If I’m completely honest an “interactive pop-up dance event” isn’t something I’d go out of my way to see. But I was pleasantly surprised by Big Dance 2012’s charming project, The Dance We Made, which sees dancer Tim Casson visiting various locations in London to perform dances choreographed in-situ by members of the public…
Unlike the disturbing recent trend for filmed flash mob-style events – which either give the impression that the public is taking part in a massive celebration of all things T-Mobile, or shows participants willingly giving up their time to meet and then contrive to be spontaneous – The Dance We Made is far less cynnical in its approach.
Arriving at a given London location, dancer Tim simply talks to a handful of people about their lives and then, yes, makes a dance out of their particular stories in direct collaboration with the story teller. The brief final pieces are then filmed and uploaded to The Dance We Made website.
Below is the performance created from his most recent trip (day five of 20) to a quiet Old Spitalfields Market, where there is nonetheless a willing group of choreographers. One of the participants, Barry, even manages to sneak in some ‘jazz hands’ into his routine (a ‘tap dance finale’ as Tim has it).
Modern dance with a ‘participatory’ element would, as I said, normally see me making my excuses and looking for the exit light. But I really liked the ebullient nature of The Dance We Made and its rather sweet approach to taking dance out on to the streets of London, inviting the public to almost inadvertantly reveal that there is, if not a dancer, then at least a creative type in everyone.
The Dance We Made runs until July 15. It visits Canary Wharf’s Cabot Street today (between 1-2pm), then Peter’s Hill for the Millennium Bridge (1-2pm) and Trafalgar Square’s north terrace (3.30-4.30pm) on June 20; the Barbican’s lakeside terrace (12-2pm) on June 21; and Camden Market (1-2pm) on June 27, with other dates to be confirmed. The project is part of Big Dance 2012, supported by Sadler’s Wells, The Swarm and Arts Council England. More at bigdance2012.com.
Spitalfields film: Performer: Tim Casson; Camera: Luc SungYuLun and Alisa Boanta; Editor: Alisa Boanta; Visuals: Simon Allen; Soundtrack: Oli Newman.
Louise’s routine at Old Spitalfield’s Market
Mark’s dance in action
CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month. Try a free sample issue here
CR in Print
The June issue of Creative Review features an interview with the editors of new book Pretty Ugly: Visual Rebellion in Graphic Design. Plus a profile on multi-award-winning director Johnny Kelly, a look at the latest techniques in movie marketing, the mission to cross CGI’s Uncanny Valley, a review of the Barbican’s Bauhaus show, logos by artists and much more. Plus, in Monograph this month, we look behind the scenes at the making of an amazing installation for Guinness, carved from solid wood.
Please note, CR is no longer stocked in WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your independent newsagent can order it for you or you can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, email Laura McQueen (email@example.com) or call her on 020 7970 4878 to buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.