2016 was an explosive year for me, and one that questioned some of the biggest issues currently surrounding our sense of identities. I started the year with Joli Vyann’s jaw dropping dance-circus show Imbalance. Watching two dancers performing breath-taking moves while holding a mobile phone really puts into perspective how mad our lives can be. It is currently being performed at Sadler’s Wells, so you should definitely check it out. Then I had the great pleasure of working with the super talented Tim Casson on Night at the Theatre, which playing off the stereotypes of what a theatre can be and do, and was a shed load of fun.
Talking of which, in April had two brilliantly fun photoshoots with Commotion Dance and KJ L Mortimer. KJ and I found some really interesting images exploring contemporary dance against Chichester’s unique identity as a small city with a unique mix of urban and rural architecture. Next I brushed up on my balkan tangos and man waltzes for Ieva Kuniskis‘s They Live Next Door, which asks how social stereotypes affect our identity and our relationships with each other, and tours this year (2017). It follows two male performers negotiating the complex matrix of male relationships showing that you can feel immense frustration, anger, and incredible love all in the same moment.’
Then there was The Enormous Room that spoke of loss and nostalgia with some mesmerising dance from Stopgap Dance. When our relationships are such a huge part of our identity, what happens when that part of you dies, and what impact does that have on your other relationships.
At the end of the summer I remade The Deluge for rural touring with Lila Dance, which continues to tour into 2017. It is about a whole community finding a sense of identity through their shared experience of a natural disaster. When a flood washes everything away, what remains precious to you?
I was then very fortunate to travel to Dubai to make Where is Christmas with Commotion Dance, which is a magical and heart warming dance show for children, proving that the identity of christmas can be made with a few cardboard boxes and just the children’s imagination.
Finally, I worked with Floods of Ink on People are People, an absolutely fascinating theatre show about gender identity- probably the most complicated identity issue of today. Still filled with taboo, stereotypes and misrepresentations our ideas of gender need a serious update, which makes People are People a hugely important show.