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Oracles In Sepia Invites You To A Series Of Archive Inspired Performances

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Oracles in Sepia will commence on Thursday 15th October 2020 at 8pm.

Oracles In Sepia Invites You To A Series Of Archive Inspired Performances

Eight top artists from across the British Isles are currently producing a series of Thursday night streamed performances, inspired by British archive footage of resilience, rebellion and human experience. Oracles in Sepia will commence on Thursday 15th October 2020 at 8pm.

Designed by expanded cinema specialists, Compass Presents and supported by Arts Council England - each of the eight artists will respond to a curated short film, designed to speak to the unique moment we find ourselves in. Artists will use their mediums ranging from contemporary dance to comedy and performance theatre to calligraphy, using the lenses of the past as a way to frame our shared future.

Every Thursday at 8pm a different artist will debut a bespoke performance. Artists involved include: Holbeck, Still; Mengqi He; Sarah Jane Dobbs; Jonathon Luke Baker; Nu Nu Theatre; Libby Rodliffe; Ciarán Hodgers and Alastair White & Clara Kanter.

The work that is created for Oracles in Sepia pushes the boundaries of the video medium at a time when we are all desperate for life to burst from our screens and reconnect us with live experience. Each artist will not only be inspired by film footage, but will integrate it into a completely new work where footage and film are infused with the energy and vision of live performance.

Fusing thick analogue electronic sound with unique captures of traditional instrumental tones, Hollbeck, Still's response to the archive will go beyond a traditional score. Cinematic and complex, his response to the film footage will look to imbue it with new meaning. Expect audio-visuals, exploration of the stereo field, synths, vintage tape machines, field recordings and samples

Hailing from Wuhan in China, Mengqi He is a performance artist who uses live calligraphy and a focus on c?? (Zen) to explore human connections across culture through written words and language. Her interpretation of the film is lent the unique perspective of having experienced life and lockdown in both Wuhan and London

Sarah Jane Dobbs is an aerialist and writer whose work is shaped by her Sunderland home and Mancunian origins. Peppered with language and narrative, her aerial performances are often inspired by the juxtaposition between the grit and beauty of locations in her hometown, often taking place there in open-air. Throwing into the mix the relationship between body in flight and projected archive imagery, Sarah Jane's oracle promises to be a feast for the eyes.

Fresh from an 18-month international tour of Mathew Bourne's Swan Lake, Jonathon Luke Baker is a contemporary dance artist, photographer and creative director that has danced for companies such as New Adventures, The Royal Opera, DeNada Dance Theatre and Clod Ensemble. Inherently influenced by queer identity and gender expression, this piece will employ technical prowess and raw movement to transmute the film imagery direct into viewers' emotional main lines.

Émigré-Romanian duo NuNu Theatre use performance art, movement, video and visual art influences to create work that is humorous-yet-serious, experimental, sometimes absurd, and always packing political punch.

Comedian Libby Rodliffe is a certified funny-bones: dry, deadpan and dead funny. Look no further for some fresh takes on the signs of our times, as she introduces a few of the characters she's met on her travels through the archive.

The work of Scottish composer Alastair White is characterised by a lyrical complexity which draws influence from fashion, machines and materialist philosophy. Switching between Scots and Yiddish, Jewish mezzo-soprano Clara Kanter will explore the evocative power of language as the pair's operatic score reimagines the powerful imagery of our archive film footage.

Ciarán Hodgers is a Drogheda-born, multi-award-winning poet named "one of the region's most exciting spoken word performers" by The Independent and dubbed a highlight of Guy Garvey's Meltdown Festival at the Southbank Centre London. For Oracles in Sepia, Ciarán will bring his unique interpretation of their archive film through an original piece of spoken word.

Performance schedule:

15th October: Jonathan Luke Baker

22nd October: Holbeck, Still

29th October: Mengqi He

5th November: Libby Rodliffe

12th November: NuNu Theatre

19th November: Alastair White & Clara Kanter

26th November: Sarah Jane Dobbs

3rd December: Ciarán Hodgers

The virtual schedule will give users the chance to explore 8 performances from performers from all disciplines - movement, spoken word, musicians, performance art and more. All the performances will use their artform to respond to a short, experimental film using archive clips themed around resilience, shared experience, and dis/connection to nature.

Compass Presents' Charlie Harman says of the virtual performances:

"In the face of crisis, uncertain futures, and continued social injustice there have been glimmers of hope and new imaginings. We took to the archives looking for perspective and found that many of the things we are experiencing have been felt before. Viewers can tune in to see how our artists responded to this moment and demonstrate resilience in their own way.

Every week throughout October and November join us for a series of performances in response to an original piece of archive film exploring the extraordinary moment we're living in via the lens of the past".

To watch these performances simply visit Compass Presents' facebook page every Thursday night at 8pm where performances will be streamed. Each performance will also be uploaded to Youtube and Instagram within 24hrs of the stream for those wishing to watch at a later date.

Please follow Compass Presents on all social media channels or visit for more info.

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