SHAUN PARKER & COMPANY
Happy as Larry is brilliantly choreographed, flawlessly and joyously performed, and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. I literally sat on the edge of my seat.
It’s smiles all round – on stage and in the audience. You have to welcome a dance piece about happiness… delightful.
Sydney Morning Herald
As long as we have people like Shaun Parker creating shows, there is no need to fear for the future of arts in Australia. His work possesses a confidence and ingenuity that make him one of the most interesting artists in his field, level of experience not withstanding…Parker has created a spectacularly funny, playful, poignant, unpretentious piece of theatre that is so much more than dance…It is witty, at times deliciously nostalgic and such a fascinating examination of human behaviour, it is hard to leave feeling anything other that happy as Larry.
The Daily Telegraph
This is a stunning and awe-inspiring production full of vibrancy, muscularity and stunning feats of physical precision. Utterly unpretentious, fun, energetic and surges with intensity. This will be the hot dance ticket of any festival and I urge you to see it if you can!
Delivered with such accomplishment and ease, the company are given extended applause and make this a feast for the senses. Shaun Parker’s background in music, choreography, physical theatre and dance make this work a must see in the future. The contemporariness is riveting, but the emotional tenure of this work is unique and inspiring – a joy to behold!
A talented cast, gathered from all over Australia, dance their hearts out. They are stunning: precise, nimble, surprising and technically excellent as well as being stand out performers who know how to connect with the audience. They fill every inch of the performance space with an intoxicating mix of gusto and lack of pretension. Shaun Parker is impressive as the choreographer. As well as the immaculate casting, the production elements are superbly integrated. Nick Wales and Bree Van Reyk co-composed the music. I believe this is their third collaboration with Parker and there is an obvious synergy with the movement and dramatic intent on stage. It is a varied score, rather like the choreographic language, from driving hip hop derivative beats to luscious string based sounds that augment beautifully the emotions being explored through the dancers bodies. In some ways the set is another star in the show: designed by Adam Gardiner, it is brilliant. Consisting of a large rectangular box that sits vertically in the space on rollers, it serves firstly as a blackboard with Dean Cross, who is also a visual artist, expressing his inner thoughts and feelings with chalk throughout the performance. The piece orbits around his brilliant dancing and stage presence…In Happy as Larry a living, breathing world is created that is fresh and intoxicating; Parker and his virtuosic team have created a charmer. Yes the quest is constant and the object elusive but one thing is for sure: the audience were certainly HAPPY at the end of this performance!
Watching the episodes that Mr Parker and his Performers have selected is an easy task of wonder and appreciation. The individual gifts of the Performers are mesmerizing and individual enough to keep one delighted and then the subsuming of the eccentricities for the choreographing of ensemble energies of ‘dance’ are expert enough to be exhilarating. The work has a feel of a refreshing dousing of cool water on a hot and humid day
Kevin Jackson’s Theatre Reviews
…a show like this throws colour onto the confusion and asks us to celebrate our differences, enjoy some of
the small things and think about what we plan to do with this wild and precious life
Lola The Festival blogger
…it’s one of the highlights of the 2010 program. It doesn’t ‘interrogate’ or strip a major classic down to rubble and rebuild it. If it shows off it’s in the cutest, nicest way. Humane and humorous it avoids the grandious, the large statement: but it’s no less rich in texture, commitment from the artists, or craft because of that. Enjoy a happy ending that is well and truly earned – by both audiences and performers.
This high-action, high-colour work began with an intriguing and universal premise that “happiness is our most singular human pursuit” and it is an objective to explore human happiness. Nine performers give their individual take in dance and movement in the pursuit of this elusive state of ‘being’ and succeed in different measure to raise our doubts and assuage our queries…Each dancer brought their own strengths to their definition/search. The internalised and infectious glee of Ghenoa Gela; the intriguing chalk drawing and taut emotions of Dean Cross; the constant caring and gentleness of Miranda Wheen; the maniacal dream ballerina of a loose-limbed Harriet Ritchie; the surly expression and glorious one-up-manship of Matt Cornell; the joy, elevation and vivacity of Josh Mu; the crazy roller-skating hippie of Lee Wilson and the meticulous Marnie Palomares ultimately connected in a robotic street dance in tight unison.
The work is a delight… full of the unexpected and the virtuosic