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Fresh Tracks

The ideas and talents of local choreographers are amplified through a series of short original dance works in Fresh Tracks this month.

By Tierney Seccull

Developed by Tracks Dance Company in 2016 to support the continuity and vibrance of local independent dance practice, the Fresh Tracks program is a firm fixture on Tracks’ annual Development Program, which also includes feed-in program Choreolab.

The program features three short-form performances all unique in styles, stories and concepts in choreography. 2023 choreographers are Serina Pech, Tara Schmidt and Jenelle Saunders, with dancers performing their 15-minute makings at Brown’s Mart Theatre for Darwin Fringe.

Tracks Dance Animateur Steph Spillett, also a previous participant, says it’s so important to have these opportunities.

“There aren’t many platforms for either emerging artists or mid-career choreographers and movers to have their space to explore and create their own work,” they say.

“Choreolab is all about finding ways to move their bodies and how to create movement, and then Fresh Tracks is that platform to be able to showcase their own work.”

Demonstrating the diverse dance community of Darwin, Fresh Tracks was created to feed into the Darwin Fringe program, giving early and mid-career choreographers and dancers exposure under the spotlight. There are many benefits to being included in a festival program, and a biggie is the technical support.

“Participants are provided with the support of Tracks Production Manager Duane Preston, who handles the logistical side of things that you would have to manage if you were a freelance artist,” Spillett says.

“It’s also a way for those creators to have a space outside of the Tracks Studio, and to be able to say, ‘hey, I’m putting on a show in a theatre!’ which is such a huge experience.”

Curated by Kelly Beneforti, the program features post-show artist talks giving audiences the opportunity to discuss processes with the movers and the makers. 

Spillett says there are benefits all ‘round in having a relaxed post-performance chinwag.

“Discussion is just such a vital part when you’re creating. I feel like that part of the artist talk provides their audience an insight on how the artists get to these points,” they say.

“Most of these works aren’t fully developed, so it’s really for the artists to be able to dive deep into what their work is really about, and discuss why and how they got to certain places – especially when you have to describe your work to someone that may not normally go to contemporary dance shows – you need to explain it in a way that’s different to how you would with those that helped create it.”

Make tracks to see Tracks at Darwin Fringe, and enjoy some of the freshest dance in Darwin.

WHEN SUN 23 JUL | 3.30PM & 5PM
COST $20 | $15 GROUP | $10 CONC

Photos: Duane Preston

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