Collab with Blasio Kavuma, and Confusing Styles

We’re really proud of the recent collaboration with composer Blasio Kavuma, in partnership with the NPO Sound and Music, creating a new show mixing live music and dance, presented at Hackney Showroom last week.

The piece explores what spirituality means, which is such a daunting subject to approach, almost narcissistic to try. After sharing experiences and thoughts, and the work became less about religion, less about the sacred and profane. I think we’ll get to those things as the work develops, but the surface of this deeply symbolic subject is thick to scratch. The show became about the repetition in life, loss, and love, about daily ritual and rites of passage. How far a performance of music and dance can be spiritual is a much harder question.

The combination of music and dance was also really ambitious. Blasio was drawing from Gospel, as well as neo-impressionism and African rhythms. Dance came from roots in hip hop, mixing contemporary, and in parts influenced from African traditions. In feedback, one comment was that the piece was confusing in it’s mix of styles. In both dance and society form and identity is becoming more fluid, and I think this is the kind of criticism we strive for. Bringing this together created a strange voice, but one we are starting to find more familiar, reflecting the difficult interplay of our personal and cultural beliefs.

We are excited to continue to explore this in the next stage of the show’s development!

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Si Rawlinson