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Scarabeus Aerial Theatre present DEPTHS OF MY MIND

SCARABEUS AERIAL THEATRE – Antonio Harris in Depths of my Mind. Photo by Mark Morreau

SCARABEUS AERIAL THEATRE present ‘DEPTHS OF MY MIND’ a journey into the teenage brain which premieres at BRIT SCHOOL, CROYDON on 23rd to 25th September and 30th September  to 2nd October 2016. Presented by Polka Theatre in Wimbledon as part of Brainwaves festival.

SCARABEUS AERIAL THEATRE has been producing enthralling site-specific aerial and abseiling productions since the company was co-founded in 1988 by Daniela Essart and Søren Nielsen. This autumn the company’s new show, ‘DEPTHS OF MY MIND’ takes the company into new and daring physical theatre territory and will premiere at The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in Croydon on September 23rd 2016.

We have a dream team of highly skilled cast of aerialists, actors and dancers for this tour,” says Daniela Essart, Scarabeus’ Artistic Director, who brings her formidable skills in aerial dance and physical theatre, stilt dancing and balance acrobatics and more to this truly exciting, mind expanding production.

‘Depths of my Mind’ will combine aerial skills with visual theatre: “We’ll bring to life the latest developments in neuroscience and neuroimaging connected to the teenage brain to explore what it’s like to be changing and searching for somewhere to belong,” continues Daniela.

The set features cleverly designed transparent plexiglass platforms (see photos) ranged 7 metres above ground to enable audiences and artists to see each other; four characters – each a teenager, each with his or her own developing characteristics – discover what it’s like to grow and change, make friends, or not, feel isolated or loved, challenged or bored, stalked or ignored.

BRIT SCHOOL – 60 The Crescent, Croydon CR0 2HN
September 23rd 7.30pm
September 24th 3pm, 7.30pm
September 25th 1pm, 5pm
September 30th 3pm, 7.30pm (post-show discussion 8.45pm)
October 1st 3pm, 7.30pm
October 2nd 1pm, 5pm
Tickets: £13.50 – concs for under-18s; tickets from www.polkatheatre.com

October 13th 7.30pm
October 14th 2pm (workshop details here)

November 13th 7.30pm

The platforms are movable,” says Daniela, “to reflect the instability of teenagers’ lives. And because they are see-through, it means the audience can gaze at the performers and vice versa. We have dream sequences onto which we project colourful, almost psychedelic images of the brain (see photo below by Mark Morreau) with different colours representing different chemicals inside the brain; during the production questions are vocalized and projected onto a screen in order to create a narrative. I expect there will be adults in the audience who will be reminded of their own teenage years.

‘Depths of my Mind’ has been choreographed by the highly acclaimed aerialist Lindsey Butcher: “We were delighted to get Lindsey on board for this project,” says Daniela. “Her exceptional level of experience as a choreographer and performer of aerial suspensions combined perfectly with our strong track record of successful collaborations.

The piece has been created in consultation with youngsters aged 12-25 and benefits from the collaboration with the NeuroScience and Psychiatry Network at Cambridge University and its 5 year U-Change study, about the teenage experience of developmental brain changes, peer pressure, and social challenges. ‘Depths of my Mind’ is funded by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England.

The Company:
Rachel Brennan (aerial artist) graduated from London Studio Centre and joined Scarabeus through the company’s In Flight professional development programme (run in partnership with WAC Arts Camden and Upswing Aerial), and has also taken part in professional development opportunities with Akram Khan Company and Fidget Feet. This is Rachel’s first professional performance with Scarabeus.

Antonio Harris (Chinese Pole artist) trained at Chez Bejart in Lausanne, Switzerland and The Place (London Contemporary Dance School). He specialised in Chinese Pole at Circus Space finishing with a BA in Circus Arts in 2012. Antonio has since worked with Kristine Landon-Smith, DV8 Physical Theatre, Lindsey Butcher (Gravity and Levity), and Square Peg.

Hauk Pattison (Chinese Pole artist) graduated from the National Centre for Circus Arts in 2012, specialising in Chinese Pole. A trained actor, he has performed with the RSC, and has previously worked with Scarabeus on ‘Slick’ and last year’s tour of ‘Be-Loved’.

Willow Vidal-Hall (Aerial artist) graduated from Circomedia and has worked with John-Paul Zaccarini, Brixton Jamm, Circomedia, Creative Carnival and Creative Common in Bristol, the Hoochie Koochie Kabaret, Ball and Wonderland, the Boom Town Festival and Bristol Museum. Willow toured with Scarabeus in ‘La Tempesta’ and ‘Be-Loved’.

Peter Glanville (Co-Director and Dramaturg) is the artistic director/chief executive at Polka Theatre in Wimbledon, south London and was previously artistic director at Little Angel Theatre, Islington, where he directed numerous critically acclaimed productions including Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘The Tear Thief’, Michael Rosen’s ‘We are Going on a Bear Hunt’ and more. Peter and Daniela collaborated on and co-directed the successful national tour of the Little Angel/Scarabeus co-production of “La Tempesta’ in 2013. Peter is also founder festival director of SUSPENSE: London Puppetry Festival.

Lindsey Butcher (Choreographer) is a renowned aerialist, choreographer, performer and director; she has worked with numerous dance, theatre and opera companies and in 2003 she founded Gravity & Levity Aerial Dance to develop her passion for combining dance and aerial suspension techniques to liberate and intensify the possibilities of each. Under Lindsey’s direction, G&L have created three full length touring aerial dance productions, an outdoor piece and several site-specific commissions and films. Collaborative artists have included Charles Linehan, Charlotte Vincent, Kevin Finnan of Motionhouse, and Darshan Singh Bhuller.

Artistic Directors: Daniela Essart and Peter Glanville
Choreographer: Lindsey Butcher
Video artist: Mark Morreau
Technical director and rigger: Søren Nielsen
Performers: Rachel Brennan, Antonio Harris, Hauk Pattison, Willow Vidal-Hall
Dr Becky Inkster, Prof Ian Goodyer, Prof Ed Bullmore and Prof Peter Jones, Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network (www.nspn.org.uk)


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