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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

From London Olympics to Lismore Town Hall

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Fresh from working on two street-dance projects for the 2012 London Olympics, acclaimed director/choreographer Shaun Parker is giving an exclusive dance workshop at NORPA during the school holidays for aspiring and experienced dancers (13 years and up) in the region. Shaun Parker will reveal how he creates arresting dance theatre through the use of theatrical tasks and improvisation and by drawing on the talents and skills of the individual. The workshop is open to dancers of all styles across a range of experience.

Shaun has performed with numerous companies including Sydney Theatre Company, Australian Dance Theatre, and Meredith Monk (New York). He is the recipient of many awards including the prestigious Australian Dance Award for Best Independent Production (This Show is About People). Current projects include two new commissions for the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad and a ten-part series on the BBC network’s free-to-air channels about Parker’s latest creation for young audiences, titled Spill.

Shaun Parker will return to NORPA Lismore City Hall on 3 September with his mind-blowing show The Yard, featuring 33 western Sydney teenagers performing everything from tutting, krumping, shuffling and hip-hop to convey life in a western Sydney schoolyard. Most of the dancers were self-taught from watching clips on YouTube.

Shaun himself got into dance as a youngster by chance. As a child Shaun had a severe stutter, which had led to therapy (singing and drama lessons); however, he had never tried dance classes until, aged 13, he watched his sister performing in a local dance-school performance. Afterwards he started ‘pulling off the moves’ as he describes it, turning double pirouettes and drawing the attention of the teacher. ‘She sort of recruited me, so that’s how I started.’

‘I work very much with individual qualities of each performer, building on their strengths, and teaching them new skills throughout the creative process. We always start with a concept or a narrative first, and then layer the movement styles into each dance scene… For example, the kids I work with in The Yard may not always come with a ‘perfect dancer body’ in terms of technique, but this means they have a depth to them, as they’ve not been reliant purely on technique to get them by. They are all incredible individuals – all strong personalities and free thinkers. I am magnetically drawn to this type of performer.’

The workshop is a great opportunity for aspiring and experienced dancers to learn directly more from one of Australia’s most exciting choreographer/directors. Shaun Parker Dance & Movement Workshop at NORPA Studio, Lismore City Hall, Saturday 14 July, 11am. $15.

13-plus years. Numbers are strictly limited. Bookings at NORPA box office 1300 066 772 (Mon–Fri 9am–2pm) or online at www.norpa.org.au.

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