OFF THE RECORD MEDIA RELEASE | 6 JUL 2016
July 6, 2016
CARRIAGEWORKS PREMIERES FORCE MAJEURE’S OFF THE RECORD IN PARTNERSHIP WITH DANCE INTEGRATED AUSTRALIA
BOLD NEW WORK FROM AUSTRALIA’S LEADING EXPONENT OF DANCE THEATRE
Sydney, Australia: 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.
OFF THE RECORD PREMIERE SEASON
17-18 AUG 8PM
19 AUG 1PM & 8PM
20 AUG 2PM & 8PM
BOOKINGS – www.carriageworks.com.au
MON 8 AUG, 10AM-4PM
BOOKINGS – firstname.lastname@example.org
Directors Danielle Micich and Philip Channells
Text Dramaturg Zoe Coombs Marr
Set & Lighting Design Benjamin Cisterne
Sound Design Kingsley Reeve
Performers Jana Castillo, Alex Jones, Gerard O’Dwyer, Marnie Palomares, Neil Phipps
Sign Language Interpretation and Open Captioning – Off The Record will be AUSLAN interpreted by performer Neil Phipps and surtitled.
Audio Description – Performances of Off The Record will be Audio Described on request.
Venue Access – Carriageworks has wheelchair ramp and level access at all entrances. There is level access and accessible seating available in all venues. Toilets are fully accessible.
ABOUT CARRIAGEWORKS: Carriageworks presents a contemporary multi-arts program that engages artists and audiences with contemporary ideas and issues. The program is artist led and emerges from Carriageworks’ commitment to reflecting social and cultural diversity. The Carriageworks Artistic Program is ambitious, risk taking and unrelenting in its support of artists. Carriageworks is a cultural facility of the NSW Government and is supported by Arts NSW. The Carriageworks program can be viewed at http://www.carriageworks.com.au
ABOUT FORCE MAJEURE: Led by Artistic Director Danielle Micich, Force Majeure produces critically acclaimed dance theatre. The company is based around a collective of multi-disciplinary artists committed to creating stimulating movement-based theatre. Artists include dancers, actors, writers, visual artists, musicians, composers and filmmakers. Since its inception Force Majeure has created six major works, two collaborative works and a short film series. This highly produced body of work engages with and questions contemporary culture using intelligence, pathos, humour and insight. Force Majeure is also dedicated to supporting the development of dance theatre in Australia. www.forcemajeure.com.au
ABOUT DANCE INTEGRATED AUSTRALIA: Dance Integrated Australia creates new collaborative opportunities for artists from diverse backgrounds to access, participate in and enjoy dance of the highest quality. At the core of our work, Dance Integrated Australia provides creative advocacy for its community of dancers, choreographers and practitioners who value, challenge, redefine and inform our different perspectives of contemporary life. Dance Integrated Australia is an Associate Organisation of Ausdance NSW 2016 – 2018. http://philipchannells.com/
ABOUT NEW NORMAL: New Normal is a national strategy initiated by Carriageworks for the development of contemporary disability arts practice. New Normal will see 10 major works commissioned over three years and presented within the Carriageworks Artistic Program. In commissioning Simple Infinity, Carriageworks supported the work’s creative development as part of Carriageworks In Development in 2015 and will present Simple Infinity as part of the 2016 Artistic Program.
Danielle Micich – Co-Director
Danielle Micich is a choreographer, director and performer.
Graduating from Victorian College of the Arts she relocated to Perth as a company dancer for Buzz Dance Theatre, toured internationally with Squint and was a recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts ‘Young and Emerging’ grant.
Danielle was the Artistic Director of STEPS Youth Dance Company for four years. In 2011 she performed in Night Train Productions’ Wish with Humphrey Bower winning a West Australian Dance award for Outstanding Female Performer and Blue Room Theatre awards for Best Individual Performance and Members Choice. Wish was remounted for Perth Theatre Company’s 2014 season.
In 2012 Danielle was commissioned to create work for Buzz Dance Theatre and QL2, and was the Assistant Director on Force Majeure and Belvoir’s co-production Food. In 2013 she choreographed Black Swan Theatre Company’s Flood and Barking Gecko Theatre Company’s Driving Into Walls which was nominated for a 2013 Helpmann Award, won a 2013 Equity Guild award and later toured to Sydney Opera House.
In 2014 Danielle was Assistant Director on Sydney Theatre Company’s Perplex and choreographed Barking Gecko Theatre Company’s 1507. Her work Shiver — which was invited to perform at the 2012 Australian Dance Awards — toured regional Western Australia. She also premiered new work Overexposed at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia.
Philip Channells – Co-Director
Philip Channells is the founder and Creative Director of Dance Integrated Australia, and is an Ambassador to the Bundanon Trust ‘Artist in Residence’ program. His knowledge, skills and experience of working in dance and the disability sectors in Australia and abroad over the past 15 years has given him credibility as Australia’s leading disability-inclusive dance practitioner.
The ongoing relationship between Accessible Arts and Philip Channells has resulted in an influx of activity for integrated dance in NSW since 2010. In his role as Artistic Director of Restless Dance Theatre, Channells led the Beyond Technique ‘Searching for Authenticity’ masterclass as part of the Arts Activated Conference. This was followed by his involvement in the Catalyst Dance Symposium 2011 where he was a panellist with Rafael Bonachela, Tim Podesta and Sarah-Vyne Vassallo and led the masterclass at this event.
As one of the key facilitators and choreographers of the Catalyst Dance Masterclass Series in 2012 and 2013, Channells directed 40 dancers with and without disability in the series finale, Second Skin, and mentored four choreographic assistants throughout the creative process. The Second Skin theme was repeated again in the following year’s program with choreographers’ Sue Healey and Dean Walsh adding to the triple bill program with Channells and Vassallo providing expert guidance over the proceedings.
Channell’s commitment to the development of dance in Australia has been a significant contribution to the success of the Catalyst program. His expertise in developing dancers’ individual strengths and drawing from their life experiences to generate new dance theatre performances with a difference is an extraordinary talent. With this he continues to inform our perspectives of people living with disability and adds to the changing cultural landscape of dance in Australia with great success.
Off The Record is commissioned by Carriageworks for the National Arts and Disability Strategy New Normal.
The project is supported by the NSW Government through the NSW Department of Family and Community Services and Arts NSW and by devolved funding administered by Accessible Arts (AARTS) on behalf of the Lifetime Care and Support Authority (LTCSA)