective 1994
Collective Members: Sarah Calver, David McMicken, Tim Newth, Berenice Franklin, Lisa Campbell
Brown’s Mart Community Arts Dance Development Offices: Sarah Calver, David McMicken
[Under Brown's Mart Community Arts – Executive Officer Ken Conway]
On the last Sunday night of each month, Browns Mart hosts Mixtures, an eclectic and sometimes vibrant showcase of Darwin's performing arts talents.
But rarely has it seen such a convergence of Darwin’s populace as it did with the production of Open House on March 27th. Over the course of three frenetic hours, 130 dancers slapped their souls upon the stage and around 160 paying customers jammed their bums on tiered seats, catwalks, matts on the floor and any other square i ncn of space that could accommodate them.
A month in the making, the Open House edition of Mixtures was devoted to exposing the grass, milk, cream and cheese of the Darwin dance scene.
As we were led to expect, Open House was an eclectic evening of dance. Reflecting the multicultural nature of Darwin society, the traditional dance forms of Bali, India and the Philippines were represented. As were tap dance, jazz ballet and modern dance . Performers ranged in age from five to seventy-eight, degrees of skill from the awkward to the immaculate .
Some were trained dancers with years of experience, many were amateurs from community groups, some of whose members had been involved in dance for only five or siX Weeks. Such was the diversity of the performance. Andrew McMillan