The last week of March saw the première of This Town, the latest site specific performance from Dundee Rep Creative Learning.
The director, Suzi Morris, invited me to work with members of the Whitfield community, and together we devised a dance scene for the extraordinary environement of the machine hall at the Verdant Works of Dundee. With the help of huge sheets and wooden furniture, we evoked the wards of the old East House asylum, where, according to the local press, the inmates (some of them over 80 years old!) used to dance to the accordion music of Blind Mattie, the legendary street musician of Dundee.
During the preparation sessions we used imagery and improvisation tasks to create movement, focusing on different textures and dynamics. We also worked on specific skills such as spatial awareness or movement articulation through body isolations. It was wonderful to see how the participants gained confidence week after week, and how some of them were surprised at finding out what their own body could do!
The production, which was sold out every night, invited the audience to explore other stories in the collective memory of Dundee, like the popular 'pea-busters' or the role of the unions in the live of the city. For those who missed it, here are some production shots by Viktoria Begg:
© All photos by Viktoria Begg