GRAEME MURPHY’S SUITE SYNERGY

Published on 25th Jan, 2011

The beat goes on….

In April 2011, Sydney audiences will have the chance to witness the birth of a new era in Australian contemporary dance, when Mod Dance Company perform from 6 to 17 April at the Lyric Theatre, Star City. This Sydney season is part of Mod Dance Company’s first national tour and follows on from their world premiere season in Melbourne at the Arts Centre, State Theatre from 23 to 26 March.

Suite Synergy is a dynamic creation by Australian dance icon and Chief Patron of Mod Dance Company, Graeme Murphy and is inspired by two of his most popular and critically acclaimed productions from the 1990s, Synergy with Synergy and Free Radicals. The first contemporary dance piece to be produced by Murphy in four years, Suite Synergy will feature eighteen exceptionally talented young dancers, accompanied by a pulsating percussion score performed live by four musicians.

Suite Synergy will give audiences the opportunity to experience an artistic legend reinterpreting some of the greatest work of his career for the next exciting generation of Australian dance stars.

A pillar of the Australian dance community, Brett Morgan is Artistic Director of the recently formed Mod Dance Company. Morgan’s dance career spans twenty-eight years and includes ten years with the Australian Ballet Company and seven with Sydney Dance Company. Dancer Teagan Lowe is the Associate Artistic Director and principal dancer for Suite Synergy.

Brett Morgan says of the new company, “Mod Dance Company was set up to deliver an alternative and accessible product for Australian audiences. We hope to reach the broader community and encourage families to indulge in the amazing spectacle of live performance. One of our main objectives is to deliver high quality, purely entertaining contemporary dance productions. We also strongly feel that Mod Dance Company is a uniquely Australian product that in the future will be able to further promote Australian dance internationally.”

Choreographer Graeme Murphy began his career as a student at the Australian Ballet School at the age of fourteen. In 1968 he became a dancer with the Australian Ballet Company where he had his first opportunities to choreograph. After touring Europe, in 1976 he returned to the Australian Ballet Company as both a dancer and resident choreographer. Shortly after he was appointed Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company, a role he held for over 30 years. His most recent works have been the critically acclaimed Aida, Mao’s Last Dancer and Firebird, which won Murphy a Best Choreography award at the Green Room Awards. In 2006 Murphy was handed the Australian Dance Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award. Of the 72 creative productions that Murphy has been involved in, it is Free Radicals and Synergy with Synergy that have had the most success, with both works touring Australia and overseas to sold out audiences and rave reviews. An Australian cultural treasure, Murphy has been instrumental in bringing contemporary dance into the commercial arena.

Murphy says of his involvement with Mod Dance Company, “At last a group of dancers, creators and presenters have seen the value of conservation through reinvention and renewal. The energy generated by the marriage of Synergy with Synergy and Free Radicals could never be contained. To see the spirit of two pivotal works combined and rejuvenated by a cast of vibrant young guns, in a stunning new production, is personally thrilling.”

Celebrated composer and percussionist Michael Askill and three exciting young musicians will drive the action on stage as they create a musical soundscape from over 50 individual instruments, as well as the bodies of the dancers themselves. Formerly Principal Percussionist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of Synergy Percussion, Askill has spent the past 25 years carving out a ground-breaking niche in the music world as both a composer and performer. In 2008 he won Best Original Score for Eclipse at the St Kilda Film Festival Awards.

Internationally renowned costume designer Jennifer Irwin has designed the costumes for Suite Synergy. Her work has been seen on stages in twenty-four countries and she has created some of the most memorable costumes in Australian dance and theatre. In 2002, Irwin designed costumes for MyZinc Bed for Belvoir Street Theatre, directed by Neil Armfield, The Virgin Mim and Soulmates for Sydney Theatre Company, Walkabout for Bangarra Dance Theatre as well as the costumes for the Australian Ballet’s productions of the Subtle Sequence of Revelation and Totem. More recently she designed the costumes for Dirty Dancing The Musical.

Committed to fostering, supporting and celebrating Australian creative talent, Mod Dance Company was founded in 2009 by Linda Alescio, Nadasha Zhang and Michelle Grace Hunder. All three were passionate about creating a dynamic, exciting and accessible Australian dance company that could employ talented Australian dancers and musicians and ensure they find work in Australia, whilst also ensuring that great dance pieces were kept alive, such as those created by choreographer Graeme Murphy. Mod Dance Company is looking forward to working with various renowned choreographers in the future to bring their works to life on stage.

SUITE SYNERGY will be performed in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Darwin, Gold Coast and Adelaide

For full tour information visit www.suitesynergy.com.au

TICKETS ON SALE WEDNESDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2011

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