Walking on Water - International AIDS Awareness Week
Lake Alexander, Fannie Bay, Darwin
November 27, 1999
Images of hope and rememberance and expressions of our aspirations and dreams. Doing the Impossible, Creating Miracles and Faith in Community Spirit. International AIDS Awareness Week.
Walking On Water comes from the expressions of Darwin's Gay Community and their supporters, living in a remote, isolated, tropical, Northern Regional City, and how they negotiate relationships: between themselves, their own community, the wider community, and communities in other locations. Ideas have been developed from interest generated through Bodies Of Light, a performance project dealing with gay men, youth, HIV and education.
This project is an opportunity for gay people and their supporters to have a voice in the wider community. 'Performance gives us the opportunity to publicly express our aspirations and dreams; to have a greater sense of being in control of how others perceive us.' It allows gay artists to work within their own culture, to be seen within that community as role models who have something to offer.
Walking On Water gives everyone an opportunity to be involved in International AIDS Awareness Week. We are all affected and we can all make a difference.
"Welcome to tonight's performance. We have made this work in order to create for ourselves a sense of ritual and the expression of our concerns in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. There are many talented members of our community who work in a variety of fields. Tracks are always looking for ways to utilise these skills in furthering the community's representation of itself.
This project opens up a place in the wider community for men to have a voice, an opportunity to publicly express our aspirations and dreams; to have a greater sense of being in control of how others perceive us. It allows us to work within our own culture and to be seen within that community as role models who have something to offer.
Darwin community is small and isolated. It is difficult to have its voice heard positively. In remote areas the need for gay men to exist and survive within the wider community is very different to in a larger city. Inclusion and acceptance is important. Isolation is already a geographical given, social isolation is a larger issue here. As a result many young people are prematurely drawn away from their families and place simply so that they can find acceptance and an expression of who they are.
In Walking On Water I use water as a metaphor for relationships: they might be shallow, deep, paddling, wading, swimming, floating, at sea, or drowning; a metaphor for our lives, representing how we negotiate and form relationships.
Please enjoy, (safely). x" David McMicken
*Message from the Northern Territory A.I.D.S. Council
"Tonight's performance reflects the diversity, intimacy and preciousness of same-sex-relationships. The road to which can OFTEN be one of challenges and vulnerability. Relationships can aspire us to the highest, even in the ordinary moments.
HIV has been one of the greatest challenges the gay community has ever had to face. It has touched the centre of our sorrow. The crisis is not yet over; Support and education for all people need to continue. Young people especially need to know that sexuality in all its forms is natural, beautiful and sensual and deserves celebration." Jan Holt
Director: David McMicken
Assistant to the Director, Designer: Tim Newth
Production Management: Eunice de Ramos
Follow Spot: Neil Macknight
Follow Spot: Beryl Brugmans
Sound: Andrew Dudley
Tania Lieman, Nicky Fearn, Toni Leemen, Tim Newth, Stanley Stanislaus, Tessa Calver James, Lily Dreghorn, Rosie O'Reilly, Shay O'Reilly, Elliott Fergusson-Calwell, Timothy Fergusson-Calwell, Kieran Kelly, Nik Lear, Neil Ludvigsen, Paul Turner, Mark Halton, Stephyn St James, Scott Anderson, Darren Smith, David Taylor, Glenn Bernardin, Merrilee Mills, Yoris Wilson, Elka Kerkhofs, Karen Maxwell, Steve Orme, Janet Irvine, Nonie Whales, Martin Pradel
- PRELUDE: People enter the lake area.
- KIDS: a child like purity, free from judgement.
- WATER GODDESS: she arrives and wants to play.
- FISHING FROM SHORE: men fish in the unknown for fish, for love or for husband.
- FISHING IN THE BOAT: fishing together, netting a partner.
- LIGHT OFFERING: candles in memory and of hope.
- A CEREMONY: exchange vows, rings and kisses.
- GAMES OF LOVE & ILLNESS: fun develops into some people becoming ill.
- CARING DANCE: together we care for our sick.
- WALKING ON WATER: from death to new light.
For your assistance and input: NT AIDS Council, Brave Coffee, Brendon O'Shannessy, Defence Maritime Services, Graeme Cheater, Sexual Realities, Gay North, GN News, Men's Line, Cliff Anderson: ADNET
Tracks Dance 1999
Artistic Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth
Administrator: Amanda Carlton
Inaugural Committee Members: David Taylor (Chair), Ken Conway (Vice-Chair) Chris Raynal (Treasurer), Rukshana Ramachandran (Secretary/Public Officer), Tania Lieman, Jackie Wurm, Kez Hall, Nick Papandonakis (Ordinary Committee Members), David McMicken and Tim Newth (Ex-Officio Members)