Bodies in Urban Spaces

I project managed the Bristol edition of this award winning outdoor dance project which involves local dancers exploring how their bodies can interact with their Urban Environment. Commissioned by Bristol City Council and included in Mayfest’s programme, choreographer Willi Dorner came to Bristol to find a route for the dancers to work with. He liked the concrete, the bus stops, the bear pit.

We gathered a group of brilliant local dancers and Willi spent time finding ways that they could balance, squeeze, climb and insert themselves into the city’s architecture. We had a disused shop as our warm-up space and had to do a fair amount of explaining and permission seeking to use the spaces Willi liked.

An unforeseen diary clash emerged meaning that BIUS was going to cross with Stokes Croft festival on a Saturday evening. This brought up extra concerns about our performer’s safety but, in the end, created beautiful scenes such as a dancer standing dead-still on top of a bus stop where a tiny rave was occurring, and a group of bemused party goers following our posse of colourfully clothed dancers around the city centre as they stopped to arrange themselves in their fascinating formations.

Though the police had been notified, at one point a voice over a loud speaker in the centre of town bellowed out to ask the colourfully dressed people who had just climbed on top of the public toilet building’s roof and arranged themselves into a ball to please climb down. The dancers held their positions whilst we called the police to explain that it was art!

A set of stairs at the end of the route was being developed which happily meant that the performance was fully wheelchair friendly providing another highlight of wheelchair users racing around the spaces following the dancer’s route. More bodies winding around their urban spaces in a dynamic, enchanting fashion.

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