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Twelve-hour performance of Wallflower

Posted on March 6, 2019

Wallflower performers Karl Jay Lewin Caroline Dubois. Please credit GIFT and Richard Kenworthy

Manchester-based company Quarantine and Dance North Scotland bring the first-ever 12-hour performance of the show Wallflower to Universal Hall, Findhorn, on March 22.

Wallflower is a marathon of dance and memory. Spanning a lifetime of music, fashion, politics, friendships, parties, love and loss, it is a show about how dancing can shape our lives. From midday to midnight, seven performers will try to remember every dance they’ve ever danced. Some of the performers are professional dancers; some are not; some say they can’t dance at all.

There are memories of dancing alone all night at a party; of whirling across the stage of the Paris Opéra; of slowly revolving with a new lover on a canal boat at night; of a repeated tic – a bodily habit that feels like dancing; of dizzily spinning children; of hitting the mark for Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and more.

Wallflower performer Jo Fong. Photograph by GIFT and Richard Kenworthy

Director Richard Gregory says: “We’ve been touring Wallflower over the past four years and grown to realise that the longer its duration, the bigger, richer, more complex and perhaps satisfying it becomes – for audience and performers. So, for the first time, we’re presenting a 12-hour Wallflower in Findhorn. Half a day.

“Something fascinating happens when time gets stretched like this – those doing it and those watching somehow settle into the shifts in tone and rhythm, accepting and enjoying how the work moves from sharing the banal universality of the everyday, to be punctured by explosions of extraordinary experience.”

A DJ, a disco ball and a single chair will join the dancers on stage. One performer sits in the audience, documenting every memory and adding it to an ever-expanding archive, a vast record of hundreds of dances, which is exhibited alongside the performance, beginning with dances from early rehearsals. To date more than 3,000 have been recorded.

Ahead of the performance, Quarantine asked local people in Findhorn to share their own remembered dances. These were recorded in images and text and will be displayed – alongside remembered dances collected across the UK – on a dedicated website and at Universal Hall during the performance, painting a portrait of the local community.

To see portraits of people remembering dances in the other locations that Wallflower has toured, go to wallflowerdances.com. For further details and to buy tickets, go to dancenorth.scot

Main image: Wallflower performers Karl Jay-Lewin and Caroline Dubois. Photograph by GIFT and Richard Kenworthy

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, is out now as an ebook and available on Amazon, with the paperback following on August 22.

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