Contact Dance Company perform TwoFold at the Feast Festival in Malvern

A full house at the festival witnessed Contact Dance Company’s absorbing and powerful programme of duets ‘Two Fold’. The programme featured;

‘Unspoken’ An intimate duet about friendship. How do we speak without words?

‘While you broke through to other worlds’ A duet exploring the dynamics and polarity between two people, the pull to strive ahead, the fear of being left behind.

‘Father Daughter’ a celebration of the real life connection between the two dancers.

The programme also included a beautifully made short film about the duets entitled
‘A bridge between us’ created by filmmaker Jonathan Tritton.

The programme culminated in a trio ‘The details in the hands’.

Dance development leader Elizabeth Crosswell and her son were in the audience

I came to watch Contact Dance Company at the Feast Festival at Malvern Cube Theatre with my 4 year old son, we were mesmerised. 

 I’ve never seen him sit on the edge of his seat like that before, watching the duet between Rachel Liggitt and Mervyn Bradley unfold. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him softly mirroring movements from the dancers, as a parent your instinct is to hush, to worry about disturbing the performance for others, but this was his response to the performance and my instinct said let him be.

His response came from the environment the performers had created, by connecting with us, the audience. They made us feel a part of it, drawing us into a duet for two, but we were also immersed in the moments of touch, the friendship, the meeting and parting. 

 The dancers were beautiful; from the measured, dynamic movements of the all-male duet, to the warm flow of the structured improvisation of the trio. I wanted to dance in that trio too, they made it look like so much fun. The way they connected with us as an audience is to me a huge part of what dance is about. The moment when the father proudly shows off his baby girl to the audience – we shared that pride with him. We see the love and care danced together when his daughter joins him later in the duet. It’s just magical.

 I thought it was brilliant that the dancers were available to chat with the audience after the performance. Unfortunately I had to dash off for the school run, but I would have loved to have asked about the process and how the work was created.

Please thank all the dancers for their wonderful performances. I was so grateful to have been able to see such high quality dance in such an intimate venue.

Shropshire Inclusive Dance would like to thank the feast festival for inviting us to be part of a very special festival and JTV for supporting our production with high quality lighting and sound.

Images from the duets Father Daughter and Unspoken. (photography Ray Jacobs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unknown Places – Performance at Wolverhampton Arena, October 10th 2018

‘Unknown Places’ Contact Dance Company’s most recent ensemble piece, choreographed by dance artist Joanna Young, made a welcome return to the stage at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton.

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Unknown Places – image Ewen Macintyre

This evocative and absorbing piece was performed alongside an improvised trio by Contact Dance Company titled ‘The details of the hands’. The piece was structured and inspired by Joanna Young and accompanied with sensitive and powerful live music by folk duet Deuair.

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Details of the hands – Image Ewen Macintyre

Shropshire Inclusive Dance’s co-director Rachel Liggitt has been in residence with ‘Dance Unity’ sharing some of the working methods in Contact Dance Company’s pieces and some of the ideas behind ‘Unknown Places’ The influence of the work became immediately apparent as Dance Unity took to the stage sharing a dance piece full of connection and elegance.

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Dance Unity – Image Ewen Macintyre

The final work to be performed was Contact Dance Company’s
‘Unknown Places’. The cast of 8 very individual dancers moved through shifts in mood & dynamics from subtle swaying and careful placing, to the creation of wild eddies of movement across a crowded dance floor. The piece demanded discipline and connection from the dancers, which was there for all to see.

‘A dancer moves slowly within a circle while delicate strands of lavender are precariously balanced on her. A male dancer moves and slides a large boulder through his arms, a ripple of bamboo poles balanced on dancers bodies provides a gentle rhythmic accompaniment’

 

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Unknown Places – Image Ewen Macintyre

The dance was accompanied by a subtle and dynamic soundscape by Jamie McCarthy.Contact Dance Company performed Joanna Young’s absorbing and finely placed work with commitment, focus and energy. Members of the audience present at the premiere of the work shared the following thoughts.

‘The new work was a wonderful piece of ensemble movement: focused, reflective, contemplative, infused with the presence not only of each dancer, but also the presence and energies of the natural world’

 ‘At times it felt like the piece was showing to me the ever moving qualities of the whole of humanity’

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Unknown Places – Image by Ewen Macintyre

 

Unknown Places by Contact Dance Company is available for festivals and theatre venues.

