Presented by Brisbane Festival & Metro Arts

Yee-haw! Featuring a mesmerising original score composed by Ben Ely (Regurgitator), set in an imagined sweeping landscape of a classic old western, Cowboy is an interactive, solo contemporary dance work.

From surfing trains to taming horses to wandering the desert, this work unpacks your ability to have a complete, genuine, and meaningful experience as an imagined self.

Saddle up and enter the world of Cowboy for a poignantly funny yet sensitive ride.


7:30pm, 4 & 5 September 2020
2:00pm, 5 & 6 September 2020


New Benner Theatre
Metro Arts @ West Village


General Admission $15 + booking fee


Michael Smith – Performer / Creator
Ben Ely – Music Composer 
Anna Whitaker – Sound Designer
Chloe Ogilvie – Lighting / Production
Gavin Webber – Mentor / Dramaturgy
Martyn Coutts – Dramaturgy
Liesel Zink – Dramaturgy
Produced by The Farm
Special Thanks to The Angry Mime and South Bank Corporation’s ‘Flowstate’. 

Image by Anne Moffett. 


We take the safety of our patrons, staff and artists seriously. Metro Arts is operating in line with current Queensland Government guidelines and the Stage QLD COVIDSafe Industry Plan. If you are unwell, please refrain from attending events at Metro Arts. Maintaining physical distancing requirements is expected and is the individuals responsibility. Click here for more information. 



Michael Smith is an Australian dancer and choreographer working within contemporary dance, dance-theatre, film and installation. Michael’s work often questions the traditional roles of audience and space – traversing active participation and audience as allies. He places the body within state driven processes as a basis for choreography, allowing these to form  imagined realities that draw parallels between fantasy and reality.

Michael’s work has been performed across platforms such as Dance Massive Site Responsive Showcase, Ars Electronica (Austria), TanzZiet (Berlin), AGITART Figueres Festival MOU (Spain), Japan Media Arts Festival, STRUT Dance WA SEED Residency, Metro Arts, Sunshine Coast Arts Prize and South Bank Corporations ‘Flowstate’. In support of Michael’s emerging choreographic practice, he is currently a recipient of the Brisbane City Council Lord Mayors Fellowship (2019-2020), enabling opportunities across Europe and Israel.

Michael is currently an artist with The Farm, a dance-theatre company based on Yugambeh land / the Gold Coast. He has also worked for companies and organisations such as STRUT Dance (DecaDance, Ohad Naharin), QAGOMA (William Forsythe’s ‘Fact of Matter’, Nick Caves ‘HEARD’) and Opera Australia (King Roger). 

As a freelance performer and maker, Michael has worked with independent artists including Liesel Zink, Cass Mortimer-Eipper, Paul Selwyn Norton, Guy Shomroni and Yaniv Abraham, Matt Cornell (Dirty Feet), Lizzie and Zaimon Vilmanis (Prying Eye), Nerida Matthaei (Phluxus2), Gareth Belling (Collusion Music and Dance), Amalia Pica (IMA), Vanessa Mafe-Keane, Courtney Scheu and Liz Lea.

Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours, First Class – Dance Performance in 2014 from Queensland University of Technology (QUT).


Based on the Gold Coast with roots in Berlin, The Farm have been described as the gateway drug to contemporary dance. Our company’s artistic nerve centre is led by Gavin Webber, Grayson Millwood, Kate Harman, Michael Smith and Chloe Ogilvie. 

Often characterised as cinematic, our work is based on universal subjects and themes that matter and we are driven by a desire to connect to anyone, from dance and theatre virgins to aficionados and professionals. Finally and perhaps most importantly, The Farm create contemporary performances that transcend expectations of what dance can be, and how and where it should be viewed.

Our collaborative processes have been running for over 15 years and seen across four continents. The Farm works out of Queensland but retains and builds on its national and international pedigree and touring record. Touring highlights include Venice Biennale, Tanzplattform (Germany), Barbican Theatre, Europe, Canada and Australia.


Cowboy was supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
Brisbane Festival is an initiative of the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.