What's On


Australian Dance Theatre / In association with ILBIJERRI Theatre Company

Presented in Season 1 2023

Presented by Arts House and RISING

Wednesday 7 – Sunday 18 June, 2023
Wed 7, 8pm
Thu 8 – Fri 9, 6.30pm
Sat 10, 1.30pm & 6.30pm
Sun 11 – Mon 12, no performances
Tue 13 – Fri 16, 6.30pm
Sat 17, 2.30 & 6.30pm
Sun 18, 4pm

60 minutes

Auslan Interpreted Performance
Sat 10 June, 1.30pm

General Admission $49
Concession $44
Child $25
A small transaction fee will be charged per order.

Suitable for audiences 15+
Contains names of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders people.

Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

Assistance Animal
Assistive Listening
Companion Card
Quiet Space Available
Wheelchair Accessible

Dance, ceremony and oration bring the legendary story of director-choreographer Daniel Riley’s great-great-uncle into the now.  

Alec Riley was a Wiradjuri Elder and skilled tracker who joined the New South Wales Police Force in 1911 and served for 40 years. He forged a path between the enforced colonial system in which he worked and the lore of his people. In the end, he earned a King’s Medal, and a gold watch for his ability to solve high profile crimes. But he was never entitled to a pension.     

Tracker is Daniel Riley’s first show as Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre, and an exploration of his ancestor’s lived experience. Performed in the round by an all First Peoples cast, and anchored firmly in the present, it’s an intimate and restlessly inventive ode to shared cultural resilience across generations. 


Artist Statement

It's through bringing our contemporary issues and the political history into the room. By witnessing a young black person searching for their identity and connection, that we begin to understand the effects of our colonial past and present. It's a full-bodied emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual experience.
-Daniel Riley

[On Alec Riley] His story and its relevance to us as a Community, as a Nation speaks completely to the ‘navigating’ of being a First Nations person in a colonised space. How you navigate that, how you survive that, how you maintain your integrity, your Cultural connections, your family, how you hold your family together.
– Rachael Maza AM

About the artists

Australian Dance Theatre has been creating and performing exceptional contemporary dance across the country and around the world since 1965. Australian Dance Theatre is the country’s oldest contemporary dance company, located on Karuna Yerta (Adelaide, South Australia). For nearly 60 years Australian Dance Theatre has pioneered new work that has continually redefined dance and pushed the artform.

ILBIJERRI one of Australia’s leading theatre companies creating innovative works by First Nations artists. The longest established First Nations theatre company in Australia, ILBIJERRI creates, presents and tours powerful and engaging theatre by First Nations artists that gives voice to our Cultures.

Daniel is a choreographer, dancer, teacher and creative from the Wiradjuri nation of Western NSW. He began his dance training at Quantum Leap, ACT and since graduating from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2006 has danced for Leigh Warren & Dancers (2005 – 06), New Movement Collective UK (2014), Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre UK (2014), Chunky Move (2019) and was a senior artist with Bangarra Dance Theatre (2007 – 18). In 2019 Daniel joined ILBIJERRI Theatre Company as an Associate Producer (2019 – 20) and became the company’s Creative Associate (2020 – 21). His time with ILBIJERRI allowed him to partake in an Executive Leadership Program where he gained executive level skills to lead and run an arts organisation in the future. In 2020 he was appointed as a Lecturer in Contemporary Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts, where he launched and leads Kummarge, a self-determined mentoring program for First Nations dance students. He also continues to work as an independent dancer, teacher, advocate, choreographer and currently sits on the Board of Chunky Move. Recently he worked for Moogahlin Performing Arts as Birrabang Miil (outside eye) for the Yellamundie@HOME-Naarm Festival 2021, was part of the cast of Stephanie Lake’s Manifesto and was commissioned by RISING Melbourne and Yirramboi to create mulunma – Inside Within, a short film as part of Moving Objects. Daniel’s choreographic credits include Victorian College of the Arts: RISE (2020), Louisville Ballet, USA: Tonal (2020), Sacred Shifts (2015), Melbourne International Arts Festival: Tanderrum (2019), Dancenorth: Communal Table (2019), Bangarra Dance Theatre: Dark Emu (2018), Miyagan (2016), BLAK (2013), Riley (2010) and Sydney Dance Company: Reign (2015) and he has been nominated at the Australian Dance Awards (2010, 2013) and for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Deadly Awards (2010, 2012 & 2013). His film credits include Dan Sultan’s Under Your Skin and Stephen Page’s Spear, where he made his film debut as well as working as Director’s Attachment.

