KING by Shaun Parker for Sydney Mardi Gras: A Review

KING Shaun Parker 3

Being a gay man in 2019 really is a revelation.

In 30-or-so years, gay men and women have gone from the ostracised outcasts of abnormality, to something few people bat an eyelid to. But it’s the underlying tone of masculinity and what exactly that is, and the questioning of it, that has been the most rocking of qualities of the homosexual existence since it first came into common parlance in the mid 20th century.

KING Shaun Parker 2

Fast forward to today, when we’re looking at KING, a dance production choreographed by Shaun Parker and musically backed by Ivo Dimchev and you have a culmination of the story of males that could only be done in collaboration with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival 2019.

KING is a dance production of 10 male dancers and Dimchev himself, a Bulgarian choreographer, visual artist, singer-songwriter that explores Parker’s (choreographer) trademark highly physical choreography in an articulate interrogation of male power, control and group dynamic, expertly exposing the brutality of macho ritual and the human toll of toxic masculinity.

KING Shaun Parker 1

In short: KING is the Queen of Mardi Gras in 2019 that is a visually striking, musically intoxicating and artistically rousing performance that makes you three things: proud to be gay, proud to be around gays and proud to be in an age where the concept of masculinity can be picked apart, dissected and danced away as a farce, open to artistic interpretation and playfulness, welcoming of all.

And then, of course, there’s the striking vocals of Dimchev who’s obviously a fan of vibrato and quirky vocals that is so befitting the ethereal, transcendental feel of the stage design by Penny Hunstead. It’s all quite refreshing.

Oh, also; there’s nudity. And that’s always nice. So, go.

KING is on at the Seymour Centre, 20-24 February. See more at the Seymour Centre website.