Total Theatre Award Winners 2018 - Dance Category
★★★★★ Broadway Baby
★★★★★ The Wee Review
★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ British Theatre Guide
★★★★ Fest Mag
★★★★ The List
VOID reimagines JG Ballard’s cult novel Concrete Island through the lens of a black female protagonist - staged as a meshing of experimental dance and abstract glitch video landscapes. Blending typically Ballardian themes of liminal spaces and urban paranoia with contemporary theories from radical identity studies, Mele Broomes [V/DA] performs risk taking choreography to the backdrop of an industrial soundscape.
Although rooted in contemporary dance practice, the piece is a truly collaborative and interdisciplinary work co-created by Broomes alongside AV Designer Dav Bernard and Scenic Director Bex Anson. Focused on the interplay between acrobatic physical performance and reactive projected imagery, VOID is the boiling point of the collaborators' mutual interest in creating genre pushing work that intersects visual design, sonic art, dance and social politics in innovative ways.
The creative team utilised Ballard’s Concrete Island as a jumping off point to inform the choreographic and visual thematics of their collaboration. Ballard’s original novel charts the tale of an architect who crashes his jaguar off a motorway embankment and becomes stranded on a traffic island, subsequently having to fight for his survival with the doomed terrain as a mirror of his own psychosis.
Used as a parralel text, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study (by F. Moten & S. Harney) -a manifesto for self organisation and non-compliance– is used to provide a new reading of Concrete Island's wasteground into a space of new possibilities and resistance, reflecting on Maroon communities throughout history.
VOID was presented as a site-specific piece under the M74 in 2017, as were many of MHz previous projects, making a real life connection between the work and the collaborators' involvement with autonomous zones
This unique interplay between experimental dance, AV design and social politics creates a multi-textured reimagining of Ballard’s novel which invites audiences to reconsider the parameters of contemporary dance
"VOID assails you, unnerves you on many levels with Broomes unstintingly at the heart of the risk-taking" ★ ★ ★ ★ (Mary Brennan, The Herald)
“VOID has never been more timely. The combined talents of this trio have created a twitchy, compelling and dark look at Ballardian themes which time and again have been proved worryingly prescient.” (Lorna Irvine, Tempohouse)
Choreographer/Performer: Mele Broomes
Scenography/Perfomance Direction: Megahertz
Character/Concept development: Ashanti Harris & Adura Onashile
Dramaturgy: Lou Coup
Produced by: Feral
Supported by Creative Scotland, Tramway, Citymoves, Dance Base, Dance House and The Work Room.