Rachael is one of Australia’s most recognisable faces of the Australian film, television and theatre industry with performance credits including the AFI award-winning Radiance and the stage production of The Sapphires. Her performances have been acknowledged with a Green Room Award and a Sydney Theatre Critics Circle Award. She has also worked as a presenter for ABC Message Stick and as an acting coach on films such as the multi award-winning Rabbit Proof Fence. Rachael directed Stolen (1992) for ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, before becoming Artistic Director in 2009. Since then she has directed Sisters of Gelam (2009), Jack Charles V The Crown (2010), Foley (2011), Beautiful One Day (2012), Which Way Home (2016) and Black Ties (Perth Festival 2020). Rachael currently sits on the board of the Australia Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Circus Oz Indigenous Advisory Panel, Australian Opera Indigenous Advisory Panel and the Green Room Awards Theatre Company Panel.

Tyrel is from Kimuy, and is Yirrganydji, Djirrabul, Kalkadoon and Umpila. He trained at the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts in Meanjin from 2011 – 13 before joining Ochre Contemporary Dance Company in Boorloo in 2014, and also appearing in Penelope Mullen’s Danse Noir. In 2015 Tyrel was part of Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Program before touring with Hugh Jackman’s Broadway to Oz musical production. He performed with Bangarra Dance Theatre from 2016 to February 2021. He toured productions OUR land people stories, Bennelong, Terrain, Dark Emu and 30 Years of Sixty Five Thousand nationally as well as Ochres, Spirit: a retrospective and Ibis to the United States, France, Denmark, Germany, India, Japan and Canada. Tyrel was the recipient of the 2019 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer for his standout performance in 30 Years of Sixty Five Thousand. In March 2021, he returned to Meeanjin where he joined the Australasian Dance Collective and made his debut in Succession, the company’s joint production with the Youth Ensemble. In May, he premiered the triple bill production Three, performing works by Melanie Lane (Alterum), Jack Lister (Still Life) and Hofesh Shechter (Cult). Later that year Tyrel had the privilege of performing Forgery, an artificially intelligent designed work created by Alisdair Macindoe and Josh Mu.

Rika is a creative artist from Broome, Western Australia. She is a descendant of the Yawuru, Bardi, Bunaba and Jaru people in the Kimberley Region and also shares Asian and European ancestry. Rika studied at National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA) Dance College where she was awarded their Chairman’s Award in 2014. In 2022 Rika joined Australian Dance Theatre as a performing artist in Tracker. Prior to this, she was a senior artist at Bangarra Dance Theatre where she was involved in their many productions and creative operations since 2015. Rika also shares an interest in movement in film and photography. She has been involved in various works such as Step Into Paradise, a fashion documentary for Australian designers Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee and Lior’s Real Love music video. Currently, Rika is the face of Western Australia’s tourism campaign Walking On a Dream, broadcast nationally and internationally. Here, she is honoured and proud to represent a true image of Australia.

Eastern Arrernte and Gurindji performer Kaine is from Whyalla and based in Kaurna Country: Adelaide. A graduate of NAISDA Sydney, and the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA), Brisbane, Kaine has performed with Leigh Warren and Dancers, performed and choreographed for Bangarra Dance Theatre and is an independent dancer, choreographer and drag performer/ persona ‘Estelle’.

Gary is a musician, composer, educator and a proud Wiradjuri man. After completing a Bachelor in Contemporary Music at Southern Cross University in 2010, Gary moved to Melbourne to pursue further study in performance and teaching at the Victorian College of the Arts and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Gary is also a dedicated educator and has completed a Masters in Secondary Teaching.