 

 

 

Come and watch Contact Dance Company perform in Wolverhampton

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Shropshire Inclusive Dance warmly invites you to a performance by Contact Dance Company, makers of powerful and moving inclusive dance

The performances is at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton
on Wednesday 10th October.

‘Unknown Places’ explores how we can navigate, compose and find comfort within the unknown.

The piece has been choreographed by award winning dance artist Joanna Young and is performed by our talented ensemble of disabled and non-disabled dancers.

Recent performances of this show by Contact Dance Company has received rave reviews

‘Focused, reflective, contemplative, infused with the presence not only of each dancer, but also the presence and energies of the natural world’

‘At times it felt like the piece was showing to me the ever moving qualities of the whole of humanity’

‘Unknown Places’ will be shown alongside a new trio by the company & also new work from Dance Unity.
 
 Dance Unity has created this new work through a residency with
Contact Dance Company.

The tickets at £5 each can be booked from the Arena box office on 01902 321321 or online following this link

Arena Theatre, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SE

The Arena Theatre is a wheelchair accessible venue.

How to get to The Arena Theatre:

By car


The Arena Theatre is situated in the heart of Wolverhampton City Centre, directly behind the Wolverhampton Art Gallery and next to the University of Wolverhampton’s Wulfruna building. The theatre is completely accessible by road.

The nearby Broad Street car park is open 24 hours a day and costs £4.50 for 24-hour parking. Parking is £2 after 5.30pm.

If you don’t have change available, you can download the RingGo app directly to your smartphone. The code for Broad Street is 8035.

By train

Wolverhampton train station is a just a five-minute walk away from the Arena Theatre.

 

In Residency in Abercych

SiD had a fantastic time on residency in West Wales, with many thanks to ‘Maynard Abercych’ we shared our dance practise with participants from Pembrokeshire People First and Clynfyw Care Farm.

We were proud to present Arty Party‘s Four Solos in the Wild exhibition in the beautiful 2 Penrhiw where we were staying. Over 60 people visited the exhibition many of whom took part in a gorgeous workshop at Abercych village hall.

Over 30 people aged between 6 and 60 embodied so much of what SiD is all about, celebrating the moving connection between us all. The exhibition presented in the cottage deeply moved many of the visitors. The SiD team were Chloe Shepherd, Mervyn Bradley, Rachel Liggitt and Ray Jacobs. We gained from residing in the beautiful cottage and surroundings in the village of Abercych. Ingredients of the residency included; teamwork, trust, shared cooking, shared laughter, generous hosting from Sterling and Simon and a journey back through the snow.

 

Growing Together with Aya Kobayashi

Contact Dance Company and friends were lucky to be the recipients of two days of workshops led by dance artist Aya Kobayashi on April 5th – 6th.

Aya began her training in Japan before enrolling at the Rambert School in London. She has performed with companies and choreographers that include Flexer & Sandiland, Rosemary Lee, Charlie Morrissey, Kerry Nicholls, Pete Shenton, Gecko and Lila Dance.

Aya has also presented her own work at Tate family festivals, the Sanriku International Festival in Japan, and regularly teaches for Independent Dance, Greenwich Dance, Brighton Dance Network, Oxford Collective and various universities.

Aya has choreographed touring works for Anjali and has supported guest choreographers including Maresa von Stockert, Amit Lahav, Luca Silvestrini, Lea Anderson and Gary Clarke.

We were delighted to be joined by dance artists from the West Midlands region and dancers from The Blue Room based at Bluecoat house in Liverpool.

Over the two days Aya led the participants into a deeper understanding of their own bodies leading them into new ways of moving.

Aya shared objects, pictures and films that helped develop a richness in movement dynamics and articulation.

Aya used props from sources as unlikely as a coathanger to give us a sense of width and weight, to water filled balloons to give us a sense of softness, to watching the elegant walk of a tiger.

The two days workshops culminated in the use of costume to enhance, explore, eschew, force and inspire different ways of moving in solo duet and group forms.

It has been a delight to welcome guest artists to lead workshops for us and regional colleagues, dancers and artists to participate with us. We would like to thank
‘The Gateway’ in Shrewsbury for hosting three of these workshops.

We hope to curate further guest workshops in the future.

Images from day two of the workshop are below. Photography by Ewen Macintyre.