Carriageworks presents the world premiere of Force Majeure’s new work Off The Record, co-produced in partnership with Dance Integrated Australia from 17-20 August. Off The Record sees Force Majeure returning to Carriageworks after their sell-out success Nothing To Lose for Sydney Festival in 2015.
Featuring a diverse cast of professional artists with and without disability, the production poses the question ‘how much of our ‘true’ selves do we really reveal to the outside world?’
Force Majeure is known for creating works based on the lived experience. Made by an extraordinary creative team led by Force Majeure’s Danielle Micich and Dance Integrated Australia’s Philip Channells, Off The Record is semi-biographical, drawing inspiration from the lives of its five performers. These remarkable artists share their personal, ‘off-the-record’ stories in a powerful performance that melds movement, verbatim storytelling and text by Zoe Coombs Marr. Their stories are heart-warming, sad, touching, confronting, at times ridiculous and ultimately cultivate a shared understanding.
The performers include Melbourne-based contemporary dancer Jana Castillo; actor and disability advocate Alex Jones from Sydney; Guildford-based film, television and theatre actor Gerard O’Dwyer; Sydney-based contemporary dancer Marnie Palomares and actor and AUSLAN interpreter Neil Phipps, also from Sydney.
Off The Record is the second commission under Carriageworks’ National Arts and Disability Strategy New Normal supported by the NSW Government that will see ten new major works over three years developed across contemporary performance, music, dance and visual arts.
Minister for Disability Services John Ajaka commented: “The NSW Government has provided $2.4 million over four years to support people with disability in the arts, whether as participants, creators, audiences or employees. Nurturing the artistic skill and talent of people with disability means we add the voices, vision and presence of people with disability to our performance and arts culture. Off The Record is a brilliant example of this inclusion in action.”
Lisa Havilah, Director of Carriageworks, commented: “Carriageworks continues our commitment with Off The Record to commissioning contemporary work that is relevant and engaged with our audiences and communities.”
Performer and deafness advocate Alex Jones commented about the work: “Off The Record is such a unique work – its about shaking the discomfort out of people’s skin and learning how to really understand people with disability.”
Off The Record is the first work by Force Majeure’s new Artistic Director Danielle Micich who joined the company in 2015. Commenting on the work, Danielle Micich said: “We’ve found five extraordinary, talented artists who are prepared to share deeply personal stories and to give a voice to things that are rarely discussed. I hope Off The Record will be a great example to other organisations to consider working with more diversity.”
In addition to the performance season, Force Majeure will lead a Masterclass on 8 August in partnership with Dance Integrated Australia to introduce participants to the creative process used to create Off The Record. This is a unique opportunity for artists interested in learning about creating work with artists with and without disability.