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Review – Man Made

I have been working with Tracks Dance for the past 13 years over four Darwin Festival shows and six Milpirri performances in the remote Indigenous community of Lajamanu. Man Made was my first as an audience member and, as the dusk settled over Frogs Hollow, I had a flood of memories – we had performed The Cook, The Queen and The Kelly in this exact spot as part of Darwin Festival just a few years earlier and as I looked around the audience I could see many familiar faces from casts of previous Tracks shows. It felt like coming home.

By Nick Power.

Man Made involved a number of short, concise dance pieces from various choreographers, interwoven together to create a whole. Connecting across ages, styles and concepts, the work asked the question ‘what makes a man and what does a man make’?

The performance revealed a myriad of insights and answers, some individualistic and personal, others from a group perspective. Highlights included a piece involving the older cast members, choreographed by David McMicken. The way they commanded the stage, the shared sense of fun and underlying humour, it seemed these guys had a ball making this section.

Also interesting was the way male stereotypes were addressed – and then smashed through song and dance routines. Particularly exciting was Aaron Lim's choreographic work. Lim has been working with Tracks since 2007 and most recently was a collaborator and performer in Between Tiny Cities, a performance I choreographed. His work showed an insight into his practice, his connection to hip hop culture and to the young students he has taught and mentored over the past few years. Most impressive was his work with the more established dancers, including Josh Mu. In this piece I saw an aspirational, new choreographic voice. Kelly Beneforti’s choreography shone in the contemporary sections. Tim Newth’s design was another highlight, inclusive of movable LED lighting bars. A row of fridges were put to great use, including a striking scene where the fridges were laid on their sides, the doors opened just a crack, revealing the light within, before closing again.

Through Man Made, Tracks continued their long-term engagement with NT artists and communities through another superb inter-generational dance piece.


Nick Power is a b*boy and choreographer with a strong connection to the Territory through Tracks Dance, D-City Rockers and Accomplice. 

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