Long time and little sign of Gracefool Collective on this blog. The absence of cyber space presence has been due to a quite busy IRL experience for your favourite interdisciplinary performance company (which is how we sometimes refer to ourselves when writing applications) during autumn 15 and onset of spring 16. We have finished our first grown-up piece, performed it at six different venues, had two photo shoots, launched a rather silly advent calendar, got some funding for sister project ProDanceLeeds, and are now submerged in admin hell trying to submit an arts council application while simultaneously contacting industry people in the name of placing ourselves firmly on the map of THE arts. I understand you want to hear about it all, so sing along in best Sound of Music style and let’s start at the very beginning; a very good place to start:
After four weeks of development during the summer, ‘This really is too much’, new masterpiece signed Gracefool C, saw the light of day. The piece embarked on it’s maiden voyage on September 25 at Riley Theatre, where it was showcased as part of Northern Connections, an opportunity for emerging artists with connections to the north to scratch their work. Performing alongside us were the MiddletonCorpus and James Finnemore.
The piece was a culmination of a total of eight weeks of hard work, i.e. literal blood sweat and tears. It was also the culmination of a thought process over a year long, which included deviations such as a suit-suit, ideas of dressing in skin-coloured unitards and bald caps (yeah, don’t ask me…) and Rachel in rollerblades. We are grateful of having bypassed such obstacles and coming out alive on the other side with our dignity as a company intact. I’m pleased to say that in the end we are pretty happy and excited about the result.
After performing at Riley Theatre, we went on to do two more gigs in the North – Bish Bash Bosh at Yorkshire Dance on Light Night, and a scratch night at Barnsley Civic. Then we did a short version of the piece at a fundraiser for Calais, which a friend of ours put on, after which we got invited to do another show at Performing Britain, curated by Adam Young, at East Street Arts. All in all, a pretty good autumn for the piece! We then did what dancers in the UK have been doing for decades: a pilgrimage to London to be part of Resolution. Sarah Crompton and Amelia Forsbrook wrote a review – read it here:
We are now facing a quieter phase, performance wise, but the admin engines are working full force as we are finalising plans for an exciting coming year. There is one more chance of seeing ‘This really is too much’ in the foreseeable future, and we would of course recommend you all to go and see it. We are performing at Turn at Contact Theatre in Manchester, on April 23. I know it’s still two months away, but put it in your diary! If you are in Manchester and fancy coming see some feminist comedy dancing, you should definitely get a ticket! Looking forward to seeing all fans there!