Dancing City Photo Blog by Dave Flynn

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This gallery contains 8 photos.

Photo blog from GDIF2014 Photo Ambassador Dave Flynn  

WET WEATHER

Dancing City
Saturday 28 June 2014
1pm – 5pm
Canary Wharf, London, E14

In response to the wet weather forecast for this afternoon, some performances have been moved to new indoor locations, some timings may change and the advertised “Dancing City Journeys” will not be going ahead. Volunteers will be onsite to answer any questions and to offer suggestions on what shows to see next.

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For latest updates, GDIF Volunteers at the Information Point on Jubilee Plaza (outside Canary Wharf Underground station), will be on hand. There will also be PA announcements and updates on Twitter #gdifupdates

We’ll be doing everything we can to bring you as much of the programme on schedule as possible.

Thank you for your understanding and have a great afternoon!

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

Chris Pavia of StopGap on Outdoor Dance

Chris Pavia
The Awakening choreographer StopGap Dance Company 

Credit StopGap Dance Company

Credit StopGap Dance Company

I’ve had a lot of experience doing outdoor arts because I’ve performed with Stopgap Dance Company in SPUN Productions and Tracking both of which were part of GDIF. I learnt from this experience that it’s important to make dance material actually outside and not in a studio because we have to get used to the gravelly concrete floor, the sun in our eyes and the wind in our faces.

Credit StopGap Dance Company

Credit StopGap Dance Company

And the atmosphere of the outside is different to working inside. All of these things change the way we dance. We also have to think about the audience and how they surround the performance. The dancers can be seen at all times in the outdoors because there are no wings.

Credit StopGap Dance Company

Credit StopGap Dance Company

 

But the audience being so close is exciting because I get to see their faces and I get to interact with them. It’s harder to do this in theatres where it’s dark, and I enjoy being close to the audience when I perform.

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Check out StopGap Dance Company in ‘The Awakening’ at Dancing City!

Inside Out

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 9.15.38 AMLucian Msamati

Artistic Director, Tiata Fahodzi

For a mostly building based company like Tiata Fahodzi, the making of Hamba, our first outdoor show, has very much been the ultimate ‘back-to-basics’ challenge. The bricks, tricks and mortar of theatre buildings offer a degree of certainty: audience there, actors here, share a drink over there.

Outside on the street you are literally and figuratively at the mercy of the elements; yes, there are codes and understood rules of engagement but there
is no guarantee that they are espoused and respected in the same way by everyone else.

The fundamental need of the performer in this zone however is the same: to demand, engage and hold the attention of an audience. So how do I move someone to
tears as they run to catch the bus or chat or daydream? For us the answers began with questions from within: what makes you stop/ turn your head/ pay attention/ engage in the park/street/bus/motorway tailback etc.? When a car backfires or tyres screech, we react viscerally. There is something unguarded and honest in it.

In other words, the more honest and unapologetic the subject or object is the more likely we are to pay attention. The Proscenium Arch of a theatre justifies our  great and magical games of complicit make believe; doing so in your local park or high
street demands that you justify yourself! In other words the concept of certainty has to come from within.

This was our cue to buckle down and tell the story honestly, openly, enthusiastically and with integrity. Storytelling, make-believe and theatre existed long before the West End. Architecture, technology and lyricism never trump the truth: a good story, told with invention doesn’t need a huge budget to work. Now is our time to be honest and courageous and hope you are transfixed!

Catch The Legend of Hamba one more time tonight (Thursday, June 26) at 8:30 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as part of Global Streets

Photo blog from Stu Mayhew Greenwich Fair Day 2

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This gallery contains 8 photos.

Photo blog from Stu Mayhew Greenwich Fair Day 2   By mid afternoon the crowds were enjoying the glorious hot weather and spoilt for choice for interesting street theatre. I followed a GDIF volunteer with a sign guiding me to … Continue reading

Libyan Street Theatre hits Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Tonight marks the World Premiere of Libyan Street Theatre by The National Theatre of Tripoli and Periplum. Here’s an inside look from our Associate Producer Nathan Curry:

Over the past year I have visited Libya 6 times and created with my Libyan
colleagues (by all accounts) the first ever piece of Libyan Street Theatre. The project was a partnership between the British Council and the National Theatre of Tripoli and we performed the piece ‘A Family Picnic’ in a public park in March this year. It was an incredible experience.

libya

Little theatre has been happening in Libya in recent years. The former regime didn’t support the art form and the act of going to theatre buildings to watch a play is a completely foreign idea to most people in the country. Since the revolution, as the Libyan people attempt to work out their new identity and cope with continual disruptions to daily life, it has understandably not been a priority to create a theatrical landscape or even a theatre performance. The hugemajority of Libyans have little idea what the theatre is or could be- a whole generation has not experienced it. Therefore the creation of a street theatre performance, that took the theatre out to the people in their local spaces, was a vital and timely development. It worked really well and we were all thrilled with the response.

