The National Theatre's ALL KINDS OF LIMBO Has Been Selected for Sundance Film Festival 2020
The National Theatre's cutting-edge VR immersive experience ALL KINDS OF LIMBO has been selected for Sundance Film Festival, where it will have its international premiere as part of the esteemed New Frontier exhibition from 23rd January to 2nd February 2020. This marks The National Theatre's return to Sundance Film Festival after presenting fabulous wonder.land in 2016 as part of the New Frontier exhibition.
Since 2007, the New Frontier exhibition at the Sundance Film Festival has provided the highest level of curation in the emerging field, incorporating fiction, non-fiction and hybrid projects to showcase emerging media storytelling, multi-media installations, performances and films.
All Kinds of Limbo first opened at The National Theatre's Wolfson Gallery in June 2019. Inspired by National Theatre Director Rufus Norris' production of Small Island, the VR experience uses immersive technologies and a life-size volumetrically captured performance to take audiences on a unique musical journey.
Through a specially commissioned, 10 minute piece of music, vocalist Nubiya Brandon, composer Raffy Bushman and the NuShape Orchestra take audiences through musical genres including reggae, grime, classical and calypso, reflecting the historic influence of West Indian and black culture on the UK music scene. Throughout the piece, Nubiya reflects on the identity she has forged for herself and what has influenced her to be who she is. The piece of music has been released as a single and is available on all streaming platforms worldwide.
All Kinds of Limbo was developed with The National Theatre's Partner for Innovation, Accenture.
Rufus Norris, Director of The National Theatre, said: "It's a real honour to be selected for the prestigious Sundance Film Festival alongside some of the world's most original and exciting talents. Since 2016, the Immersive Storytelling Studio at The National Theatre has been developing new forms of performance, new forms of audience experience and new ways of telling stories. One of the most exciting parts of what the Studio does is when some our most creative people meet with leading technologists to explore new ways to craft a story for an audience. That's exactly what happened with All Kinds of Limbo - Raffy and Nubiya's extraordinary musical talents met the latest VR and holographic technologies to produce something very special and very unique. I'm delighted it will now be seen by new audiences in the US."
Additionally the Immersive Storytelling Studio provided support for Atomu - a project also selected for Sundance Film Festival 2020 as part of the New Frontier exhibition. Atomu was created by the production company Atlas V, who were hosted by the Immersive Storytelling Studio to develop the prototype for Atomu. Toby Coffey mentored this project as part of Sundance Labs in 2018. Atomu uses virtual reality, dance and music to create a sacred space where multiple users may cooperate in order to explore different versions of themselves. It places the users at the cyclical centre of a Kikuyu tribal myth from Kenya wherein man may become woman, and woman may become man, as they dance around the sacred Mugumo tree.
Toby Coffey, Head of the Immersive Storytelling Studio, said: "The Immersive Storytelling Studio are thrilled to be returning to Sundance and to have our project All Kinds of Limbo selected for the New Frontier exhibition. To be alongside Atomu, a project we are proud to have played a role in is also very rewarding!
When we first developed All Kinds of Limbo, I was determined to create a communal experience that left the audience feeling they had been part of a performance as much as they had seen a piece of VR. We wanted something that truly immersed the audience and took them through these distinct musical genres where Nubiya's heritage, as delivered through her lyrics, plays out along a musical score that acknowledges the musical influences, brought into play by Raffy Bushman, who is exploring THE JOURNEY music has taken in the UK and the huge impact of West Indian and black culture. It's brilliant to have achieved that and for it to be recognised by Sundance. I can't wait for US audiences to see this original musical journey in VR."