SiD Contemporary Dance Class on Zoom

Contact Dance Company dancers and guests have been taking part in a SID Contemporary Dance Class on zoom. The 1hr 15 minute weekly class led by Contact Dance Company dancer Poppy Mansfield is a chance to learn dance technique and move creatively in the comfort of your own home.

As well as joining in with dance sequences and creative tasks participants get to meet our company of dancers and share in the dance, together on screen.

The class takes place on Wednesday mornings and is suitable for people with and without disabilities with some dance experience. Places are limited and the class is popular but do contact us if you would like a place in the class. officesidance@gmail.com

Contact Dance Company present ‘Being Seen’ on film.

In the summer of 2019 eight dancers with and without disabilities from Contact Dance Company worked with director and choreographer Jo Fong to create a new dance work for touring titled ‘Being Seen’.

The dancers were Becky Keir, Anna Belyavin, Chloe Shepherd, Rachel Liggitt,
Andrew Kelly, Mervyn Bradley, Amal Neffi and Kevin Shepherd

Creating the work with Jo Fong was an intensive, joyful and rewarding experience for the company. We are very proud of the piece that was created and performed.

‘Being Seen’ was exactly that, a call for performers to be seen as their selves, powerful, vulnerable, poetic, playful, graceful and human

Below is a 9 minute edited version of ‘Being Seen’ filmed live by JTV Production at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury, July 2019.

 

Contact Dance Company received very positive feedback from it’s premier at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury

‘I enjoyed the close proximity of the dancers and the sounds of the wheels. I liked seeing the dancers, the objects and the interactions between them. I enjoyed the connection between people and the real closeness that was conveyed’

‘It felt  so personal, so raw, as if we were all part of it’.

‘Intricate, graceful, joyful and absolute pleasure to watch’.

Jo Fong’s work reflects the need in these times for people to come together. Her practice has been informed by notions of inclusivity, participation and is about being present, this moment, communication, listening, face to face encounters and the idea of forming community.  This work will be more important then ever as part of the healing process after the collective trauma of the Covid-19 crisis.

Being Seen is available for touring throughout 2020, please contact the company for more details.

 

Duets on Film – Father Daughter

This week we are highlighting a beautiful duet first performed in 2017
Father –  Daughter. The duet performed by real life father daughter, dancers Kevin and Chloe Shepherd. has been performed at a number of theatres, conferences and events.

Father Daughter is a tender portrayal of a father and daughters relationship.

The dance is inspired by Kevin and Chloe’s shared love of dance and their family home, a secluded cottage nestled in a wood.

The piece is directed by by Rachel Liggitt 

Music by; Best of Village Harmony, The Full English, M.Ward & Kayhan Kalhor

‘We witness the hard work of winter life at the cottage, the chopping of wood and the fuelling of fires. Throughout the narrative, Chloe’s journey to maturity is conveyed by hints of gentle conflict between father and daughter; her desire for independence confronting his awareness that parental protectiveness must now be accompanied by detachment and an encouragement of freedom. He retreats into the shadows and we are left with Chloe in a spotlight, standing alone, venturing forth as her own self-reliant woman’

The highlights below were edited from a film made by JTV Production at The Gateway , Shrewsbury in 2017

 

 

 

Duets on film – Unspoken

Shropshire Inclusive Dance is proud to present a series of duets filmed live during our shows. Today we share ‘Unspoken’

Unspoken was captured on film at The Elmhurst School of Dance Theatre in Birmingham
It is performed by Mervyn Bradley and Rachel Liggitt . The work was choreographed and directed by SiD’s co artistic director Rachel Liggitt.

Unspoken is a moving, powerful duet about friendship.
How do we speak without words ?

Dancers, Mervyn Bradley and Rachel Liggitt have worked together for over a decade, their friendship, playfulness and connection is there for all to see in this duet.

The music is by Peter Broderick and is reproduced with permission from the musician.