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Working with Libyan actors, designers and musicians we created the story of a family get together to celebrate the 18th birthday of the youngest son. Entirely in Arabic with local music and recognisable family dynamics the piece arrived in a Tripoli park one sunny afternoon and unpacked its tale. A relatively simple story was hugely enjoyed and understood by crowds that we struggled to keep off the ‘stage’. It was a humbling experience to see the hunger and desire for storytelling and a community experience. There is no formal theatre training in Libya and very little opportunity to act or create work. The opportunity afforded to us by the European Development Fund and the British Council to both make a show in Libya and also a residency at GDIF will have huge impact on theatre practice for the Libyan artists.

Nathan Curry
Associate Director,
GDIF

Photo blog from Stu Mayhew

Hi
My name is Stu Mayhew and I am an amateur photographing living in Greenwich borough. I am also vice chairman of Greenwich’s Civic Award winning camera club – Aperture Woolwich Photographic Society            
Im delighted to say this is now my third year as a GDIF photographer and 2nd as an official blogger. I missed Friday nights curtain raiser Muaré so was chomping at the bit to get along to Greenwich Fair on a perfectly  hot, sunny Saturday.
Greenwich was buzzing by 1PM and my first port of call was by the Cutty Sark ship to watch Light The Fuse perform Full Stop. In a mix of dance and physical theatre the three performers took the crowd through what might happen during 24hrs at a bus shelter, from battling mums with prams to raving on the roof. Against the backdrop of Greenwich’s best known landmark it made for some great photography and a big crowd enjoyed the story.
Full Stop by Light the Fuse at GDIF2014; Photo by Stu Mayhew

Full Stop by Light the Fuse at GDIF2014; Photo by Stu Mayhew 

I moved on into the grounds of the Naval College where I think it really puts the “Festival” into Greenwich and Docklands Festival. Lots here to see but I settled on Frantic by Acrojou. Choreographed around a large wheel like structure the performers combined modern dance theatre with acrobatics in a piece I find hard to put into words but found strangely moving. The performance ended in a shower of rain, thankfully as part of the story, and the soaked dancers took their bows to rapturous applause.
 
Frantic by Acrojou at GDIF2014; Photo by Stu Mayhew

Frantic by Acrojou at GDIF2014; Photo by Stu Mayhew

 

For my 3rd show of the afternoon I made my way through the crowds back into Cutty Sarks Gardens where artist Joan Català was performing Pelat. Having literally roped in 4 members of the audience to assist him raise a pole using 4 ropes. Instructions came solely by shouting the single word “Huuut” in varying degrees of volume and pitch. Everyone seemed to understand perfectly what to do in what was a hugely entertain piece of almost circus – the children in the audience were transfixed as Joan finally managed to make it to the top of the hoisted pole. Great fun

 

Pelat by Joan Catala at GDIF2014; Photo by Stu Mayhew

Pelat by Joan Catala at GDIF2014; Photo by Stu Mayhew

I will return to tell tales from the rest of my day at the Greenwich Fair
 
Stu

GDIF2014 starts today with Awardio photo contest!

GDIF2014 starts today – join us on in Cutty Sark Gardens for a giant circus wheel, street games, musical men on segways and our opening night spectacle Muare with aerialists, live music and mobile op-art in front of the Queen’s House next to The National Maritime Museum.

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In collaboration with Award.io we are running a photo contest for the second year in a row for this year’s Festival, which also starts today! So, if you came to GDIF2014 and take some great shots with your camera, mobile phone or tablet upload them onto the portal and get a chance to win an incredible series of prizes.

The theme this year is “Street Theatre”

1st Place: 

2nd place:

3rd Place:

Runner-Up:

All photos from winners will be displayed during a digital exhibition at The Greenwich Gallery on their plasma screen in Fall 2014. Details TBD.

The contest closes August 31, 2014. To submit your entry go to award.io/GDIF. Participation in the contest is free. GDIF will also pick a selection of submitted photos to feature in GDIF2014’s photo galleries.

Tony Othen from The Greenwich Gallery will join a representative from the GDIF team on the judging panel.

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