On the Couch with Shaun Parker

Shaun Parker Arts Review On the CouchWho is Shaun Parker?
I was born in Mildura in 1970, and grew up on a grape-growing property with my mum and dad, older brother Cory and older sister Kim, three dogs Silky, Rocky, and Sheba, and a rescued galah named Cocky. I am a director and choreographer who makes dance theatre works – I am always inspired by humanist themes.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Wow – I think I would love to do more film, however, I would also love to study more – anthropology, quantum physics, neuroscience, languages, music and literature… so much to learn!

Who inspires you and why?
People who love what they do, no matter what it is, and when they do it with love, pride, passion, and hard work.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Invest money into transformative projects involving children, health and education, and to assist creating such programs myself. Our anti-bullying dance education, The Yard has had wonderful results to date, and we would love to keep developing in this area for sure!

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love going back to Mildura to visit my cousins, and to spend lots of time fishing on the Murray River.  I love sitting by the river and feeling the energy of the place, and listening to the sounds of the trees, wind and animals, especially the chorus of Sulphur-crested cockatoos!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I always take them on the coastal walk from Coogee to Maroubra, complete with an ocean swim as a reward at the completion of the journey!

What are you currently reading?
Various journals of the latest developments in genetic science. Every cell in our body is ‘told’ what to do by genetic information, coding and instruction – absolutely fascinating!

What are you currently listening to?
Soundtrack to the feature film, Youth – directed by Paolo Sorrentino (Also director of The Great Beauty). Soundtrack of our work Happy As Larry – composed by Nick Wales & Bree van Reyk. Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar!

Happiness is?
Spending time with my daughter Ava, and watching her grow and learn. She loves writing. She locks herself away in her room and writes stories, and then she calls me in to sit down in front of the heater and listen to her read them out aloud to me. I can’t believe how much I love her. And every parent would know exactly what I am talking about… such a pure love and happiness.

What does the future hold for you?
Creating more dance theatre work and dance education programs, all driven by themes that relate to the fragility of the human condition, and all aimed at manifesting positive social impact.

Shaun’s iconic dance theatre show Blue Love will play at the Seymour Centre for a one night only fundraising performance on Wednesday 23 August 2017 – this special event coincides with the 2017 national tour dates – commencing at the Canberra Theatre Centre on Thursday 17 August. For more information, visit: www.shaunparkercompany.com for details.

Image: Shaun Parker