"I am deeply consumed,
I am deeply committed,
I am becoming,
- 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!
AGITART Figueres Festival MOU, Spain
Dance Massive Site Responsive Showcase, Melbourne
Choreographer/Performer: Michael Smith
Sound Composition: Ben Ely
Sound Design: Anna Whitaker
Images: Anne Moffett, Abbotsford Convent
Videography: The Jump TV, AGITART Figueres Festival MOU