The duet was beautifully filmed by  JTV Production

 

 

 

Contact Dance Company presents duets on film. ‘Human Range’

Shropshire Inclusive Dance is proud to present a series of duets filmed live during our shows. First we would like  to share with you ‘Human Range’.

In July 2019 we premiered two new pieces to a packed audience at Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury. The show began with this powerful and playful duet’.
It is performed by Delphine Wise and Poppy Mansfield. The work was choreographed and directed by SiD’s co artistic directors Rachel Liggitt and Ray Jacobs.

The piece explored notions of Human Range, how far can we reach ?
The music is by Nils Frahm.

The duet was beautifully filmed by  JTV Production

 

Contact Dance Company at The Feast Festival.

Contact Dance Company performed Human Range and Being Seen to a packed house at the fantastic FEAST – Theatre Festival in Malvern. The dances were as powerful as ever, with brilliant performances that reverberated in the hearts of so many that witnessed the show.

The company received fantastic feedback from the audience. Its a real pleasure for SiD to share performances by Contact Dance Company at the Festival. Below are images from the performances captured by our Co-Director Ray Jacobs

 

Shining a light on Contact Dance Company performer Nick Robinson

Today we are shining a light on dancer Nick Robinson. Nick travels from Wales to England each week, on a Thursday, to attend SiD’s dance class. He leaves 2 hours ahead of the class to get to class on time and because public transport options are limited. He is passionate, dedicated and loves dance. He has been doing this since SiD began in 2012. Nick you are amazing. Each week we will shine a light on a dancer – their commitment, their passion.

mission-statement-shropshire-inclusive-dance20180306-_DSC003420180306-_DSC004620180306-IMG_9204IMG_0059-1 copy20180620-IMG_2336 copy

Contact Dance Company premier performances of ‘Human Range’ and ‘Being Seen’

Contact Dance Company performed two new pieces in front of a sell-out audience at
The Walker Theatre, Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury.

The first surprise for the audience, in this eagerly awaited show, was that seats were aligned in two long rows, facing each other across the performance space. In the front row we rested our feet on the dance floor: we were going to be close to the action.

The first piece was a duet entitled Human Range. Two dancers, one of whom used a wheelchair, explored the limits of their own and each other’s human range. A fresh and energetic soundtrack, by composer Nils Frahm, accompanied the piece. Human Range was choreographed by Shropshire Inclusive Dance directors,
Rachel Liggitt and Ray Jacobs.

20190720-_DSC4979

Dancers, Delphine Wise and Poppy Mansfield, used gestures and sweeping movement, combining equal measures of clear, sharp focus and physical power and fragility. Delphine manoeuvred her chair with grit and grace. Poppy Mansfield added playfulness and liquid smooth movement to the piece. When in close proximity, the dancers’ bodies, gestures and sight lines reached across the space in a series of near misses and fleeting moments of contact.

20190720-_DSC4981

As the work progressed the contact became more frequent and physical; human range became a metaphor for emotional and physical support. The long dance space, with audiences either side, acted as a corridor for playful and sometimes competitive travelling sequences. Audiences, so close to the action, were truly part of what they had come to see.

20190720-_DSC4942

 

‘Being Seen’, choreographed by Jo Fong, took the audience by surprise. Eight performers entered the stage to the joyful fanfare of Handel’s Zadok The Priest. As an audience member, I felt I was constantly being offered: ‘This is me and This is me and This is me’ as dancers gazed towards us from different parts of the stage. This was a great introduction to the dancers that make up Contact Dance Company: dancers of different ages, dancers with different bodies, dancers who kept their feelings in, dancers whose smile and fears spilled out. It was joyous.
In the programme notes the choreographer, Jo Fong, asked: ‘Do you see the disability or the person?’  I saw humanity in all its diverse beauty.

20190720-_DSC4983

Cue the second big surprise of the evening, as ‘Zadok the Preist’ moved to its choral climax.  Dancers draped a huge floating sheet of white linen down the entire length of the ‘corridor’ and then, during the next frantic ten seconds, littered it with everyday objects, transforming the performance space. Pot Plants, photos, prosthetic limbs, children’s toys and all kinds of paraphernalia lay around the performers, who lifted, placed, rested on and moved the objects, offering disjointed and unexpected images, sometimes dystopian, sometimes comical.

