House Mates set to be TiNA highlight

DANCERS: The cast of House Mates have drawn on their own life challenges.
DANCERS: The cast of House Mates have drawn on their own life challenges.

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

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 Sprung dance company 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 says.

“The whole theme was inspired by the dancers as they move into independent living. 

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

Producer Robyn Brady says 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 says.

“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 says. “But we have found ways.” 

Brady says 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. 

TiNA will be held from September 28 to October 1.  House Mates is on at 4pm on September 30, venue to be announced.

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