Ursula is the writer/performer of works including Magpie Blues, The Man with the Iron Neck and Barbara and the Camp Dogs. Barbara and the Camp Dogs (co written with Alana Valentine) starred Ursula and was nominated for an AWGIE and won Helpmann Awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Actress in a Musical. Previously Ursula won the Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Play in 2007 for her performance in Capricornia. Ursula was the recipient of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award and directed a development of The Fever and the Fret. She was the Assistant Director of Outdated and most recently directed the world premiere of A Letter for Molly for The Ensemble Theatre. Ursula is the voice of ‘Levi’ in the NITV/ SBS children’s animated TV series, Little J & Big Cuz, on which she is also a writer. In addition, she is a multi-award-winning actor. Her film credits include Wayne Blair’s Top End Wedding, Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, Ivan Sen’s Goldstone and Ray Lawrence’s Jindabyne. Ursula can currently be seen on ABC’s Preppers, Amazon’s The Moth Effect, ABC iView’s Wakefield and the second season of the hit drama, Mystery Road. Other television credits include The Code, Devil’s Dust, Redfern Now, The Gods of Wheat Street, Rake, Wanted, Doctor Doctor, The Gamers and most recently Irreverent and The Twelve. Ursula is currently co-writing a feature film, stage play and is involved in the creative development of numerous new works across stage and screen.

Amy is a proud Wiradjuri/Worimi person. Amy is a playwright, director, actor, dramaturg and advocate. They are Creative Associate at ILBIJERRI Theatre Company and a recent graduate of MFA (Directing) at NIDA and hold a Master of Theatre (Playwriting) from VCA. Recent works for theatre include Whitefella Yella Tree (co director, Griffin Theatre company), Benched (director, Darlinghurst Theatre Company, 2022) and Burning (writer/director, NIDA, 2022) Amy regularly directs developments of new works, most recently Phoebe Grainer’s Sugarcane for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award and Dylan Ven Den Berg’s way back when at Darlinghurst Theatre Company. They have worked as assistant director on God’s Country (NIDA, 2022), Metamorphoses (NIDA, 2021), and RENT (Sydney Opera House, 2021). They are also Creative Director of Big Blak Bang, a festival of First Nations storytelling and Artist-in-Residence at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, co-founder of Puddle or Pond Theatre Company, and a sitting co-Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee.

Jonathan works across a range of mediums, from printmaking and drawing to sculpture and film. He creates site-specific installations and interventions into space that use light, subtle shadow and the repetition of shape and form to explore Aboriginal practices, relationships and ideas. At the heart of his practise is the act of collaborating and many projects have seen him work with artists and communities. For several years Jonathan has worked with his Wiradjuri language through the support of and collaboration with Uncle Stan Grant Senior, on projects including the Wagga Wagga weaving welcome, 2013, with Wagga Wagga weavers, installed at Wagga Wagga Regional Airport; guguma guriin (black stump), 2015, at Performance Space, Sydney; guwiinyguliya yirgabiyi ngay yuwin.gu gulbalangidyal ngunhi (they made a solitude and called it peace), 2015, at the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery; barrangal dyara (skin and bones), 2016, Kaldor Public Art Projects; and Defying empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial, 2017, National Gallery of Australia.

James has been in demand as a composer and sound designer writing various blends of traditional Aboriginal and contemporary genres. His diverse skill set has seen him work as a composer (for Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choir), musical director and be commissioned for various theatre and dance productions. The strength in James’ music comes from his diversity. Being a singer/songwriter as well as a covers performer, James toured around the country performing as a solo artist as well as a featured performer on national and international tours with the Black Arm Band and Buried Country. He also occasionally DJs and produces House and Techno music under the alias of ‘Nurra’. Having worked closely with various communities reviving their languages through song and recently completing his fellowship learning about traditional Aboriginal music and finding ways to incorporate it into contemporary contexts and genres, he is able to walk the fine line between what is innovative but remaining culturally appropriate and sensitive. James’ diverse skill set has seen him perform as a guitarist on the Black Arm Band tour of the UK, and as a choir member and guitarist as part of Archie Roach’s Into the Bloodstream tour. His composition skills have attracted commissions from City of Melbourne to compose for experimental medias. James was musical director of Tanderrum for the 2014 Melbourne Festival and the AFL’s Dreamtime at the ‘G. He has also worked with ILBIJERRI as sound designer for the 2017 touring production of Coranderrk and most recently as AV designer for Black Ties.

