There’s no doubt that Australian choreographer Shaun Parker is interested in people. Whether it’s teaching migrant kids in Western Sydney, exploring the tribalism that underpins our culture, performing in kids’ playgrounds, or delving into the very beginnings of our species, his work is always about trying to understand and express what it is to be human.
“I wanted to tell the history of mankind from the big bang to where we are now in five minutes using only hands and fingers. I was dealing with such an epic topic I needed to do something ridiculous like hand animation to tell the story! It took me three weeks to choreograph that five-minute sequence. Every nanosecond had to be an authentic representation of what was going on in the universe. Hey, if I’m going to honour the universe, I’ve got to make it really bloody good!”
Shaun Parker is talking about his latest dance work AM I. Fresh off the plane from presenting its European premiere at Germany’s Movimentos Festival, Shaun is rugged up in a red and white beanie and a bright green hoodie. After being labelled the ‘what’s hot’ of dance in Europe, he’s still adjusting to the Sydney winter.
INTERVIEW BY MELITA ROWSTON