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Seasons of Skin and Bark

Breaking free from the walls of a room and relocating to outdoor spaces to present original dance works is something Tracks Dance Company is renowned for, their works often influenced by the natural environment.

Seasons of Skin and Bark, Tracks’ stunning contribution to this year’s Darwin Festival, continues with this signature format.

Looking at the cycles and the intelligence of plants, and the connections of people with and to nature, the performance takes place beneath the trees at the iconic George Brown Botanic Gardens. Tracks’ Dance Animateur Jess Devereux says they’re returning to a space they know well.

“There’s a relationship with that site in that we’ve done a performance under that rain tree, many years ago, with Zombies in the Banyan Tree. That’s what attracts me to working with Tracks each year. It’s a huge, beautiful part of what we do, and certainly heavily inspired by Tim Newth’s interest in igniting space and finding new sites to present work,” she says.

Set amongst this stunning natural backdrop, the performance features 22 performers with a diverse range of backgrounds and abilities. Long time Tracks collaborator, and Darwin producer, James Mangohig returns with an evocative original soundtrack featuring the talents of Larrakia singer-songwriter Lena Kellie.

Due to the events of 2020, Devereux says Tracks’ creative team has appreciated the extra year to develop the work.

“We were able to talk about all the concepts inspired by the seasons, with inspiration coming from the Larrakia Gulumoerrgin calendar, and then also how people would express that in movement in a time when we weren’t able to physically connect,” she says.

“It allowed us that extra thinking time to fully develop the movement ideas. The thinking time has been really precious and something we don’t normally have.”

In the Larrakia Gulumoerrgin seasonal calendar, these powerful performances traverse Dinidjanggama (heavy dew time) and Gurrulwa (big wind time). An exciting element of this show is that the unpredictable setting means no two performances will be the same.

“That [rain] tree drops its leaves in the night, and it’s like it's raining, and they will potentially fall on the dancers when they perform. These chance things of the bird calls, the breeze, the uneven ground – all of it.”

Experience a feast for the senses – sight, sound and smell – and immerse yourselves in the magical world of Tracks Dance Company.


Seasons of Skin and Bark 
WHEN SUN 8 – MON 16 AUG (EXC. TUE 10 & FRI 13 AUG) | 7PM
AT GEORGE BROWN BOTANIC GARDENS
COST $20-$36
INFO tracksdance.com.au darwinfestival.org.au

Thumbnail and header: Photo: Mark Marcelis

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