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 the next performance along one of the tree lined avenues within the grounds of the famous Old Royal Naval College. However, I was immediately sidetracked by a gathering crowd. Now I was always told not to do your dirty laundry in public but having stumbled across Directie & Co’s Laundry XL I may well have been mis-informed ! A cast of 6 women wound through the crowd carrying buckets filled with wet sheets who then began to frantically wash and flail their sheets , with water flying everywhere – mostly over the shocked onlookers
Buckets were emptied and next it was time to dust some more sheets off. Clouds of dust engulfed us as the laundry women dressed in white continued to surprise the audience. No sooner had the chaos began , they marched off into a new unsuspecting crowd ! I dusted my self off, quite literally, and tried to catch up with the GDIF sign bearer !
When i caught up it was time to ‘Sit Back’, well that was the name of the next performance by Moxie Brawl. With music of the era playing we were transported back to 1942 and a team of London Transport trollybus ‘Clippies’ enjoying their lunch beak between shifts on the 601 route. The dance ranged from Lindy Hop to modern to weave a story of the what the 1942 was like in London for women and the revolution of the female workforce and the new roles of women during the WW2. Fun and moving in degrees it was a thought provoking piece.
My last performance of the day was Te Odiero by Spanish company HURyCAN. One male and one female dancer took to the small arena with crowds gathered on all side’s. Not long into the performance the female performer was dropped by the male and they appeared to have a short intense argument before storming off – this literally drew gasps from the crowd! People were genuinely shocked , myself included but we were caught hook line and sinker as it transpired to be all part of the performance !! What followed was and intense and athletic Tango of sorts. With both performers looking like they were out to do each other damage they skilfully danced a fine line between beauty and simmering brutality. With echoes of flamenco and jazz it was indeed a piece that demanded you kept you eyes on them the whole time.
Next up for me is Dancing City in Canary Wharf this Saturday the 28th. Running from 1PM until 5PM right across the many squares , parks and waterfronts of Canary Wharf you will see everything from ballet to street dance set against some amazing skyscraper backdrops. Keep an eye out for the GDIF volunteers with signs guiding you to where the action is, and if you see a short, normally sunburnt photographer in a blue GDIF ‘press and media’ hi vis vest then please say hi – as that’ll be me!
I will rush home to download my images then will be back to Artillery Square in Woolwich for 10PM to see Arka bring down the closing curtain on this year’s GDIF. The staging looks spectacular and is being performed by its Polish company on the exact 100th anniversary of the assignation of the Archduke Ferdinand, which ultimately led to WW1. The theme of the performance is war and emigration and im sure will be unforgettable and thought provoking. Enjoy.