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The Age Of Ledger (projects)

A JauArtist project / Produced by Project Auske

This series of works, reflects upon the economic, social, and political issues that have concerned Joseph. ‘STAFF ID: 5201’, was the first self-performed solo work in the series, addressing the impact of political and economic movements upon everyday people using the Reagan’s speech ‘A Time for Choosing’ and Chinese Exercise Music as the aural backdrop to question the motivations of Austerity imposed upon British people as a consequence of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and question how humans are viewed as economic resources. ‘STAFF ID: 5201’ evolved to become a second longer solo work, ‘The Age of Ledger’ which included personal stories from people in Joseph's life as a finance professional as well as stories of Joseph's father to share and bring a lived reality and relatability to audiences. ‘The Age of Ledger’ has become an umbrella title for projects that are a part of Joseph's ongoing research interests and work that intersects economic theory, artistic & cultural identity (including migrant identity), trade history & globalisation, value systems and colonialism. In the creation of these works Joseph has sought to combine expanded and sometimes surreal imagery with verbatim content and a physically that moves between character, metaphor and effort. 

“The Age of Ledger by dancer and choreographer Joseph Lau ... is a fully realised dystopian physical theatre work exploring the psychological and social impact of money and economics and the disproportionate role they have in ‘governing our world and disempowering the individual’...Lau brings impressive range, physical commitment and enormous personal charisma to this wide-ranging examination of the futility and optimistic hopelessness of trying to function as a vital and yet individually irrelevant pawn in a financial machine that makes little sense and clearly doesn’t function well, for all its high-level economic theory and claims of fiscal and social responsibly. Lau, long based in the north-west, brings elements from his Australian-Chinese heritage to create an expansive and considered global dimension to the work, yet manages to keep his lens focused on the personal impact of being little more than a component – always potentially a superfluous one, an obstacle to efficiency – within a faceless and unwieldy machine. This is an effective, audacious, fully realised piece of dance theatre that pulls a range of physical and emotional punches with its considered and well-chosen use of text and music.”

(Peter Jacobs The Public Reviews)


Available for partnerships and programming


'The Age Of Ledger'

Supported by Grants for the Arts funding from the National Lottery via Arts Council England.

Project partners include Dance Initiative Greater Manchester, Dance Base, Z-Arts & the University of Salford.

Performed to date at: Supercell Festival of Contemporary Dance Brisbane 2017, Contact (Manchester) & Unity Theatre (Liverpool) as part of Moving Dance Forward 2016. Development showing was performed for the Homegrown season at Z-Arts in March 2014Manchester, UK


An early stage exploration of the psychological impact of money & austerity from the Italian perspective. 'PIIGS' is an acronym used to refer to the five Eurozone nations, which were considered weaker economically following the 2007/2008 financial crisis: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece & Spain. Artists: Aline Nari & Davide Frangioni Music: Murcof, Taylor Deupree & Richard Chartier, Ennio Morricone Text: Philip Roscoe, Silvio Berlusconi Recording: Malcolm Raeburn With thanks to Associazione ALDES


Bridget Fiske


Bridget Fiske & Joseph Lau


Miguel Marin

Costume Design

Bridget Fiske

Rehearsal Direction (Australia)

Storm Helmore

UK Independent Producer (2016-2017)

Tricia Coleman

Lighting Designer (2017)

Andrew Crofts



Jade Aitchison, Clare Courtney, Shona Roberts, Catherine Simmonds, Lyndsey Thomas, Amy Voris and those who shared their experiences with us.

'Inner Terra' Includes extracts from an interview with Tamara Raftović Loštrek (Slovenia, 2015)

Supported by University of Salford and Stalder Academy

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