Kate Champion

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

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

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

Other work

In 2004 Champion choreographed the world premiere of Dirty Dancing,[24] 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.[25]

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,[26] directed by Armfield.

In 2016 she directed Swallow, written by Stef Smith - the inaugural production of National Theatre of Parramatta.[27] Kate also directed - THAT EYE THE SKY (2018), adapted from the novel by Tim Winton for State Theatre Company of South Australia and the world premiere of the musical EVIE MAY for Hayes Theatre. 2019 productions include EVERY BRILLIANT THING for Belvoir, MEAT EATERS for NIDA, A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE for State Theatre Company of Australia and FULLY COMMITTED for Ensemble Theatre. 2020 productions will include a return season of EVERY BRILLIANT THING for Belvoir, HONOUR for Ensemble, MY BRILLIANT CAREER for Belvoir and GIRLS AND BOYS for Melbourne Theatre Company.

Champion choreographed the movement sequences in the film Somersault[28] (starring Abbie Cornish and Sam Worthington), and most recently RED.[29]


  • Nothing to Lose - 2016 FBi Radio SMAC Award for Best on Stage[30]
  • Not In A Million Years - 2011 Helpmann Award for Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production[31]
  • The Age I'm In - 2009 Australian Dance Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Company[32]
  • Already Elsewhere - 2005 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Company[32]
  • Same, same But Different - 2002 Helpmann Award for Best Visual or Physical Theatre Production[33]
  • About Face - 2002 Helpmann Award for Best Female Dancer[33]
  • Face Value - 1998 Greenroom Award for Best Female Dancer, 1996 Mo Award for Best Dancer/Choreographer


  1. "Force Majeure". Force Majeure.
  2. "Iwanson - Home". www.iwanson.de.
  3. "One Extra Dance. (1978-2006) - People and organisations". Trove.
  4. "Dancenorth". Dancenorth.
  5. "The Song Company — of Australia". the.song.company.
  6. "Legs on the Wall". Legs on the Wall.
  7. "Theatre of Image - Australia's visual theatre company". Theatre of Image.
  8. "National Theatre of Parramatta – Putting the Nation on Stage". riversideparramatta.com.au.
  9. "Vitalstatistix | CONTEMPORARY ART & COMMUNITY LIFE".
  10. http://www.forcemajeure.com.au/our-work/performance-history/nothing-to-lose/
  11. "DV8 Physical Theatre". www.dv8.co.uk.
  12. "DV8 Physical Theatre". www.dv8.co.uk.
  13. "DV8 Physical Theatre". www.dv8.co.uk.
  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. "RealTime Arts - Magazine - issue 24 - Various gravities". www.realtimearts.net.
  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. "Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage".
  25. https://d2wasljt46n4no.cloudfront.net/pdf/content-pages/community-pages/past-production-resources/Final%20Spring%20Awakening.pdf
  26. "The Ring Cycle". opera.org.au.
  27. "Swallow – National Theatre of Parramatta". riversideparramatta.com.au.
  28. "Somersault" via www.imdb.com.
  29. "RED | del kathryn barton" via www.youtube.com.
  30. "The 2015 FBi SMAC Awards - Carriageworks, January 2016" via www.youtube.com.
  31. "Helpmann Award winners". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 August 2011.
  32. "2018 Awards - 21st Australian Dance Awards". www.australiandanceawards.net.au.
  33. "Past nominees and winners | Helpmann Awards". www.helpmannawards.com.au.
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