"Not sure what John Wayne would have thought of it all..." - The Courier Mail, Phil Brown.

“It’s audacious and life affirming as well as just plain exhausting to watch.” - Matilda Awards


2022 Matilda Awards:
The Lord Mayors award for Best New Australian Work
Best Sound Design

Performance History:
Brisbane Festival / Metro Arts
TanzZeit, Berlin
AGITART Figueres Festival MOU, Spain
Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre (GECC)
Dance Massive Site Responsive Showcase, Melbourne

Producer: THE FARM
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 MO

“I am deeply consumed,
I am deeply committed,
I am becoming
a Cowboy.”

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.

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 was created with The Farm as supported by Arts Queensland.

"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




With special thanks to: