Rivers of the Underground


Boom Shed, Fort Hill Wharf, Darwin City

June 5 - 9, 2001

This preformance took a strongly Indian flavour with Sidharth Vemuri as the young man and Rukshana Ramachandran as the cohort. Rivers of the Underground was remounted and reworked in 2002.

Director’s Notes

The question of what happens after we die is prob'ably the oldest question in the world and many belief systems and attached mythologies have arisen over millennia. By exploring these myths and beliefs we can look for meaning Mythology helps us engage with our world and has thousands of years of wisdom encapsulated in single stories. In the case of the mythology surrounding the afterlife it also helps us disengage with our world. It gives us an understanding of the invisible plane that supports the visible, assisting us by giving suggestions and guiding our passage through life - and beyond. The body is viewed as a vehicle through life, encapsulating consciousness. We find out that death is life and life is death, and the two are in accord. There must be a balance between death and life - they are two aspects of the same thing. Darwin, as a crossroad of culture is also a crossroad of mythology and Rivers of the Underground explores these crossroads, these beliefs that guide us in our everyday life.

Creative Personnel

Conceived: David McMicken
Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
Choreography: David McMicken, Gerard Veltre, Rukshana Ramachandran
Design: Tim Newth
Original Compositions and Live DJ: Space Ace - David Pratt
Lighting Designer: Matthew James
Lighting Assistant: Walter Marquardt
Multimedia: Peter Coulter
Cultural Adviser: Betchay Mondragon
Poster Image and Design: Mark Marcelis


Boy: Sidharth Vemuri

Hermes: Gerard Veltre

Demi-Godess: Rukshana Ramachandran

Demi-God: Yoris Wilson

Cerberus (Hades guard dog): Nicole Cridland, Karen Hurley

Denizens of the Underworld: Peter Coulter, Beryl Brugmans, Daniel Alderman, David Turner, Bart Robertson, Judd McElroy, Marko Taopo, Paolo Flores, Daniel Da Silva, Veronica Lutu, Ruth Bagiri, Relma Luta, Gloria Luta, Annie Luta, Amy Nona, Pethrie Bagiri, Lency Luta, Jennifer Devlin, Prue Pearse, Danarose Dizon, Estelle Quindara, Amy Hardwick, Jessica Rosewarne

Torres Strait Islanders: Pethrie Bagiri, Ruth Bagiri, Annie Luta, Gloria Luta, Lency Luta, Relma Luta, Veronica Luta


  • The Living
  • Burn or Bury
  • Hermes and his Cohorts (the messenger)
  • River Styx: (fear of death, oaths, lost souls and crossings)
  • River Cocytus: (wailing and lamentation)
  • River Acheron (sadness and woe)
  • Elysium Fields (heroes and the godlike)
  • Tartarus (place of torments)
  • Cerberus, (guardian of the gates)
  • River Phlegethon (fire)
  • River Lethe (oblivion)
  • Tree of Dreams (letting go)

Thank You

Port of Darwin and staff, Festival of Darwin, Brown's Mart Community Arts, Darwin Theatre Company, Corrugated Iron Youth Arts, Kakadu Studios, Throb Nightclub, Shauna Ricardo, Julia Quinn, Bruce Wilson, Nakara Primary School, Allan and Djon of Unique Antiques, Leah Wasaga, Jennie Zuccarrato, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Waco Kwikform Scaffolding, Ausdance NT, Friends and Families, Sue Camilleri, Yvonne Corby, Naomi Edwards, David Taylor, Sue Ross, ABC FM 105.7, ABC TV, Channel 8, Info TV, NT News, Darwin Sun & Arts Mart

Tracks 2001

Artistic Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
Office Administration: Heather Richards
Bookkeeper: Lynn Bramham
Production Manager: Eunice De Ramos
Multicultural Artist in Residence: Betchay Mondragon
Grey Panthers Coordinator: Merrilee Mills

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



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