The piece never failed to surprise, moving through sections where performers conducted the audience like an orchestra, to a bold, sensuous duet, accompanied by a dark Nick Cave love song.

20190715-_DSC4795The audience were truly riveted; there was so much to see, including the reactions of each other across the dance space. There were further chances for the audience to get to know the performers as each dancer talked one to one to audience members about their very own special object; Dancer Amal Neffi shared the story of her prosthetic legs and the geographical and emotional journey it was for her to get to the point where they could be discarded, in favour of being seen for who she is. Dancer Andrew Kelly, shared the love of his Star Trek costume and the joy of being seen as a different person.

 

 

 

20190720-_DSC4995

As these monologues progressed, dancers began to congregate in a melee of movement, shifting and being shifted as an ensemble across the space. It was like watching an anamatron of limbs, bodies, arms, wheels and legs, moving in, out and between each other. The faces of audience members next to me looked bewildered at the speed, complexity, and sensitivity of this improvised movement. No time for the eyes to settle on one person – continual meeting, engaging and leaving.

20190720-_DSC4933

The final section of the work felt like the slow transformation from sunset to dusk, as intimate duos closed their eyes and began slowly moving each other. The dancers continued long after the stage lights receded, creating a sense of something without end, whether seen or not.

20190720-_DSC4952

Being Seen was performed by Chloe Shepherd, Amal Neffi, Mervyn Bradley,
Kevin Shepherd, Anna Belyavin, Becky Keir, Andrew Kelly, and Rachel Liggitt.

Directed by Jo Fong

Music was by George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi, Nick Cave, and Kiasmos.

Lighting Design – Jonathan Tritton

Costume Design and Fitting – Sue Hall

Jo Fong is an award-winning director, choreographer & performer working in dance, film, theatre, opera and the visual arts.

Contact Dance Company is part of Shropshire Inclusive Dance.

For more information about the company, visit http://www.sidance.live

 

Lift Off! Rehearsals have begun for Contact Dance Company’s new show ‘Being Seen’

‘Contact Dance Company’ have begun rehearsals for a brand new dance piece entitled ‘Being Seen’, to be premiered at Theatre Severn on July 20th, 2019

Choreographer, Jo Fong, is working with a cast of eight dancers with and without disabilities, to craft this new dance work. Jo, who has worked with international companies such as Ballet Rambert and the Welsh National Opera, has been enjoying day one of rehearsals:

‘It’s so exciting to be at The Hive in Shrewsbury, with Contact Dance Company. It feels like a brand new era for the company- something fresh and energised. I’m finding myself constantly inspired by the dancers’ generosity and creativity’.

20190618-_DSC4329 copy

 Amal Neffi, a company dancer with a disability, reflects on the first day working with the choreographer.

‘We challenged ourselves as dancers, learning how each other move, and building our confidence to work in close contact, supporting, moving and listening to each other.

 

20190618-_DSC4561

 

The new dance, ‘ Being Seen’, will be a treat for Shropshire audiences. Contact Dance Company has built a strong reputation for its powerful brand of contemporary inclusive dance, full of depth and connection. Choreographer Jo Fong wows audiences with her refreshing, energetic and playful dance-making; the combination promises to be a feast for the senses.

Audiences for ‘Being Seen’ performances will be invited to sit close to the action. Shropshire Inclusive Dance co artistic director Ray Jacobs states:

‘It’s really important that audience members see the details of the dance and feel the connection between dancers. The smallest gesture, the qualities of contact between dancers, is a delight to watch. Witnessing the show will be a sensory experience’.

This new dance piece is funded by Arts Council England and Shropshire Council.

Seats for ‘Being Seen’ can be booked via the Theatre Severn box office or online here  but hurry, tickets are going fast!