Saturday, 8 July 2017

Skin Dramaturgy: Andrea Walker @ Edfringe 2017

As part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017, 
201 Dance Company presents
This is not my body. This is not my body. This is not my body.

After a sell-out international tour of their production 'Smother', 201’s contemporary hip-hop style returns with SKIN: an intimate journey of self-discovery performed from Wednesday 2 - Monday 28 August, Pleasance Courtyard – Beyond at 8pm.

This dance/theatre piece explores one boy’s journey through gender transition. Blending urban and contemporary styles and original music, award winning choreographer Andrea Walker directs a cast of 7 dancers in a fast paced, emotionally driven story of identity and belonging.


What was the inspiration for this performance?
Skin” tells a boy’s intimate journey of gender transition to find a body that feels like home, all through the medium of hip-hop and contemporary dance. Kit Redstone and Cairo Nevitt’s personal stories hugely inspired me. Both are collaborators on the show. My own battle with anxiety was also a big inspiration in creating “Skin” and its central character. 

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 
I think it’s the best place! I truly believe the stage is such a powerful tool that can awake thoughts and opinions you didn’t even know you had. 

How did you become interested in making performance?
Dancing has always been a huge passion of mine, but I never felt I quite fit within the hip-hop dance world, and likewise I didn’t feel I belonged to the contemporary world either. So I thought I’d start my own dance company, where I get to move the way I move and take elements from the dance styles I love the most to create an aesthetic unique to 201.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

I am very inspired by my dancers: sometimes we’ll get into rehearsals and I’ll teach a section that is very choreography heavy. Other times we’ll roll around the floor until I see something that inspires me. Narrative will always be key to my work: I want the audience to almost forget they’re watching dance and seamlessly follow the story that’s taking place. We do a lot of work to ensure the storyline is clear without using a single word.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

Most definitely! 201 Dance Company has built a reputation for using urban dance to tell stories that matter, especially within the LGBT community. With “Skin” we very much wanted to keep this alive.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?

“Skin” follows a very emotional story, one that anyone who’s ever experienced anxiety or the feeling of not fitting in will be able to relate to. Expect to be moved, surprised, but also entertained by some full-out urban choreography.

201 Dance Company has created a buzz with their vibrant dance-theatre that crosses genres. They are driven to confront issues and challenge social prejudices. The company has performed to much acclaim in New York at the Manhattan Movement Center and New York Symphony Space, had 2 consecutive sell-out years at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and won an outstanding award for choreography developed at The Broadway Dance Center. 

Their sell-out show ‘Smother’ is currently touring the UK.. In August 2015 choreographer Andrea Walker was nominated for an Inspire: Change Maker Award by London Dance.

ANDREA WALKER – DIRECTOR / CHOREOGRAPHER Andrea Walker is the founder and artistic director of 201 Dance Company. London based, he began dancing aged 14 in Rome, Italy, and continued his study and exploration of dance at The Metropolitan Arts Institute in Phoenix, Arizona (USA), and at The Broadway Dance Center in New York City, from which he graduated with a Certificate of Excellence and winning the Outstanding Award for Concept Choreography. 

Most recently, he choreographed and danced Ebony Bones’ tour, and opened Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation Show in Miami with the band. Other credits include Coldplay, Aggro Santos, Kimberly Walsh (Girls Aloud), Impact Dance (Peackock Theatre), Xbox, T-Mobile, Martini and D&G.

PATRICK COLLIER – PRODUCER Patrick is a London based theatre producer. Other recent work includes Graeae Theatre’s “Re:Imagine India” Project (part of the UK/India year of culture), Theatre Temoin’s ‘The Marked’ (Pleasance King Dome 2016), Access All Areas’ ‘The Misfit Analysis’ (VAULT Festival 2016, Pleasance and touring 2015), Sparkle and Dark’s ‘I Am Beast’ (Pleasance 2015), Fourth Monkey Ensemble’s ‘Elephant Man’ (touring 2014-15), Sparkle and Dark’s ‘Killing Roger’ (touring 2014), Theatre Témoin’s ‘The Fantasist’ (London, Edinburgh and touring 2011-2013), Access All Areas’ ‘Eye Queue Hear’ (touring 2013-15), Theatre Témoin’s ‘Nineveh’ (Riverside Studios London 2013), Theatre Re’s ‘The Little Soldiers’ (Pleasance Queen Dome 2013), Metta Theatre’s ‘Monkey & Crocodile’ (Touring 2013), ‘The Rub’ for the New York's Tremor Theatre Collective (New Orleans 2012), and Iris Theatre’s ‘As You Like It’ (Covent Garden Open Air Theatre 2012). Patrick trained at Trinity College Dublin and is a recipient of the Natwest Young Producer’s bursary.

LISTINGS INFORMATION: SKIN will be performed from Wednesday 2nd- Monday 28 August, 8pm, Pleasance Courtyard - Beyond, Tickets £7 - £12

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