Good Little Soldier

Australian Premiere: Subiaco Arts Centre – 9-30 July
World premiere:10 May 2013 at Radialsystem V Berlin,Germany.


 I’ve read many articles about PTSD, but never thought about it as much as I did after that performance.  New York Times, 21 June 2013

Good little soldier3Artistic Director Mark Howett is bringing his dynamic Berlin production of Good Little Soldier home to Perth for his second show with Ochre Contemporary Dance Company.  His first Ochre work, Kaya, thrilled local audiences with its dramatic portrayal of cultural clash and collaborations and was described by The West Australian as “A deeply felt, passionate work that feels both hard-won and joyous

 Good Little Soldier, like Kaya, is robust dance theatre, physically breathtaking, emotionally engaging and presented by world class performers. It explores how PTSD infects the families of those afflicted. For Mark, the son of a veteran, this is a deeply personal story.

“In creating Good Little Soldier my aim was to develop a physical dance based on my personal experiences of growing up as the son of a war-damaged soldier.  I wished to investigate veterans’ families common experiences and how it affects and infects the families of those afflicted with the burden of PTSD.”   Mark Howett

Mark HowettMark brings a decade of making theatre and dance in Europe to create a collaborative work of powerful physical theatre.  He has attracted a team of extraordinary artists to the production.

Australia’s renowned international dance makers Gavin Webber and Grayson Millwood reprise their Belin roles of a damaged soldier and the ghost he has brought home from the front. Co3’s Artistic Director Raewyn Hill makes a long-awaited return to performance as the tortured wife and mother

Bringing the work home to country allows an investigation of indigenous perspectives on inter-generational PTSD after 200 years of trauma. Brilliant Nyoongar actor/director/dancer Ian Wilkes plays a second ghost that has come home from war.  The team is completed by the Perth-based musicians Dale Couper, Matthew de la Hunty, Laurie Sinagra (who create a live “industrial” band) and the dramaturg of the Berlin show, Phil Thomson, Company Dramaturg for Ochre Contemporary Dance Company.

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Set in an Australian suburban home the work portrays a returned soldier struggling to return to normal family life. He has brought ghosts home from the war that only he sees. They push him into paranoid behaviour, encouraging the subjugation of his wife and son. The family explodes under the pressure.

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Water drips, milk burns, a wall becomes a landscape. Daily life and trauma merge into part hallucination, part violent reality, part trench humour. The conflict comes home and the hypervigilance of soldiers, life-saving in war, shatters nerves in civilian life.


The production is an exciting collaborative partnership between Ochre Contemporary Dance Company and The Farm (Qld). The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (Department of Veterans’ Affairs) supports the project.  Present and former members of the Defence Forces and Emergency Services and their families will be invited to view rehearsals and help the artists to forge a work of authenticity.

The interview was done by Malti Elliott with the director mark Howett.

 Shadowland Review

Shadowland is an amazing art creation developed by Pilobolus. It consists of dancers producing wonderful shadows that tell a simple story based on the lines of Alice in wonderland. However, unlike Lewis Carroll’s heroine, this girl lacks any outstanding personality traits and her dream journey doesn’t have the driving momentum of danger.shadow1

The dancing and incredible shapes made by the shadows was completely awesome. The visuals highlighted the beauty of the whole experience. The shadow puppetry was totally captivating.

The blend of modern dance, popular music, acrobatics and shadow movement was extremely well done. Because the storyline was so simple, emphasis could be placed on the dance movement which was truly amazing. The dream sequence was extraordinary.shadow2

The concept of a show being based on shadows is amazing and intriguing. I never thought so many beautiful images could be produced by acrobatic bodies contorted over and under each other.

The craftsmanship and skill in executing this show has to be seen to be believed. The strength and agility of the dancers was well balanced by their story telling ability through dance. This is an amazing piece of art, featuring accomplished dancers producing unbelievable shadows.

