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Tracks Dance: Man Made

Tracks’ last Darwin Festival show, Landed, followed three characters returning home to Darwin after a life away from it. Emotions, belonging and connection to place are a crucial theme of the company, but this year’s production might come as a surprise – Man Made is a show starring only men.

Inpex workers, security guards, tradies, policemen, cattlemen – the male-dominated professions of the Territory don’t sound like experiences that would translate into contemporary dance, but that’s the test Tracks directors David McMicken and Tim Newth set themselves.

“It was more of a challenge,” says Newth. “It felt a bit funny going, ‘ok we’re going to make an all-male show.’ But the very first day when we actually got the cast together and there were 25 males in the room from the ages of 11 to 70 something, was something very special.”

To assemble their cast, Tracks called out for men of all ages who wanted to be part of a contemporary dance performance, as well as a core group of professional dancers, all of whom are originally from the NT.

“We said specifically, this is for you – to look at yourself as a man. We got more participants than expected,” says Newth.

Exploring different types of masculinity, from boy to manhood, the performance disavows stereotypes and uses dance inspired by sometimes-ordinary activities.

“There’s always a fear of the dance experience for men,” says McMicken. “There’s a sense of you shouldn’t put yourself out on display so much or if you are then you’re a bit cocky. Whereas to perform you have to put yourself out there.”

With choreography by Tracks dance animateur Kelly Beneforti, the show stars Tracks alumni Aaron Lim and Josh Mu, with music by beat makers Jack Prest and James Mangohig, who will weave their original tracks into soundscapes created by McMicken.

See the event listing.

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