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Gossip Folks

If you're yet to check out a performance from SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre, you’re missing out. High energy, high production, and full of heart, the talented Territory dancers put together works that share insightful themes with creativity and grace. 

Their latest original performance, Gossip hits the Darwin Entertainment Centre stage this month, and it’s no exception. 

By Kate Conway

Set in a fictional call centre staffed with familiar faces – think famous musicians, actors, activists and animated characters – Gossip transports audiences to the start of a busy work week, and the trials and tribulations of office life. SLIDE’s Artistic Director Joanna Noonan says the light-hearted setting marks a departure from the company’s previous works. 

“Gossip is much more joyful. It’s funny and it celebrates camaraderie in the workplace. Although the word gossip can suggest something more sinister, the banter and the gossip in this piece is funny and clever,” she says. 

The collaborative creative process consisted of compiling ideas and suggestions from 28 dancers who make up SLIDE’s Company One, with the piece growing organically throughout rehearsals. 

Dancers hail from backgrounds ranging from tap, contemporary and ballet, to gymnastics and musical theatre, resulting in engaging, multifaceted choreography. The layered performance cleverly draws inspiration from some unlikely sources. 

“We were inspired by the rhythms of office sounds, the sounds of a photocopier, the sounds of phones ringing … we use those to really help the rhythmic score inside our bodies,” Noonan says. 

It wouldn’t be a SLIDE performance without an underlying message, and Gossip shines a light on the way humans can seek connection in the workplace. Through the lens of the celebrity's characteristics, the performance explores typical dynamics found in an office environment including friendships, hierarchies and rivalries.“There are so many different people that make the heartbeat of a business, office, school or wherever. Our colleagues can be like our extra family, and you’ve got to navigate that,” Noonan says.

“Hopefully, we want to make our young audience feel excited about moving into their careers and to experience the different characters that you meet on a journey.” 

SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre - Gossip 
WHEN WED 13 – FRI 15 SEP | 10AM & 6.30PM
COST $35 | $20 CHILD | $15 SCHOOLS

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