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SDC Dances For A Lost Traveller (previously Three Films + One) / 27 June 2009

In rehearsal with  Here musicians : Liran Donin , Mark Holub & Luke Barlow

The Company in rehearsal for HERE

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Signdance Collective is at The Warehouse Theatre in Croydon for a three week run. So far it  has been a mixture of Time Out Critics Choice!  to small but beautifully formed and loving audiences. It's a tough time for Signdance Collective, with funding challanges, relocation etc. but it's a good time for our art. The company is making & presenting  work that we really believe in. Work - that may be challanging to the mainstream - but is none-the-less our art.

We are finding the strength to carry on with  SDC,  through performing these quartet of  great new  pieces, 'Dances For A Lost Traveller'. So, If you have the time come see us, please do! We look forward to seeing you.

Dances For A Lost Traveller is at The Warehouse Theatre in Croydon 19 June - 12 July

The Signdance Collective seeks to merge several artistic disciplines together. Although we are a company of disabled and non-disabled artists, we are not trying to create work to enlighten people about the issues surrounding disability, so in that sense we are not dealing with social realism. But rather we are seeking to explore the creative possibilities that a disability suggest.

A hundred years ago a statement like the above would not have been possible; the fact that we are able to do this now says volumes about the new and fragile freedoms that artists for example have gained. A new art movement has grown in the United Kingdom, one that the SDC is proud to belong to, the disability arts movement has been coined as 'The last avant-garde'.

The Signdance collective is essentially the modern equivalent of a medieval troupe of travelling troubadours. Its amazing in that in our journeys the amount of interest we generate, in places where there is no disability arts movement, people are surprised and in turn become active in establishing a disability arts movement of their own. We can actually see the movement spreading and growing throughout the world before our very eyes. Soon sure enough disabled people will become a part of the human story in historical terms no longer an invisible footnote in the grand story of Kings and Tyrants.

We are at the Croydon Warehouse for a Three Week run of our new production and then on National & international tour. It’s called “Dances for a Lost Traveller”, and we are hoping to generate full houses, so if you are interested in shunning the recession blues and keeping Bohemia alive then this gig could be what you need.

'Dances for a Lost Traveller', comprises of four different pieces, all dealing with the theme of communication breakdowns. All the pieces fuse sign language, dance, theatre, film and live music and it’s like nothing that you would see at a mainstream event. We have some of the top musicians in London, so this is definitely a show for music afficiondos. The work is very visual too, and completely accessible for Deaf audiences.

The four pieces were created over the last two year’s; they are the result of collaborations with various artists from around Europe. The first piece is called 'Here'. It’s about a relationship on the rocks, it was directed by one of Slovenia’s top dance artists, Primoz Bayzak, it’s quite Orwellian as the couple is under constant surveillance via a hidden CCTV camera. The couple is struggling and we see this struggle as a dance, the sign-language is fused into the choreography, and we grab snatches of an intense argument. The score was written by Mark Holub, band leader for Led Bib, & the music press is saying that they area  hot tip for a  Mercury Award The music is incredibly powerful jazz rock that lends a foreboding energy to the overall piece.

The second piece is called ‘The Words’, Like in ‘The Birds’, only we are not under attack from the avarian world, but from language itself. From a Deaf perspective “we are surrounded by words that make shapes in the air”, an intellectual fuzz that can cloud us from true feelings. This piece was very cleverly directed by Carla Onni, a dancer from the capital of Sardinia, Cagliari. It’s probably the most lyrical piece. Alex Ward from 'The Dead Ends' provides an amazingly haunting score on electric guitar, as the dancer’s battle for the truth behind the words.

The Third piece is called 'Listen'. Back in 86’ I attended a benefit gig for the miners who were still reeling from the counter-revolutionary onslaught, The Indie bands of the day The Fall, The Smiths and New Order were playing, The acoustics were zinging all over the hall, on departure I was left with Tinnitus, it’s been there ever since. Isolte Avila, our Dance Director who hails from Cuba and Luke Barlow our Music Director got together to create a piece that charts the inner journey I had to make in order to reconcile myself to 'The Noise.' These days ‘the noise’ is no longer the enemy but a friend, it helps me artistically in that it colours and informs the decisions I make as an artist. This piece is probably the punkiest piece we have, it really is a psychological sign dance thriller, and the music will probably have you rocking in your seats. Its incredibly exciting to have been able to work with Isolte, as she is probably one of the most underrated dance artist in the UK. Her choreographic wisdom is phenomenal.

The fourth piece is called 'Travelling'; it’s a madcap, anarchic, screwball comedy. It’s the result of collaboration with Sardinia’s iconic dance theatre company “Carovana”. It explores the life of the travelling troubadour in the plastic modern world of the police state with all of its paranoid surveillance strategies. Re-energize your free spirit and learn some sign-language and salsa, as we guide you on a vision quest for our humanity. Liran Donin created a fantastic score that seems to cover just about every musical genre going; it’s like the world of music in 40 minutes. Oh and he is probably the best bass guitarist in the world.

The road to freedom, The Warehouse Theatre is a couple of stops from Victoria Station, so come on lets show two big fat fingers to the fascist regime, join us for a celebration of the human spirit and possibly a glass of wine downstairs in the bar. 

Dances for a Lost Traveller is for everyone (especially lost travellers) no matter what your background, young and old alike, it crosses cultural divides. We hope to see you at a show! Croydon Warehouse is currently building a new theatre that will be completely accessible. If you feel you can negotiate a flight of stairs with some assistance please don’t hesitate to ask for help. If not then please accept my apologies and check our dates on-line for more accessible up and coming venues. We are at  Information & Tickets :


Keywords: disability art,film