NEWS

Igor and Moreno | Spot the Difference

Spot the Difference, was the first iteration of the piece A Room for All our Tomorrows by London-based performance duo Igor x Moreno in collaboration with Aoife McAtamney. The work deals with themes of identity, belonging and uniqueness.

In Spot the Difference Moreno and Aoife – with Igor creating with them from the outside – perform alongside each other; and although they are completely different, they will look confusingly similar to reflect upon what unifies them and what differentiates them and how we hide certain parts of ourselves but reveal others.

In 2015 I joined the performers during their show R&D. I recorded things, edited things and I shared with them a part of the show they didn’t know they had made.

Chisato Ohno, Simon Ellis + Jackie Shemesh | Pause. Listen

I have worked with Simon Ellis on various dance and film projects and he invited me to record Pause.Listen a work he choreographed for dancer Chisato Ohno with lighting designer Jackie Schemesh.

I photographed and documented the work performed at The Place using three camera’s set at different heights. The performance shifts and adapts to the environment each time it is presented.

This particular piece was pivotal for me filmmaker, as it was one of the first times I had noticed the work truly evolve as I watched it twice through, as both audience member and then from behind the lens. The listening became more difficult once I tried to capture the ephemerality of the work through the lens, framing it didn’t seem quite right, as the work really filled the room.

Perhaps it wasn’t meant for camera. Not meant to be recorded and condenses into a series of frames, but meant only for the moment to pause and listen with the performer, in the moment.

Public Displays of Affection | Nylon Theatre

In 2013, I performed as part of Nylon Theatre in their site specific work Public Displays of Affection at London Bridge Live Arts Festival. The work – a promenade piece – weaved playful improvisation and audience interactivity with choreographic games and rhythmic gestures. 

REVIEW: NYLON THEATRE – PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION – KING’S COLLEGE MEMORIAL GARDENS BY GRAHAM WATTS

A quiet oasis of tranquillity nestles underneath the imposing presence of the Shard. The King’s College Memorial Gardens are situated in a central courtyard of Guy’s Campus, a surprisingly secluded place just a stone’s throw away from one of the city’s busiest transport hubs at London Bridge. Sited on a wall at the entrance to the gardens is a little circular blue plaque, which commemorates the remarkable fact that Ludwig Wittgenstein turned his back on philosophy in late 1941 to become a medical orderly, working incognito at Guy’s Hospital during the blitz. A life-sized sculpture of Wittgenstein sits in a shelter enclosed within a tiny wild meadow where it is possible to enjoy the peacefulness of this place by sitting next to ‘him’.

The inner beauty of these gardens is that one simply comes across the Wittgenstein figure among other hidden treasures. I found a tree from which personal memorabilia (including family photographs and ornaments) hung like a giant mobile. I have no idea who the people in the ancient photos are (or were) but the randomness of this encounter adds extra lustre to the intimacy of this precious place. These Gardens provided the perfect location for a “pop-up” event such as this half-hour show by nylon theatre, which has made an outdoors interactive installation out of a work that first saw the light of day in a more traditional theatrical context as part of The Place’s Resolution! Festival in January 2012.

These four performances, spread over two days as part of the London Bridge Live Arts Festival, have actually taken Amy Watson’s Public Displays of Affection back outside since the origins of her work emerged from research and development on the South Bank in late 2011. As Watson wrote in a blog back then, the piece evolved out of her favourite pastime of “people-watching” and – in particular – casually witnessing “real-life displays of affection…..tiny intimacies….snapshots of contact and affection on a grey London day”.

Four female dancers, each dressed variously in shades of mustard, opened the work, as surreptitiously as their colour co-ordinated costumes would allow, occupying different corners of the gardens and moving imperceptibly through people busily on their way from A to B. Some didn’t notice the performers amongst them as they walked on by: one woman sitting on a bench in the centre of the area had told me beforehand that she had come specifically to watch the open air show but then sat, eating her sandwiches for several minutes after it began, blissfully unaware of the activity around her! The four performers (Watson herself, plus Stacie Lee Bennett-Worth, Heather Jeffries and Hanna Wroblewski) moved among the people in the gardens, pulling out earphones to attach to smart phones and offering spectators the opportunity to listen (Bennett-Worth offered me the chance to hear some dialogue from an unknown contemporary movie). Throughout the show it was notable that the dancers paid special attention to any children, many of whom were captivated by their actions.

The choice of music (uncredited) was compatible with the tranquillity of the setting, enhancing the dominant feeling of peacefulness that occupied the area. Some people watched; others just went on with their business and the dancers’ interaction with the public clearly made each show very different. One guy joined in wholeheartedly, marching between Wroblewski and Jeffries while trying to keep in step; another student searched through his garishly-coloured rucksack to find some missing item completely oblivious to Wroblewski’s undulating movement as she danced no more than a metre to his left. It was as if such exhibitionism is a regular feature on Guy’s Campus (and for all I know, perhaps it is).

By far the best of all incidental influences were two young lovers, kissing tenderly while lying on the grass in front of the four dancers during the one brief interlude in which they all danced together in the same place. This young couple were both as significant and as incognito as Wittgenstein had been in this same place over 70 years’ ago, and quite unknowingly – and without credit – their small snapshot of intimacy gave free expression to the title and intention of the piece.

Graham Watts writes for londondance.com, Dance Tabs, Dancing Times and other magazines and websites in Europe, Japan and the USA. He is Chairman of the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle and the National Dance Awards in the UK.

The above text was taken from londondance.com to preserve this review as the site will be closing in 2020.

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Keep that fire burning

They said I should sell myself,
But I didn’t know how.
Writing reams, connecting seams of a future undone.
By societies ideologies and an unknown desire to be successful.
To make money, to be good.
Like I know I should be, but it’s hard to see why a girl like me,
should rise to the top; be the best?
I’ve seen doting teenage mothers, broken families and a society with benefits piling, finding joy.
The rest are filing for divorce, regulars in court, committing crimes and never doing time.
It hurts, when you don’t understand your place.
Hatred and greed, feeding tongues that don’t need feeding anymore.
Seems I’ve been blind.
Head in the transience of time, prancing my way through an education.
Now, a resurrection
Creativity once buried but never lost, and ignited now.
Like a Phoenix, burning bright, dancing and loving like never before.
Being scared? Yeah, scared.
Conforming? Conforming leads to yawning.
Dawning. Yearning. Keep on burning.
Someone might pull the plug, and I’ll lose it all.
But it’s my drug and I’m dancing this addiction.
To a life of creating, earth-quaking, knee-shaking, love making.
You’ll never bring me down.
Happiness, no less. That’s my success.
Throwing myself to the deep.
Taking what I was born to have,
what I was promised to be given.
By them, to keep.

© Stacie Lee Bennett-Worth, 2013