Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Pick & Mix

Last Saturday we performed Catch at Pick & Mix at Woolworths in Leytonstone. This is a a duet I created with Katsura Isobe in 2005. We have been performing it many times since then but this was the first time it was shown outside a conventional theatre setting. I was worried about how this very abstract work would communicate in a less formal space and from a close up viewpoint. There was a moment of fear in the morning brought about by the technical challenges of the venue (for example electricity...) and a sense of unpredictability of how people would interact with the space, with each other and with us. But the warm and welcoming reception of the audience, which ranged from toddlers to pensioners, calmed me down and allowed me to enjoy the physicality of the piece. I never performed with so many people smiling at me. I loved all the other performances, which ranged from committed Hip Hop choreographed by Tashan Muir and performed by Unity Youth to a classical work beautifully choreographed by Kim Brandstrup for two dancers of Rambert Dance Company. There was a delightfully entertaining solo by Elisabetta d'Aloia, choreographed by Bettina Strickler, and many more treats, including duets by Dean James and Seeta Patel and an intriguing solo performance by Shala Tarrant of a new work choreographed by Fearghus O'Conchuir around the Woolworths' letters. Fearghus was also the curator of the event. He says: "I was happy too to have helped create a space where these choreographers could work side by side, generously, creatively and in that spirit, share their work with the audience." I feel that the success of the event had a lot to do with his gentle and attentive approach and I was happy that about 300 people attended the performances on that day!


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