Chloë is an Indigenous lighting designer based in Perth where she graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2015. Chloë works mostly as a designer but has crossed over into other areas such as production management and event coordination. Chloe was a resident Artist with Black Swan State Theatre Company for two years and assisted on many productions (Assassins, The Events, Xenedies) and even designed her own show (Our Town). Chloë is also a member of the arts collective The Farm where she has designed and production managed a range of shows including Throttle (Matilda Award Nominee), Cockfight (Drover Award Winner), Ninth Wave (Perth Festival 2022), Tide (Helpmann Award Winner) and Depthless. Other highlights of hers include, Spinifex Gum (LD/ALD), Winyan Boga Yurringa (Belvoir, ALD), Fever and the Fret (Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, LD), Bayala (Sydney Festival, Event Coordinator) and Toast (Maiden Voyage Theater Company, LD).

Ailsa completed the Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Design (NIDA) in 2003. She was State Theatre Company SA (STSCA) Resident Designer for 2019. Her design credits include The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (STCSA/STC), Girls and Boys (Sydney Festival/Adelaide Festival), A Christmas Carol and Boxing Day BBQ (Ensemble Theatre), Single Asian Female (STCSA), Chalkface (STCSA/STC), Watershed (Adelaide Festival) and Myth or the Go Between (Gravity and other Myths/Blue Soup Films). Her STCSA credits include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woof, Ripcord, Gaslight, The 39 Steps, Jasper Jones, End of the Rainbow, Creditors, Sense and Sensibility, Switzerland, Romeo and Juliet and Mendelssohn’s Dream (with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra). Other theatre design credits include work for Patch Theatre, Slingsby, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Restless, State Opera of SA, Oz Asia Festival, Ensemble, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Griffin Theatre Company, Pacific Opera, B Sharp Seymour Centre, Sydney Dance Company and Old Fitz /Melbourne Fringe. Ailsa was the recipient of the 2011 Mike Walsh Fellowship.



Co-Director & Choreographer: Daniel Riley
Co-Director: Rachael Maza AM
Writers: Ursula Yovich and Amy Sole
Set Designer: Jonathan Jones
Composer & Sound Designer: James Henry
Composer & Live Musician: Gary Watling
Lighting Designer: Chloë Ogilvie
Costume Designer: Ailsa Paterson
Performers: Tyrel Dulvarie, Rika Hamaguchi, Ella Ferris and Kaine Sultan-Babij
Voiceover: Archie Riley (Wiradjuri)
Dramaturgs: Amy Sole and Jennifer Medway
Project Elders: Aunty Shirley Mathews, Aunty Ann Cribb
Wiradjuri Language Translator: Aunty Dianne Riley McNaboe
Scenic Artist: Merindah Funnell
Producer: Erin Milne
Production Manager: Nathan Evers

Thank yous
Wesley Enoch; Sophie Travers; Sarah Greentree; Xavier O'Shannessy; Chrissie, Archie & Billie Riley

Supported by
We thank and pay our deep respects to members of the Riley family, for their generosity and support in the creation of this work. We acknowledge Wiradjuri people, and their social, spiritual and cultural connection to their traditional land and stories. We extend that respect to Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia where this work has been created over its many stages.

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Boonwurrung People of the Kulin Nation, the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which the Festival takes place, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.

This project was initiated by Daniel Riley and initially commissioned by ILBIJERRI Theatre Company. Produced by Bureau of Works and Australian Dance Theatre.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festivals Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals Inc., commissioned by Sydney Festival, Perth Festival, Adelaide Festival, Rising and Brisbane Festival.

Tracker has also been supported by the Australian Government through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund and the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria; the City of Melbourne through Arts House; Besen Family Foundation; Dubbo Regional Council; Dubbo Regional Theatre & Convention Centre; Annamila Foundation; and the University of Melbourne’s Indigenous Knowledge Institute.

Australian Dance Theatre is supported by the Government of South Australia through the Department of the Premier and cabinet, and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; Tanja Liedtke Foundation; SA Power Networks; Boileau Business Technology; Enoki; Novatech; Quest Apartment Hotels and Schwartz Media.

Image Credit: Jonathan VDK

Image Description: Performer Tyrel Dulvarie is crouching in front of a group of people. They are all wearing blue denim jackets that are marked with beige paint. Tyrel has long curly black hair and is wearing a black jacket.