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CATCH ME Comes to Greenwich + Docklands International Festival

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Catch Me toured festivals in Summer 2019 and has been adapted so that the now distanced artists perform from either side of a mobile plastic screen.

CATCH ME Comes to Greenwich + Docklands International Festival

Adapted to be a socially distanced duet for one day only at GDIF, Upswing's dance-circus hybrid uses dance and acrobatics to playfully challenge our expectations of an intergenerational relationship. Catch Me toured festivals in Summer 2019 and has been adapted so that the now distanced artists perform from either side of a mobile plastic screen, and atop three chairs teetering in a delicate balance. Artistic Director Vicki Amedume was inspired to make the show after observing people's reactions to her brother, and the show continues Upswing's exploration of identity, and how this can be subverted and reinforced through performance. With Upswing's characteristic warmth and lightness of touch in gently introducing provocative issues to people of all ages, Catch Me plays with the first assumptions that people make when they see a couple who are of different generations, race and genders.

Catch Me was filmed for Newham Unlocked, can be viewed here: https://www.newhamunlockedfestival.org/artists/upswing-catch-me/

For the original production of Catch Me, Upswing collaborated with designer Becky Minto, whose chair installation represents everyday objects that offer the opportunity to play with different relationship dynamics, and the introduction of the screen reflects both old and new taboos around touch. Catch Me will be performed by international dancer and choreographer Susan Kempster alongside physical performer and East 15 physical theatre graduate Jerone Marsh-Reid.

Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director of Upswing, said, "We are seldom seen or acknowledged by others the way we see ourselves or want ourselves acknowledged. I have noticed walking with my brother, a large black man, that people often perceived him as threatening and rarely the caring father and vulnerable soul I know him to be. I wanted to make Catch Me to challenge these assumptions and explore how identity is formed in the eye of the spectator."

Throughout lockdown, Upswing, a diverse-led contemporary circus company founded by Vicki Amedume in 2006, have been a leading voice in exploring the future of circus. Upswing's Slow Thinking series, a collection of online conversations from individuals from all different corners of the circus sector, can be found here, along with their online Resource Hub which connects artists and shares the opportunities open to the sector. Vicki Amedume's statement on Black Lives Matter can be found here.

Upswing are committed to exploring relevant and thought-provoking themes across all their work. Catch Me is the latest in a series of outdoor shows, which include Red Shoes and Loved Up, and follows their most recent productions, family shows The Ramshackle House and Bedtime Stories. Upswing's productions and creative engagement programmes - which includes Circus in Libraries and Circus for Older People - aim to unite people from different backgrounds through new narratives. They also provide classes and consultancy for companies including the National, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Cameron Mackintosh, for whom they supplied performers as well consultancy for Barnum.

International award-winning set designer Becky Minto, who recently won the Silver Award for Space Design at the World Stage Design Awards 2017 and represented Britain at the Prague Quadrennial last year, is creating the scenic world for Upswing's production. She previously worked with Upswing on Red Shoes, The Ramshackle House and Bedtime Stories.

Tickets: FREE | 2.30pm & 4.45pm | festival.org/whats-on/gdif-catch-me/


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