The Drovers Wives (world premiere)

A multi-layered synergy of music, dance, adapted text and visuals that provides a compelling insight into our past - and present cultures

The Drover's Wives; a groundbreaking world premiere .Translating historical subjects via movement is always a challenge, but Steamworks under Sally Richardson's expert direction proves itself up to the task. In collaboration with her talented team, she has created a multi-layered synergy of music, dance, adapted text and visuals that provides a compelling insight into our past - and present cultures....a stunningly performed and perfectly realised work of art. (Naomi Millet, PIAF 2006,The West Australian)

Suitable for: Theatre Venues (300+) Technical specifications available on request.

Creative Team:

Devised and Directed: Sally Richardson

Original Score: Iain Grandage

Lighting and Set Design: Andrew Lake

Costume Design: Zoe Atkinson

Video Design: Ashley De Prazer

Choreographed and Performed by: Claudia Alessi, Felicity Bott, Shannon Bott, Jane Diamond & Danielle Micich. (original cast), Rachael Hare, Katrina Lazaroff & Aisling Donovan

Producers: UWA PIAF, Black Swan Theatre Company, and Steamworks Arts Productions

"Sally Richardson's The Drover's Wives is a knockout..You could laud it for it's polished production and fine design: Zoe Atkinson's costumes; Andrew Lake's set and lighting; Ashley de Prazer and Dank Micich 's video design; and Iain Grandage's music. They all create vivid, beautiful and evocative images that could only suggest the Australian outback, but more than that, the show touches the heart...Richardson brilliantly taps into the psyche of an immigrant society that has inherited the idea that where we find ourselves, physically and mentally, is not really home."(Rita Clarke, PIAF 2006,The Australian)

"Sally Richardson has created a uniquely Australian bush story that blends quintessential and endless stories with stunning music, and captivating video imagery...Wryly humourous, and achingly sad...This collaborative work that has been several years in development, works like an epic poem; profoundly beautiful, abstracted, reflective and timeless."(Sarah McNeill, Subiaco Post)

"This style of work makes the whole performance diverse and very rich..The background and shadows of the dancers all became on.....The Audience felt like they were living in the work.."(New Beijing Newspaper ,Xin Jing Bao, Beijing)

"The performance gives people a vivid picture of bush life in Australia....The combination of modern and folk dancing makes this performance most expressive..The multi-media produces a vividly desirable picture of bush life in Australia..This production gives audiences a big picture of how people lived on the land in Australia"(Xin Min Bao Newspaper, Shanghai)

" This production provided a positive shock for Shanghai people who are not used to seeing this style of work before ......People felt involved and captivated by the work."(Nihao, Shanghai - Online addition)

"The Drover's Wives conquered Shanghai Audiences...Its contracted stage scene, fresh contemporary dance and multimedia performance providing Shanghai audiences with a powerful visual attack and pure joy of art."(China National Radio, Shanghai)

"The audiences were excited about the excellent integration between multimedia and the stage performance. In the past, multimedia technology only played a minor role on Beijing's Stage. The objective of multimedia participation can hardly be achieved. However, The Drover's Wives did not only manage to build the bush landscape (by multimedia) it can also construct the overall atmosphere of the show. The multimedia was closely related to the story itself, and accompanied the development of the performance. The audience was deeply moved by the performance."(The Beijing Youth Daily)

"The visual effect was shocking in an amazing way....The Australian images were very vivid arousing people's imagination about Australia...The multi-media images were an inseparable part of the dancing on stage".....All the audience behaved as if they were in a cinema watching a movie...This show was new in style and a most important event to open the 5th Beijing International Dance Festival."(Jing Bao Newspaper, Beijing)


  • 2006 Playhouse Theatre, Perth International Arts Festival
  • 2007 Majestic Theatre, 9th China Shanghai International Arts Festival
  • 2007 Tian Qiao Theatre, 5th Beijing Dance Festival
  • 2008 WA Wheatbelt Festival, Northam WA
  • 2005 Perth International Arts Festival Launch
  • 2004 PIAF Development Showcase
  • 2003 International Women's General Assembly, PerthCreative Development 2002/3 (Koorda & Perth supported by Yirra Yaakin Noongar Theatre Company)
  • 2004 Creative Development/showcase PIAF (in association with Cultural Pursuits)
  • 2005 Creative Development, NORPA, NSW (supported by Australia Council, NSW Ministry, Northern Rivers Performing Arts Creative Labrotary)


Finalist - Best Original Score, 2006 Helpmann Awards
Finalist - Best Female Performer, 2006 Australian Dance Awards
Finalist - WA Ausdance Awards 2006, Outstanding Achievement in Choreography
Winner - WA Ausdance Awards 2006, Award for Technology within Dance (Ashley de Prazer/Dash Visual)
2006 Dance Australia Dance Critics Survey; Best New Work (Rita Clarke, Naomi Millett), Most Interesting Group (Rita Clarke)

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