CATCH ME Will Tour UK Festivals
Playfully poking at our expectations of relationships between ages and genders using dance, circus, and sound, Upswing's new dance-circus hybrid will be touring to arts festivals this summer. 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. The outdoor show is set in a teetering installation of 30 intricately balanced chairs, which will remain in situ between performances. 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.
Upswing will once again be collaborating with designer Becky Minto, whose chair installation represents everyday objects that offer the opportunity to play with different relationship dynamics. The mix of salvaged and new chairs will be moved, stacked and danced with to evoke memories of meetings between strangers, friends and lovers. Catch Me will be performed by international dancer and choreographer Susan Kempster alongside physical performer and East 15 physical theatre graduate Jerone Marsh-Reid.
The show will be touring to six festivals in the UK, and has been awarded two European residencies in Czech Republic and Portugal by Roundabout Europe. Upswing are one of only five companies from nearly 150 applicants to be offered the opportunity, and the only company from Britain. Roundabout Europe is a collaboration of five European festivals who are joining forces to give outdoor theatre a new impulse with a circuit of residencies and support for professional makers.
Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director of Upswing, said, "We are seldom seen or acknowledged by others they 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"
Upswing, a diverse led contemporary circus company founded by Vicki Amedume in 2006, 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 The 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 will be representing Britain at the Prague Quadrennial this year, is creating the scenic world for Upswing's production. She previously worked with Upswing on The Ramshackle House.
Without Walls supports the tour dates in Norfolk, Brighton and Stockton. Without Walls is a network of festivals that works with artists to bring fantastic outdoor arts to people in towns and cities across the UK. Since 2007, Without Walls has supported the development of over 140 shows, many of which have toured beyond their network of festivals to 22 countries worldwide. Without Walls is supported by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation.