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2007 Media Release - Construct

Issued Thursday, November 1 2007


Director and Choreography Tanja Liedtke
Artistic Associate Solon Ulbrich
Production Manager Paul Cowley
Set and Lighting Design Ben Cobham, Geoff Cobham
Dancers Kristina Chan, Alessandra Mattana, Paul White

“Construct is a small-scale marvel…one of those bolts from the blue.” The Times, London

Candid, complex and clever, Construct is a dance work that exposes the dark underside of dream-building. 

Tanja Liedtke’s ambitious choreographic vision is unmistakable.  Construct fixes a wicked gaze on the razor-thin edge between aspiration and ambition, and the curious connections between building a home, a relationship and a life.  A love triangle of sorts, Construct is a tongue-in-cheek observation of the desire to build the perfect life and evokes the domestic with an unexpected twist.

Construct parallels the way that theatre is consciously constructed through the process of building a set and scenes, and the construction of the relationships and homes in which we play out our lives.  Members of the audiences are drawn in to help build part of the set, its subsequent demolition hinting at the ways constructed lives can fall apart.

Liedtke’s choreographic style is marked by density, wit and clarity and features high physicality within a theatrical context.  In May 2007, Liedtke was appointed artistic director of Sydney Dance Company based on her credentials of a broadly ambitious choreographic vision.  Her appointment was regarded as an opportunity to take both the Company and contemporary dance in Australia to new levels and in new directions.  Sydney Festival approached her at this time to discuss her being part of the 2008 program.  Her sudden death in August 2007 was just weeks prior to taking on the role at SDC.

Construct was originally performed by Liedtke with dancers Kristina Chan and Paul White, both of whom have performed with Australian Dance Theatre.  The Sydney season will see Chan and White joined by Alessandra Mattana.

Born in Germany, Liedtke grew up in Spain. She started dancing at aged four and trained at the International Dance Centre in Madrid.  Moving to England with her parents, she studied at Elmhurst Ballet School and completed her final year of training at Rambert School of Ballet.  Leidtke came to Australia in her late teens, joining Australian Dance Theatre in 1999, where she stayed for four years.  During the ADT’s London tour of Birdbrain, she invited DV8’s Lloyd Newson to see a performance.  He subsequently engaged her for both The Cost of Living and Just for Show.

Liedtke worked from the tradition of physical theatre underpinned by strong social commentary.  Bearing the traces of her time spent working with Garry Stewart at ADT, and the European sensibility of her collaborations with Lloyd Newson’s DV8, Leidtke also cited the energy, physical vocabulary and culture of breakdance as a powerful influence.

In 2006 Liedtke received the Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography.  Her first full-length work, Twelfth Floor, was highly acclaimed.  In early 2007 Liedtke created Imploded: Une Reverie Romantique for Scotland’s David Hughes Dance Company.  Construct premiered at London’s Southbank Centre in May 2007, before touring the UK.

Construct is part of Sydney Festival’s About An Hour Movers and Shakers series.

Where: Playhouse, Sydney Opera House Bennelong Point, East Circular Quay
When: Preview: January 9 at 9.00pm. January 10–11 at 9.00pm. January 12 at 6.00pm & 9.00pm. January 13 at 6.00pm
Bookings: Sydney Opera House  02 9250 7777


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