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2007 Media Release - This Show Is About People

Issued Thursday, November 1 2007


Director and Choreographer Shaun Parker
Musical Director and Composer Mara Kiek
Co-musical Director Llew Kiek
Designer Robert Cousins
Sound Designer Peter Kennard
Lighting Designer Niklas Pajanti
Dramaturge Veronica Neave
Producer Margarite Pepper Productions
Collaborative Performers Anton, Matt Cornell, Marnie Palomares, Guy Ryan
Collaborative Musicians Jarnie Birmingham, Silvia Entcheva, Llew Kiek, Mara Kiek, Nick Wales, Tobias Cole

“Shaun Parker is a creative force to be reckoned with.” The Advertiser

“Exquisitely delicate…a splendid group of artists.” The Australian

“An intricate and expressive work manipulated by music and machinery…dangerous and daring.” 
Sydney Morning Herald

This Show Is About People takes the stirring music of traditional Bulgarian folk songs, mixes it with Renaissance countertenors, and layers them both with robust high-impact dance.  This Show Is About People is a daring music-theatre-dance collaboration between choreographer and counter-tenor Shaun Parker and renowned musicians and vocalists, Mara and Llew Kiek.

This Show Is About People deftly integrates movement and sound.  The earthy and gentle live score of singing and acoustic guitar provides a counterpoint to the aggressive physicality of the movement language, while the brusque rhythms of the dancers provide a kind of percussive musical accompaniment.

The work uses its ten-strong ensemble of vocalists and dancers to spin a compelling web exploring the finer details of human experience.  The dance, with its own layers of intricate gestures and furious acrobatics, is fused with a sensitive array of vocal music, ranging from modern gospel and spoken word to songs from Medieval Europe, and the hair-raising vocal music of Bulgaria and popular songs of hope.

This Show Is About People demonstrates the power we have to affect the behaviour of others, both positively and negatively.  Without shying away from disturbing acts of violence, the work also shows how a sense of fun and capacity for joy depends as much on others as on ourselves.

Director, writer, choreographer, designer and performer Shaun Parker has worked both nationally and internationally as a dancer and counter-tenor.  Parker has worked across music, dance and theatre, appearing with Australian Dance Theatre, Force Majeure, The Song Company, Chunky Move, Sydney Theatre Company and State Theatre Company of South Australia.  Internationally, Parker has worked with Sasha Walz in Berlin, Meredith Monk in New York and Compagnie ALIAS in Switzerland.

Parker’s commissioned choreography on Divine Harmonies for Tasdance, and My Little Garden (1998 Barossa International Music Festival) earned him an Emerging Artist of the Year Award.  Parker’s short dance films No and Blue Love have screened at various international dance-film festivals with Blue Love being developed into a full-length theatre work touring to Berlin and Adelaide, and playing to sell-out houses at The Studio at Sydney Opera House in 2005.  Parker has appeared on stage as well as in the feature films Book of Revelation, Edge of the World and Moulin Rouge.  In 2006 Parker was awarded the biennial Robert Helpmann Scholarship.

Musical director and composer Mara Kiek is acclaimed worldwide for her distinctive voice.  As an Australian authority on Bulgarian vocal technique and folk music, her musical career has included performing and recording folk, early music, rock, film soundtracks and contemporary improvised music.  Kiek is the founder of the multi-Aria-winning world music ensemble Mara!, the Bulgarian women’s choir, Martenitsa, and performs with the early music ensemble Sinfonye.

Co-musical director Llew Kiek is one of Australia’s foremost ethnic and medieval plucked-string players. He is also a producer, composer and arranger and scorer of film soundtracks including Babe: Pig in the City, Passion, Soft Fruit, Three Dollars and the IMAX feature Equus.

This Show Is About People is part of Sydney Festival’s About An Hour Mover & Shakers series.
Please note that This Show Is About People contains nudity and a loud soundtrack.

Where: Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House Bennelong Point, East Circular Quay
When: January 23–26 at 9.00pm
Duration: 1hr 15mins, no interval
Price: $25
Bookings: Sydney Opera House  02 9250 7777


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