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2007 Media Release - The Age Im In

Issued Thursday, November 1 2007


Choreography Kate Champion
Set / Lighting Designer Geoff Cobham
Costume Designer Bruce McKnvin
Sound Designer Mark Blackwell
Visual Artist William Yang
Audio Visual Producer Tony Melov
Production Stage Manager Martin Langthorne
Deputy Stage Manager Erin Daly
Audio Visual Technician Neil Jensen
Dancers Marlo Benjamin, Maggie Blinko, Samuel Brent, Tilda Cobham Hervey, Vincent Crowley, Daniel Daw, Brian Harrison, Roz Hervey, Kirstie McCracken, Veronica Neave, Byron Perry

“[Kate Champion] is a rare talent, and whatever she does next must be immediately labelled ‘don’t miss’.” The Bulletin

The Age I’m In is a revealing portrait of Australia, through the lives of people aged between eight and eighty.  Using insights gained from a series of in-depth interviews with a cross section of Australians, The Age I’m In seeks to gauge just how predictable or surprising our opinions and experiences really are.

How much does age affect experience of the here and now?  What does loneliness mean to a 78 year old compared to an 18 year old?  Is 48 the new 38?  Are both the 58 year old and the 28 year old contemplating plastic surgery?  Is technology equally as baffling for a 42 year old as it is for a 32 year old?  Do all 12 year olds think it’s just the norm?

Choreographer Kate Champion has used a random and diverse selection of interviewees to gather some startlingly personal responses to questions ranging from drugs, nudity and lying, to loneliness and plastic surgery.  Champion’s company, Force Majeure, is renowned for its signature style of translating complex psychological and emotional states into inventive and accessible physical language.  Their new work, The Age I'm In, draws out pertinent aspects of generational difference and translates them into an illuminating and transfixing dance-theatre performance.

The Age I’m In uses custom-made audiovisual technology to create an unprecedented symbiosis with the physical action of the performers.  Screens and lip-synching, sound bytes and minutely-detailed choreographic gestures push the material into the realm of our collective imagination where the social, public facade is punctured by an unguardedly personal honesty.

Through The Age I’m In Champion seeks to create a deeply humane dance-theatre performance inspired by the need to reflect and question our often contradictory shared humanity.  The work’s seemingly disparate series of question and answers have been woven together to create an intimate snapshot of Australia today.

Sydney born Kate Champion studied dance in both Australia and Germany.  She has worked with a number of Australia’s best-known contemporary dance companies, beginning with One Extra Company, and becoming a founding member of Dance North before joining Australian Dance Theatre.

When living in London in the early 1990s, Champion worked with DV8 Physical Theatre’s artistic director Lloyd Newson, both as production assistant and performer on the works Strange Fish, Enter Achilles, The Happiest Days of My Life and The Cost of Living.  Newson’s distinctive approach to research and development, to drawing out the connection between meaning and movement, and of addressing issues of currency, has had significant influenced on Champion’s work.

Throughout the 1990s, Champion began choreographing solo works, as well as working with companies such as Company B (choreographer for Cloudstreet) and Legs On the Wall (devised and directed Under the Influence).  In 2001, Champion was commissioned by Sydney Opera House to premiere a solo show, About Face.  This was followed by Same Same But Different, co-commissioned for Sydney and Melbourne Festivals in 2002.

Formed in 2002, Force Majeure (meaning an irresistible compulsion or coercion) is the dance-theatre company led by Champion as artistic director, together with associate directors Geoff Cobham and Roz Hervey.  Force Majeure is a collective of artists from varying disciplines who are committed to creating stimulating movement-based theatre.  Force Majeure's imperative is to make performance that challenges expectations and opinions, and communicates clearly yet inventively on relevant contemporary issues.  Force Majeure aims to break boundaries of dance, theatre and performance art, so that audiences can approach without burden of definition.

The Age I’m In is Force Majeure’s third work for Sydney Festival, after Same Same But Different (2002) and Already Elsewhere (2005).  The Age I’m In is part of Sydney Festival’s About An Hour Mover & Shakers series.

Where: Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House Bennelong Point, East Circular Quay
When: Preview January 7 at 7.30pm
January 8–11 at 7.30pm. January 12 at 4.30pm & 7.30pm
Duration: 60mins, no interval
Price: $25
Bookings: Sydney Opera House  02 9250 7777


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