Sprung dance company

House Mates is one of 150 events which will be held at This is Not Art in September.

The dance-based performance humorously explores tensions that come to life when a decision is taken between five housemates to hold a dance party.

The five young performers all have a disability and the production explores some of the challenges the cast face in their real lives: moving out, finding independence and, of course, holding dance parties. 

The performance is a collaboration between artistic director Michael Hennessy and writer Kate McDowell .Workshops with the dance ensemble further developed the ideas behind the show. 

“A lot of it does come from the dancers,” Hennessy said.

“The whole theme was inspired by the dancers as they move into independent living. That’s where the idea came from.

“The dancer’s personalities and characters are integral to the piece.” 

Producer Robyn Brady said processes where used during workshops which allowed the dancers to draw on their own identity to build up characters. 

“The dancers established an alter ego which is themselves, but not themselves,” she said.

“It allows them to get a bit of distance between themselves and the personal nature of some of the things that are being explored.” 

Hennessy said staging the work with the group held challenges. 

“There are a lot of cues and tasks for them to remember, it’s not just about dancing,” Hennessy said.

“But we have found ways.” 

Brady said the dancers gestural language was highly sophisticated and this had become a strength of the performance. 

“I think what the audience will be surprised by is how most of this story is being told through gesture, dance, mime, physical theatre and physical comedy.” 

The show celebrates pop culture and the housemates’ love of cheesy beats, wacky play, work avoidance, and one another. The action is set around preparations for a house party.

“They are getting ready for the party, but the majority aren’t doing anything,” Hennessy said.

“So the apathy is apparent. To see the faces, I still get a laugh out of it. There is a lot of humour in it.” 

House Mates is being staged in a secret location which will be revealed on the day. It is part of the Crack Theatre Festival, which is a component of TiNA. The festival will be held from September 28 to October 1. .

To get tickets or see the full program visit: thisisnotart.org

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