I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land upon which I live and work, and pay respects to all first nations elders past present and future.

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"I am deeply consumed, 
I am deeply committed, 
I am becoming, 
A Cowboy."

- Michael Smith

COWBOY​​ is an interactive, solo contemporary-dance work that unpacks ones ability to have a complete, genuine and meaningful experience as an imagined self. An original sound-score composed by Ben Ely transforms our surroundings into that of a Western Film.

"From surfing trains and taming horses to wandering the desert, Cowboy holds a deeper inquiry into the existence of human persona beyond fantasy. By committing entirely to the iconography of a cowboy, I seek to expose desires and vulnerabilities that exist in our pursuit to form identity."

- Michael Smith

COWBOY utilises its performance space to create both intimate settings and vast, open landscapes with a free-roaming audience. The work is site 'adaptable', tailoring the imagined reality to both indoor and outdoor locations, day or night. Michael operates the show from the inside, using a bluetooth remote to cue tracks and sound effects that transform active audience-members into saloon doors, brawlers, pianists, and other instruments of the Western world. Cowboy is poignantly humorous yet sensitive, where Michael's attempt for self-realisation and connection resonates beyond the fantasy. 


COWBOY first previewed at Brisbane's The Angry Mime in 2017. Its first-stage development was supported by South Bank Corporation's Flowstate in 2018, with a further second-stage development with The Farm as supported by Arts Queensland

Saddle up for the ride!

Performance History:

TanzZeit, Berlin

AGITART Figueres Festival MOU, Spain 

Dance Massive Site Responsive Showcase, Melbourne



Choreographer/Performer: Michael Smith

Sound Composition: Ben Ely

Sound Design: Anna Whitaker

Lighting / Production: Chloe Ogilive 
Producer: The Farm
Co-producer: Liesel Zink
Mentor: Gavin Webber
Dramaturgy: Gavin Webber, Marty Coutts, Liesel Zink

Images: Anne Moffett, Abbotsford Convent

Videography: The Jump TV, AGITART Figueres Festival MOU