Kate Champion

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Kate Champion (born 1961, Sydney, Australia) is a director and choreographer with over thirty years' experience across multiple art forms. She was the founding Artistic Director of Force Majeure[1] (2002-2015), a dance theatre company based in Sydney, Australia. Her initial training was in Sydney with Karen Kerkhoven with subsequent formative years spent in Munich with the Iwanson Dance Company[2] and continued with Kai Tai Chan's One Extra Company in Sydney.[3] She was a founding member of Dance North[4] in Townsville and was a dancer with Australian Dance Theatre from 1988 to 1989.

She has worked in theatre, dance, physical theatre, film and opera with arts companies and institutes including Belvoir, Sydney Theatre Company, NIDA, The English National Opera, The Song Company,[5] Legs on the Wall,[6] Australian Theatre for Young People, Theatre of Image,[7] Opera Australia, National Theatre of Parramatta,[8] Dance North, Vitalstatistix,[9] Australian Dance Theatre and DV8 Physical Theatre - London.

Her final production for Force Majeure was Nothing to Lose.[10]

Early career[edit]

In 1992 she traveled to London, where she spent time with Lloyd Newson's DV8 Physical Theatre, first as production assistant and then as a performer in Strange Fish,[11] both the stage and BBC film versions.[12] In 1998 she returned to DV8 as rehearsal director for a European tour of Enter Achilles and as a collaborator and performer in The Happiest Day Of My Life.[13]

In 1996, Champion was awarded the Robert Helpmann Scholarship[14] for Choreographic Excellence enabling her to create her first solo work Face Value[15] which was awarded a 1998 Green Room Award and a MO Award. In 2001 she created a second solo show About Face.[16]

In 1997 Champion begin collaborating with theatre director Neil Armfield and choreographed Cloudstreet, and directed and devised Under the Influence.[17]

Force Majeure[edit]

As Artistic Director of Force Majeure, Champion devised and directed:

Other work[edit]

In 2004 Champion choreographed the world premiere of Dirty Dancing,[25] the stage show based on the popular film. Her choreography has been included in the European, West-End, North American, South African and Asian versions of this box office record holding production.

In 2010 she choreographed Opera Australia's Bliss, which also toured to the Edinburgh Festival, and Spring Awakening for Sydney Theatre Company.[26]

Continuing her collaborative relationship with Neil Armfield, Champion took on the role of Associate Director of Opera Australia's 2013 production (and 2016 remount) of Wagner's Ring Cycle,[27] directed by Armfield.

In 2016 she directed Swallow, written by Stef Smith - the inaugural production of National Theatre of Parramatta.[28]

Champion choreographed the movement sequences in the film Somersault[29] (starring Abbie Cornish and Sam Worthington), and most recently RED.[30]


  • Nothing to Lose - 2016 FBi Radio SMAC Award for Best on Stage[31]
  • Not In A Million Years - 2011 Helpmann Award for Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production[32]
  • The Age I'm In - 2009 Australian Dance Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Company[33]
  • Already Elsewhere - 2005 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Company[34]
  • Same, same But Different - 2002 Helpmann Award for Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production[35]
  • About Face - 2002 Helpmann Award for Best Female Dancer[36]
  • Face Value - 1998 Greenroom Award for Best Female Dancer, 1996 Mo Award for Best Dancer/Choreographer

External links[edit]

  • "Kate Champion interviewed by Martin Portus, 19 May 2016". State Library of New South Wales Catalogue. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  • Champion is represented by HLA management.
  • Force Majeure
  • RealTime TV interview on the set of Never Did Me Any Harm
  • National Library of Australia - http://trove.nla.gov.au/people/641863
  • Celebrating 40 years of Sydney Festival - http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2016/moment17
  • "The Evolution of Dance Theatre", by Jo Litson
  • Bodies of Thought, by Dr Erin Brannigan
  • ABC Radio, Sunday Brunch


  1. ^ http://www.forcemajeure.com.au
  2. ^ https://www.iwanson.de
  3. ^ http://trove.nla.gov.au/people/726053?c=people
  4. ^ http://www.dancenorth.com.au
  5. ^ http://song.company
  6. ^ http://www.legsonthewall.com.au
  7. ^ http://theatreofimage.com.au
  8. ^ https://riversideparramatta.com.au/NTofP/
  9. ^ http://vitalstatistix.com.au
  10. ^ http://www.forcemajeure.com.au/our-work/performance-history/nothing-to-lose/
  11. ^ https://www.dv8.co.uk/projects/archive/strange-fish
  12. ^ https://www.dv8.co.uk/projects/archive/strange-fish--film
  13. ^ https://www.dv8.co.uk/projects/archive/the-happiest-day-of-my-life
  14. ^ http://www.arts.nsw.gov.au/uncategorized/robert-helpmann-dance-scholarship/
  15. ^ http://www.forcemajeure.com.au/our-work/performance-history/kate-champion-solo-work/face-value/
  16. ^ http://www.forcemajeure.com.au/our-work/performance-history/kate-champion-solo-work/about-face/
  17. ^ http://www.realtimearts.net/article/issue24/4277
  18. ^ http://www.forcemajeure.com.au/our-work/performance-history/same-same-but-different/
  19. ^ http://www.forcemajeure.com.au/our-work/performance-history/already-elsewhere/
  20. ^ http://www.forcemajeure.com.au/our-work/performance-history/the-age-im-in/
  21. ^ http://www.forcemajeure.com.au/our-work/performance-history/not-in-a-million-years/
  22. ^ http://www.forcemajeure.com.au/our-work/performance-history/never-did-me-any-harm/
  23. ^ http://www.forcemajeure.com.au/our-work/performance-history/food/
  24. ^ http://www.forcemajeure.com.au/our-work/performance-history/nothing-to-lose/
  25. ^ http://us.dirtydancingontour.com/creative/kate-champion/
  26. ^ https://d2wasljt46n4no.cloudfront.net/pdf/content-pages/community-pages/past-production-resources/Final%20Spring%20Awakening.pdf
  27. ^ https://opera.org.au/ring
  28. ^ https://riversideparramatta.com.au/NTofP/show/swallow/
  29. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0381429/
  30. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLTmuK_5mv0
  31. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIsrzQamstE
  32. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/helpmann-award-winners-20110801-1i848.html
  33. ^ http://www.australiandanceawards.net.au/award-winners/
  34. ^ ibid
  35. ^ http://www.helpmannawards.com.au/2002/past-nominees-and-winners/dance-physical-theatre
  36. ^ ibid