MEN & GIRLS DANCE is a new dance production created by FEVERED SLEEP which will tour the UK between April and October 2016.
MEN & GIRLS DANCE is an innovative work of dance performed by a cast of five high profile professional male dancers and nine girls – cast from the local community in each tour town – aged between 8 and 11. While the production is at once delightful and fun, it’s also politically charged, challenging and thought-provoking.
Devised and choreographed by Fevered Sleep’s artistic directors David Harradine and Sam Butler, the piece is a joyful celebration of connections between men and girls that can sometimes be misconstrued: “We live in a time when the very idea of men interacting with children in a public space causes anxiety,” says David Harradine. “There’s got to be another way of being; there’s got to be the possibility for play, and care, and tenderness, and empathy, and love. That’s why we’re doing this project; to celebrate the potential for play and care and tenderness and empathy and love.”
April 8th Folkestone Quarterhouse at 7pm www.quarterhouse.co.uk
April 9th Folkestone Quarterhouse at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
June 3rd-4th Huddersfield, Lawrence Batley Theatre at 7.30pm www.thelbt.org
August 11th-12th Salford Quays, The Lowry www.thelowry.com
August 25th- 27th Nottingham Dance4 www.dance4.co.uk
October 27th-29th Brighton South East Dance www.southeastdance.org.uk
Produced in Association with Fuel, supported by Arts Council England, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Greenhouse, Esmée Fairbairn
Development of Men & Girls Dance was supported by The Place, London; The Point, Eastleigh; Dance4, Nottingham; Quarterhouse, Folkestone; the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project, Greenhouse and Greenwich Dance.
Robert Clark (choreographer and dancer) all shows except Brighton
Nathan Goodman (Shobana Jeyasingh, Richard Alston) all shows
Kip Johnson (Protein Dance, Vincent Dance, Lea Anderson) all shows except Folkestone
Nick Lawson (Aletta Collins, Marc Brew, h2Dance) all shows
Matthew Morris (Siobhan Davies, DV8, Clod Ensemble) all shows except Huddersfield
Anwar Russell (Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, DV8, Punchdrunk)
only performing at Folkestone, and Huddersfield
‘MEN & GIRLS DANCE’ is co-created in each location with girls drawn from the local community with full support of parents; the girls spend two weeks with the company devising and rehearsing before the public performances.
The piece uses newspaper as a key design element. “The design is a direct response to the role of the print media in creating a negative perception of relationships between men and girls,” continues David Harradine. “We’ve all been aware of tabloid sensationalism…so we take newspaper and we literally rip it up, and repurpose it, and reuse it; we turn it into a thing of beauty…we approach those negative headlines head on, and we dance all over them, until they’re no longer visible, until positive stories take their place.”
Adds Sam Butler: “Unusually we, the directors, have also designed the music for the show. It combines some exquisite music composed by Jamie McCarthy alongside a blend of popular music and spoken word. We wanted to design a sound world evoking both the sadness and confusion around the themes of the piece with the joy we feel in bringing the dancers together.”
“MEN & GIRLS DANCE is for anyone who’s interested in contemporary performance or dance,” concludes David Harradine. “It’s for anyone who cares about human relationships. It’s for people who have never been to see contemporary dance before, and who might be worried about it, or who might think it’s not for them. It is for them. It’s for the parents and relatives and neighbours of the girls who perform in the show. It’s for everyone.”
Fevered Sleep will be in residence for two weeks prior to each performance, and will run a series of conversations that bring people together to talk about the themes of the project. The Talking Place, hosted by Fevered Sleep Associate Artist, Luke Pell, will be located in each town and will offer opportunities for people to talk about the piece, ask questions and to air their views.