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The Bright Side of the Tracks

LOCAL FAVOURITE TRACKS Dance has done well to roll with the punches in 2020. With all of the risk assessments worked through at length in strategic planning sessions past, a global pandemic was understandably overlooked.

Tracks Dance Company Director Adelaide Wood says, although they didn’t get to deliver a regular program, they’ve still adhered to the company’s vision.

“Our year has been shaped by our COVID resolve to fulfil the contracts of independent artists, regardless of the performance outcome. Keeping artists employed this year has been important to us,” she says.

“Subsequently, we threw energy into developing new work, which Darwin audiences will see in 2021.”

Tracks rolled out a considerable amount of work in 2020, but didn’t rush into an online format, with one exception. Noted as a vulnerable group, The Grey Panthers continued their weekly classes through Zoom sessions, resulting in a weekly GP TV segment. These online sessions have acted as a springboard for exciting projects for the group moving forward.

The free 10-week Choreographic Program included artists beyond dancers, with participants coming from backgrounds in theatre, architecture and comedy, with an age range from 19-60 years. If this is something you could see yourself doing, applications for next year’s program are now open.

With the closing of borders came the opportunity to fix their focus on what was right in front of them, and as a result, they’ve developed and worked to a motto that has stuck with them throughout the year – the new global is local. Wood says this way of working suits the dance company to a tee.

“Like many, we adapted programs to be COVID-safe. The hero of this was Homebodies, where alumni of the Choreographic Program responded to provocations and made a dance-in-a-day in their home environment, which we filmed,” she says.

And although their Participation Programs took a hit due to their large-scale nature, they’ve made a comeback – with a vengeance, it would seem – with the Dead Singers Dance Society booking out in days.

When they weren’t busy delivering programs, Wood says Tracks’ energy was directed towards 2021 and beyond, with a focus on raising important funds.

“Donations given to the New Work 2021 Fundraising Campaign go directly into paying the wages to … all the people it takes to make an incredible show. Together, we can breathe life back into the Darwin performing arts scene.”


Homebodies, Bryn Wackett
Grey Panthers COVID Class. Kelly Beneforti & David McMicken. Photo: Duane Preston
Bollywood Awakening. Photo: Tim Newth

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