Ochre Contemporary Dance Company presents
Good Little Soldier
"I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT PTSD AS MUCH AS I DID AFTER SEEING GOOD LITTLE SOLDIER"
New York Times, June 21, 2013 By SETH KUGEL
Australian Premiere Season
Subiaco Arts Centre 9-30 July
THE HYPER-VIGILANCE OF SOLDIERS, LIFE-SAVING IN WAR, SHATTERS NERVES IN CIVILIAN LIFE.
Concept and Direction Mark Howett
Choreography and Performance: Raewyn Hill, Grayson Millwood, Gavin Webber
and Ian Wilkes.
And Introducing OTTO KOSOK
Dramaturgy Phil Thomson
Design: Bryan Woltjen
Music Dale Couper, Matthew de la Hunty, and Laurie Sinagra
Artistic Director Mark Howett is bringing his dynamic Berlin production of G ood Little Soldier home to Perth. 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. “My aim was to make a cathartic work based on my experiences of growing as the son of a war-damaged soldier. I wished to investigate veteran family experiences of the burden of PTSD.” Mark Howett Set in an isolated Australian 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 entertain the audience with commentary on the history of war and the family battles they observe whilst pushing the soldier into paranoid and destructive behaviour. The family explodes under the pressure.
Along with his personal experience of PTSD Mark brings a decade of making theatre and dance in Europe. He has attracted a team of extraordinary artists, most with international experience, to collaborate on this revised production. Australia’s renowned dance makers Gavin Webber and Grayson Millwood reprise their Berlin 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 alongside Co:Youth Ensemble dancer Otto Kosok as her son. Bringing the work home to country has allowed an investigation of indigenous perspectives on inter-generational PTSD (theirs has been 200 years of trauma).
Brilliant Nyoongar performer Ian Wilkes plays a second ghost, a black digger, 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.
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.
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