In conclusion I would like to say the show was innovative, creative and thoroughly entertaining. To find humour in a show like this was another bonus that just contributed to making the entire experience mesmerising. The ending was the greatest finale to Australia and its beauty. I will not tell you about it. – no words can describe the beauty of that experience. It has to be seen to be believed. So book your tickets soon. The show is on at the Regal theatre from 4th August – 7th Augustshadow3

OUR land people stories


Bangarra dance 1One of the most loved dance ensembles in Australia, Bangarra Dance Theatre brings their latest choreographic success, OUR land people stories, to the State Theatre Centre of WA this July. Bangarra returns to Perth after their successful and near sell out season of Patyegarang in 2014.

The dancers’ artistry, athleticism and authenticity drive the company’s reputation as one of Australia’s most loved performing arts group. OUR land people stories has been described as their most ambitious program yet, featuring stories about family, visual arts and Australia’s cultural heritage, performed with immense passion and spirit.

Artistic Director Stephen Page tells the story of internationally acclaimed visual artist Nyapanyapa Yunupingu from North East Arnhem Land. Page has long admired Nyapanyapa’s meditative painting process and this new work speaks to the power of her art, history, spirit and community. Nyapanyapa’s work won her the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2008. Composer Steve Francis, who has previously created scores for eight Bangarra productions, collaborates with Stephen to create a vivid soundscape.

Bangarra dance2Jasmin Sheppard’s Macq (first performed in 2013 during Dance Clan 3) is brought to the main stage, exploring Governor Macquarie and his role in the 1816 Appin massacre. This political and passionate work will open your eyes to a chapter of Sydney’s unsettling colonial history. The music for Macq was composed by David Page in 2013, and was the last piece of music he worked on for the company.

The kinship systems of Wiradjuri Country – the complex familial ties between clans – are explored by WAAPA graduate Beau Dean Riley Smith and Daniel Riley in Miyagan (“our family”, pronounced Me-ya-gun). Blak composer Paul Mac, a Helpmann and ARIA award winner, is creating the music for this work, his second for Bangarra.

Resident designer Jacob Nash designs inspiring sets for each work in the triple bill, complimented with costumes by Jennifer Irwin and lighting by Matt Cox.

The message of hope and resilience runs through the three parts of OUR land people stories, which has been dedicated to Bangarra’s music director David Page .

“It’s so exciting to be on this bill with three artists who have been nurtured right here in our own backyard – they are the next generation of cultural leaders. I’ve always said that, along with community relationships, it’s the dancers who inspire our stories, and its their heritage, their experience, their families and where they come from that permeate our productions; that’s where the heart and spirit comes into it and why our productions are so unique and moving,” says Artistic Director Stephen Page.

“The 17 dancers are entrancing” – The Australian

★★★★ ½ An engrossing and moving experience” – The Sydney Morning Herald

“★★★★Brilliant” – The Guardian

The show is a tribute to David Page by Stephen Page.

The return to Australia of the spectacular masterpiece


Grandsleeping beauty International Concerts’ proudly presents the welcome return to Australia of Moscow Ballet LA CLASSIQUE spectacular masterpiece and ballet’s most loved fairy tale, Tchaikovsky’s  “SLEEPING BEAUTY”, touring nationally in April/May 2015. The great success of Russian Theatre is undoubtedly Classical Ballet and the highly-acclaimed and respected Moscow Ballet LA CLASSIQUE was established in 1990 by its current Artistic Director ELIK MELIKOV and have earned the reputation for their internally-acclaimed ballet skills, lavish costumes and magnificent stage sets – the illustrious Moscow-based will take Australian audiences on a mystical journey to the fairytale world of Princess Aurora, the “Sleeping Beauty”. In this 2-Act fairy tale performance Moscow Ballet LA CLASSIQUE will capture the imagination and the magic of “SLEEPING BEAUTY”, a hugely enjoyable dance spectacular for ballet lovers of all ages.

The dates for this are 3rd and 7th May at the Regal Theatre.