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Nifty Fifty Gifty

THE NT’S BELOVED Brown’s Mart Theatre has fostered the creativity of Territorians for 50 wonderful years. One of the organisations born out of Brown’s Mart all those years ago was Tracks Dance Company – an organisation that has very much established its own brand and value in the community since.

By Tierney Seccull

To give you some history, Tracks was born from Brown’s Mart’s dance program that kicked off in the early 70s called Feats Unlimited, facilitated by Maggi Phillips, a dancer and circus performer. Feats Unlimited ran until 1987, then Community Dance Officer Sarah Calver came on board to continue the work Phillips had started. By 1993, Tracks Dance was developed, and in 1999 it became its own incorporated organisation.

And how does Tracks say happy birthday to the mothership? Why, with the gift of dance, of course! The Gift celebrates the incredible service the beloved organisation has so tenderly provided to the local arts community over the years, and everyone is welcome, no dance experience necessary.

Associate Artistic Director Jess Devereux says the short, sharp and shiny 15-minute pop-up is a loving gift for Brown’s Mart.

“The beauty of Brown’s Mart as a place to gather and see new work and celebrate is really important to a lot of Darwin artists, and Tracks has a long history of putting on performances in Civic Park, out the back of Brown’s Mart,” she says.

“We love creating dance for outdoor spaces, so that feels like a really important spot to celebrate and give the gift of dance – a loving gift – back to Brown’s Mart to say happy 50th.”

With three dance workshops, one dress rehearsal, and access to the digital dance toolkit, participants will be well prepped by the time they hit the stage. Or, ya know, the lawn.

This all-in community gift is wrapped in dances and music from each decade since the 70s.

“Some of the dances that celebrate a particular decade will be one group, so the Grey Panthers will do the 70s, and we’ve got a group from Corrugated Iron Youth Arts also working with [Steph] Spillett on the noughties.

“Kelly [Beneforti] and I are working with lots of alumni from Choreolab and a bunch of our development programs, so really the finalé is the place where everyone who would like to do the workshop series can join in.

“It’s something everyone can be a part of, learning this big final dance, which is a culmination of all those decades, danced to an original track that Kuya James has made for us, with some vocals from Caiti Baker – it feels nice to have a piece of music by local artists to dance to.”

Tracks Artistic Co-Director David McMicken says he hopes everyone gets involved. In costume, of course.

“It’s our DNA to bring people together to celebrate the place they live in, and the times they live in. We love a costume, we love a party, and we love to dance. Come and party with us!”

The Gift Finalé Workshops
WHEN EVERY TUE 6 – 20 SEP | 5.30-7.30PM
COST $15

Dress Rehearsal

The Gift Performance

*Please note the price of 'FULL $20' was incorrectly listed in the print edition, but confirming The Gift Performance is FREE to attend.

Photos: Duane Preston

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