[Art News]      [Submit]      [BOOST News]

The Yard

BY MGM | 12-Jul-2012
Inspired by William Golding's Lord Of The Flies, THE YARD breathes new life into this classic by way of the Australian school yard. Taut with tension, humour and extraordinary performances, THE YARD fuses breakdance with locking, shuffling, popping, tutting, krumping, and jerking; forms of dance found on the streets and school yards of Western Sydney. THE YARD is playing at Illawarra Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday, 27 June and Riverside Theatres on Tuesday, 28 & Friday 29 August.
Venue: Riverside Theatres
Address: Cnr Church and Market Sts, Parramatta
Time: Tue 28 & Fri 29 12:30pm & 7.30pm
Ticket: Adult $26, Student $22*

Set in a western Sydney schoolyard, the work's intention is to depict the daily reality of conflict and division, ultimately finding unity in the diversity of culture, gender and ethnicity and deals with issues faced by youth in the playground such as bullying and peer pressure. Featuring a company of dancers made up of thirty-three Western Sydney teenagers from the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, Shaun Parker has drawn on the cultural performance traditions of students for choreographic inspiration with many hailing from diverse backgrounds, including newly arrived students from Sudan and Nigeria.

Set to an electro acoustic score by Nick Wales, Parker has fused hard hitting contemporary dance with break dance, locking, popping, tutting, krumping and jerking - forms of dance found on the streets and in the school yards of Western Sydney. The Yard is taut with the tension and humour of conflicts played out every day as it celebrates the extraordinary in the ordinary. “Through performance, diversity of race, gender, street culture and activity is explored. We have tried to present the creative tension bubbling away in our suburban melting pots, and its reflections on our broader multicultural society.

This has been one of the most uplifting and rewarding experiences of my artistic career. These kids are raw, talented and truly exceptional artists,” said Choreographer, Shaun Parker. Shaun Parker has worked extensively over 17 years as a choreographer, dancer, physical theatre performer and counter-tenor. His performance credits include work with Meryl Tankard ADT, Kate Champion, Sydney Theatre Company, Chunky Move, The Song Company, State Theatre Company (of SA), Compagnie ALIAS (Switzerland), Meredith Monk (New York) and Sasha Waltz (Berlin). Parker's self-devised physical theatre and dance works have toured to Germany, Asia, New Zealand and across Australia.

Last year Shaun Parker & Company toured to 10 venues across the UK, including a sold season at London’s prestigious Sadler’s Wells, via the United Kingdom’s Dance Touring Partnership (DTP) network for Shaun’s latest hit Happy As Larry – which was created through the Australian Major Festivals Initiative – with 2010 seasons presented by Sydney Festival, Perth Festival, Brisbane Festival and the New Zealand International Arts Festival, receiving a nomination for the Australian Dance Awards Most Outstanding Production category. This year, Parker has created two works for the London Cultural Olympiad.

SPILL for the international Dance Festival Birmingham, and TROLLEYS for the Without Walls Consortium. SPILL has been made in to a ten part series for the BBC Network whilst TROLLEYS just won 'The Argus Angel Award' for Best Work at the Brighton Festival.

Shaun Parker is particularly adept at revealing and nurturing the individual skills and unique presence of each of his performers The Australian Stage The Yard is both joyful and poignant, expressing a living contemporary dance language....a standout performance Dance Informa The participating schools in The Yard are: St Agnes Catholic High -Rooty Hill St Clare Catholic College-Hassall Grove Loyola Senior High School-Mount Druitt Caroline Chisholm Girls Catholic College-Glenmore Park St Patricks Marist College-Dundas