Fresh from making two new works for the London Cultural Olympiad, Shaun Parker has just returned to Australia with an Argus Angel Award given “in recognition of artistic excellence at Brighton Festival and Fringe”.
Parker was in the UK at the invitation of London’s Cultural Olympiad to create two outdoor works. He came up with Spill for DanceXchange and the International Dance Festival of Birmingham and Trolleys for the Without Walls Consortium. Spill premiered on May 8 to critical acclaim and will play in 46 playgrounds across the West Midlands over three months. Featuring four multi-skilled dance and physical theatre artists, the work has also been commissioned as a ten part series via the BBC’s free to air digital network.
Meanwhile, Parker also created Trolleys, an outdoor street ballet for five supermarket trolleys, was created for London’s C-12 Dance Theatre. It premiered last month at Brighton Festival and took out the Argus Angel Award for Best Work. Trolleys will play five other festivals including Greenwich & Docklands at Canary Wharf. Both works feature music composed by Aria-Award winning Sydney composer Nick Wales (Sarah Blasko, CODA).
2011 saw Shaun Parker’s Australian major festival hit Happy as Larry tour across the United Kingdom to 10 venues including sold-out seasons at London’s prestigious Sadler’s Wells and the Brighton Dome before touring – to critical acclaim, sell-out performances and standing ovations at the Total Danse Festival in La Reunion, France.
Back in Sydney, he is now busy rehearsing for a NSW tour of The Yard, featuring 33 teenagers from Western Sydney Catholic Schools and inspired by William Golding's Lord of the Flies.
The Yard depicts the daily reality of conflict and division, the tension and humour of life as experienced by these students, and deals with everything from bullying and peer pressure through to learning the latest street dance moves off Youtube.
The production was a hit with the critics at its preview Seymour Centre season in 2011 and now is set for a NSW tour including Riverside Theatres in Parramatta. The work has already garnered strong interest from International Children’s Festivals.
Parker says this has been one of the most uplifting and rewarding experiences of his artistic career. “These kids are raw, talented and truly exceptional artists. It’s a thrill to work with them!”
View a trailer of the work here
- Wollongong on June 27
- Illawarra Performing Arts Centre Wollongong June 27
- Riverside Theatres Parramatta August 28-29
- Northern Rivers Performing Arts Centre September 3
- Glasshouse Port Macquarie September 5