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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 - 

'The Age Of Ledger'

Supported by Grants for the Arts funding from the National Lottery via Arts Council England, and Commissioned to date by Moving Dance Forward: led by Dance Manchester & MDI with partners The Lowry, Unity, University of Salford, and Contact. 


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.

Available for partnerships and programming.


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

Commissioned to date by Moving Dance Forward: led by Dance Manchester & MDI with partners The Lowry, Unity, University of Salford, and Contact. 

With thanks to Associazione ALDES

Available for partnerships and programming.

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