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Fevered Sleep Presents MEN & GIRLS DANCE at The Place

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Fevered Sleep produces thought-provoking projects that challenge people to re-think their relationships with each other and with the world. 'MEN & GIRLS DANCE' - which comes to London for the first time this April - is politically charged, dynamic, delightful, and is performed by a cast of five professional male dancers and nine girls aged 8-11 from around London. With full support of parents, the girls spend two weeks with the company devising and rehearsing the show before the public performances.

"We live in a time when the very idea of men interacting with children in a public space causes anxiety," says Fevered Sleep co-Artistic Director, David Harradine. "There's got to be another way of being; there's got to be the possibility for play, and care, and tenderness, and empathy, and love. Men & Girls Dance is an attempt to imagine and embody this different way of being. It's a public experiment in which dancers of totally different ages, sexes and levels of experience model a different way to be together in the world. The project takes a critical stance on many tenets of participatory practice, and reshapes them into art: touch is celebrated, intimacy is reclaimed; the body becomes a site of play and joy, not of danger and of risk."

Men & Girls Dance was conceived when co-Artistic Director Sam Butler attended her young daughter's ballet recital, shortly after Fevered Sleep held auditions for adult male contemporary dancers to take part in another show. "I saw an opportunity in placing these two very different bodies, side by side, as well as the two ways of dancing. In bringing them together in a shared space I was initially just excited to discover if and how they fitted together, and to celebrate dance in all its forms," says Sam, "This led to a period of research and development which began at The Place, who have been strong supporters of the project since the beginning. We're really looking forward to bringing the show to The Place in April."

"In joining us at The Place for these few weeks the performers and their families become part of a community that loves to move together," says Eddie Nixon, Artistic Director of The Place. "The company have made a safe space for them to celebrate the innocent joy of dancing and the excitement of working hard at something you are passionate about. All of them are extraordinary young people who are the future of our world. We hope this experience will somehow help them shape that future for the better.

"Men & Girls Dance is a wonderfully moving theatre show which reclaims for the world a way of being freely and carefully together," he continues. "Our city needs to have the conversation that this work provokes. Fear is left at the theatre's doors. People are left to share a stage together. It's the most beautifully political, gently radical dance we've ever put on our stage."

The production uses newspaper as a key design element. "The design is a direct response to the role of the print media in creating a negative perception of relationships between men and girls," continues David Harradine. "We've all been aware of tabloid sensationalism...so we take newspaper and we literally rip it up, and repurpose it, and reuse it; we turn it into a thing of beauty...we approach those negative headlines head on, and we dance all over them, until they're no longer visible, until positive stories take their place."

Fevered Sleep are producing a free newspaper - available in print and digitally - which will be freely available around London featuring creative writing about the themes of the piece, submitted by locals and others connected with the project.

Men

Kip Johnson (Protein Dance, Vincent Dance)

Luke Crook (Shobana Jeyasingh)

Matthew Morris (DV8, Clod Ensemble)

Nick Lawson (Aletta Collins, Marc Brew)

Robert Clark (choreographer and dancer)

Girls

Amber Worboys Sayers, Hammersmith & Fulham

Belesther Huberson-Abie, Camden, Carlton Primary School

Chadni Miah, Camden, Netley Primary School

Maya Demetriou, Barnet, Martin Primary School

Molly Beasley-Martin, Haringey, Chestnuts Primary School

Momoka Taniguchi-Warren, Ealing, Horsenden School

Neve Seekings, Camden, Christchurch Primary School

Pebbles Doughty-White, Lambeth, Clapham Manor Primary School

Rania Yarde, Lambeth, Sudbourne Primary School

For more information, visit www.feveredsleep.co.uk.

Photo credit: Matthew Andrews and Lou Johnston


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