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He already had Lord of the Flies in mind, but choreographer Shaun Parker learned a few things about survival from these real school kids

Loosely based on Lord of the Flies, award-winning choreographer Shaun Parker's The Yard is an urban eisteddfod of acrobatics, music, sport and dance, featuring a large cast of teenage performers drawn from the multicultural high schools of western Sydney.

"I didn't plan to create the work," says Parker. "I just went out there to teach. But I found the multiculturalism so inspiring. The diversity is incredible. I love it out there, it's like another planet."

The Yard takes bullying as its central theme, looking at the survival instinct, competition, loneliness and segregation.

"I found in rehearsals, in the first week, in one corner of the room would be all the Pacific Islander girls, then all the Filipino boys in the other corner, all the Sudanese girls would cluster over there. Everyone was divided, and that's an aspect of survival."

But The Yard is also a story of hope, and a celebration of the febrile energy and dissonant passions of the schoolyard, where cultures, genders, interests and obsessions are thrown together. After three years of workshopping and development, the barriers began to break down.

"With these kids it's all so raw. They're so athletic and powerful, and fragile, that I'm creating things that I never would with trained dancers," says Parker.

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By Andrew Fuhrmann   |  

The Yard details

Fairfax Studio
100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne 3004

Telephone 1300 182 183

Nearby Stations: Flinders Street

Price $30.00 to $35.00

Date 13 Aug 2014-16 Aug 2014

Open Wed-Fri 7pm; Sat 3pm & 7pm

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