Monthly Archives: October 2010
Oh. My. God. Hofesh Shechter’s Political Mother was absolutely brilliant. The show, with its mind-blowing sound track, was quite disturbing. There was some sort of order despite the ‘chaos’ on stage. Totally agree with The Guardian’s Judith Mackrell:
Hofesh Shechter’s latest work detonates on stage in a scattershot of shattering political imagery. A samurai soldier performs ritual hara-kiri while a dictator, standing high above his skewered body, rants out a guttural message of triumph. Two men dance with ardent, springy folk steps to the music of Verdi, hero of the Risorgimento, until they are scattered by the bullying tattoo of four military drummers.
In Political Mother, Shechter returns to his most characteristic theme, puzzling over the mechanisms of state and society, but his focus here is on the ways in which ideals of camaraderie, duty and service can be annexed and brutalised by a repressive power.
Folk dance, always a powerful element in Shechter’s work, is the dominant language. His 10 dancers lift their hands to the skies and bow their heads as they stamp and leap in unison – intricate floor patterns bind them. But with subtle manipulations, Shechter then tweaks the vocabulary so that it faces in two directions, towards servitude and freedom.
The Shechter signature simian moves were there combined with elements of folk dance. The lighting was astounding and three dancers really shone through for me – Sita Ostheimer, Chien Ming Chang and Maëva Berthelot.
Here is a sneak peak, thanks to Sadler’s Wells.
Outside Nottingham Playhouse, it was really lovely speaking with Hofesh, whom I’ve briefly met when he did Watch This Space for International Dance Festival Birmingham 2008. He told a group of aspiring dancers that it took a year to ‘do everything’. He also said that to put something like this together, you have to be really determined and committed to the project.
Political Mother is currently on tour. Catch it if you can! You can watch the SkyArts coverage when the show premiered at Brighton Dome.
This year’s RTS Midlands Centre Awards is going to be on the 4th of November held at the impressive University of Birmingham Great Hall.
Here are the nominees:
Best Promotional Programme
Working for You – Tinker Taylor
Disabled and Living in Walsall – Pat The Bull Films
Be Active – Television Junction
Transforming Lives – Rebecca Battman
Facing the Fat – IdeasLab
Doctors – BBC Drama
Land Girls – BBC Drama
Best Short Film
Handle with Care
The Moon Bird
Best Acting Performance
Elisabeth Dermot Walsh
Best Digital Innovation
Embarrassing Bodies Live – Maverick
Such Tweet Sorrow – Mudlark
WeVee – InCahoots
Countrywise (War of the Roses) – ITV Central
The Man Who Shrank the Globe – AB Media
Countrywise (Guernsey) – ITV Central
Best On Screen Personality
Bob Warman – ITV Central
Paul Heiney – ITV Central
Stavros Flatley – Aquila TV
Marverine Cole – Sky
Sameena Ali-Khan – ITV Central
Lucy Kite – ITV Central
Best New Talent
Lucy Watson – ITV Central
Dave Stephenson – Fullrange
David Poole – The Interviewee
Deborah Aston – Made In Birmingham
Anna Louise Shelton – Trolley
Best On Screen Game
Keepy Uppy, Fish in a Bottle
Battle of Britain 308 Squadron, Fish in a Bottle
Best Production Craft Skills
Lewis Arnold – Stained
Neil Hillman – The Audio Suite – Handle With Care
James Willson – AB Media
Dave Stephenson – Fullrange
Andrew Fox – Inspirations: Bringing Education to the Himalayas – Maverick
Paul Thompson – Countrywise, ITV Central
Central Tonight – ITV Central
Best Current Affairs
Balls to Poverty – Peter Bearne, ITV Central
White Collar Boxing – Andy Bevan, ITV Central
65th Arnhem Anniversary – Keith Wilkinson, ITV Central
Time Warp – Victoria Davies, ITV Central
Embarrassing Bodies – Maverick
The Man Who Shrank the Globe – AB Media for BBC East Midlands
Made In Birmingham – Birmingham Popular Music Archive
Countrywise – ITV Central
Good luck to everyone and see you on the 4th!
This October, Kissy Sell Out and A-Trak are bringing the largest DJ competition in the world to ULU in London with Red Bull Thre3style – the DJ battle that takes the art of spinning to a new level.
The rules of Red Bull Thre3style are simple – participants have to play a selection of at least three genres of music in 15 minutes, combining technical DJing and party rocking prowess. Any genre of music is allowed, as long as the DJ can make it work.
Kissy Sell Out will head the search for the next party DJ hoping to make the grand final in Paris, judging at each event and also demonstrating his mixing skills with a throw-down set each night.
Also, Red Bull Reporter are for a talented photographer to head down to the London heat tomorrow evening at the University of London Union. If you think that you fit the bill then submit your best work at http://www.redbullreporter.com/2010/10/red-bull-thre3style/ and tag it with ‘Red Bull Thre3style’.
Data Art is something that I encountered during The Media Festival Arts 2010. It’s quite a cool concept, because the project aims to engage people in visualising information as contemporary media form. This is a collaboration between BBC Learning Innovation and the Centre for Research in Education, Art and Media (CREAM) at the University of Westminster. The University of Westminster’s contribution to this project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and it will run over a period of 22 months that started on November 1st 2009.
Data is all around us. Public and private institutions are waking up to the fact that releasing data is not only politically useful in an age which values transparency, but can also foster innovation, improve services and reduce costs.
The Data Art project has the aim of teaching the skills needed to interpret this data by visualising it in creative ways.
Data Art has developed data visualisations of the BBC’s output including news information from around the world, web articles, music, data, and video and learning resources.
Have a look at what they’ve already produced.
You can take part too. The team is interested to hear your thoughts and feedback whether you are a pro or a complete novice to the subject.
I’m very excited about Blaze – The Streetdance Sensation. After premiering in London’s West End in March this year, Blaze goes to Birmingham Hippodrome for five shows of non-stop dance – from hip hop to popping and locking – from Thursday 7 – Saturday 9 October 2010.
This is what Birmingham Hippodrome says about Blaze:
Mixing nightclub vibes with West End production values combined with the raw impact of a music gig, Blaze is a high energy theatrical show of 80 minutes non-stop dance from some of the world’s hottest DJs, B-Boys and street dancers, all working together in this spectacular stage production.
Directed by top West End director and choreographer Anthony Van Laast, Blaze features 16 of the best street dancers and breakers in the world with choreography from some of the brightest and hottest names in popular dance.
Continuing the meteoric rise of street dance after the success of TV-shows such as Britain’s Got Talent, Blaze, featuring So You Think You Can Dance finalists Lizzie Gough and Tommy Franzen, is guaranteed to delight street dance junkies and newcomers alike.
Experience the thrill of street dance as you’ve never seen it before!
I had the privilege of meeting two of the Blaze dancers – Caramel, who is originally from Birmingham, and Carlos Neto from Portugal – as part of my involvement with IDFB. Here’s a video of them that I made. With thanks to IDFB for the video.