SIDE STEP - 2016 – Royal Exchange Theatre - Residency
LEGROOM created SIDE STEP a ‘work-in-progress’ piece of interdisciplinary performance as part of the Royal Exchange Theatre’s ‘REACT’ commission of 3 local emerging companies. Working alongside LEGROOM invited artist – Josie Hepplewhite, a community dance practitioner and performer based in Manchester, SIDE STEP was created over 5 days in February at the theatre and culminated in an informal sharing with the producers, fellow artists and a small public audience.
‘REACT’ asked LEGROOM to respond to the following quote:
‘The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people’ – Noam Chomsky
SIDE STEP is a multi layered visual and audio movement piece responding to the quote with a notion of ‘physical empathy’ by manipulating social gestures, partner dance and colloquial body language. We emphasise non-verbal interaction within everyday spaces. The history of partner dance initially influenced this piece and the apparent reasons behind the human need to dance together and ‘be together’ in a certain space and situation. This attempt to create a physical museum of partner dance moving thorough clear sections is satirical in its delivery but has a sensitivity through which we also explore audience interaction and its various forms.
The work is focused upon both physical and collaborative interaction between movement, video, sound – recorded speech, found sound and colloquial and instructional language. The video in the space created by Rowland Hill is a montage of ambiguous hand gestures, and multiple projections are manipulated live in the space alongside the natural light and ‘outside sounds’ also used as a performative element. The accompanying soundtrack is edited live by Chloé Loric creating a visceral cacophony of ‘flesh on flesh,’ spacial sounds, instructional and conversational speech. The performers move within the space reacting to the visual/audio stimuli. This performance is currently still in development and allows only a limited number of audience members.
Movement and Performance – Juliet Davis, Josie Hepplewhite, Amy Lawrence
Sound – Chloé Loric
Video – Rowland Hill