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Motionhouse Dance Company
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Dec 22, 2002 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Motionhouse Dance Company

Dancers celebrate cash windfall
By Martin Smith for icCoventry

A Leamington dance company has landed its own lottery jackpot after being included in the latest round of grants for art and cultural projects across the West Midlands.

Six organisations in Warwickshire have been awarded cash grants by the Regional Arts Lottery Programme.

The Motionhouse Dance Company, based in Leamington, gets £60,000, which will be used to fund a two-year programme of dance projects, along with the creation and touring of its new production, Volatile.

Some of it will also be used to help the company take its work to a wider audience - aiming to bring contemporary dance to cinema queues, leisure centre foyers and out-door arenas.

Paul Gilligan, the company’s general manager, said he was “delighted” with the windfall.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Motionhouse Dance Company

This sounds like fun:

Press release


June 25th, 26th new production: “THE EDGE”
to be performed with local schoolchildren, artists, and surfers on the beach at Watergate Bay, Newquay, Cornwall

"Road To The Beach: The Edge" is a large scale production combining visual dance performance and extreme sports, to be performed at Watergate Bay, Newquay, Cornwall on June 25th and 26th by Motionhouse Dance Theatre in association with 500 children and adults from local schools and community centres.

The Edge is the result of a year long creative process by Motionhouse, The Works (the agency responsible for developing dance and theatre in Cornwall) and Creative Partnerships Cornwall in collaboration with Watergate Bay”s Extreme Academy.

Motionhouse Artistic Director, Kevin Finnan, has been working closely with the local community since last summer. “A lot of school kids we talked to had never been to the beach, partly because it”s quite hard to get to if you live in an isolated or rural community. As “outsiders” we introduced them to the beach for the first time, and, through discussions and workshops with them, began to develop this project.”

Finnan heads a diverse team of artists, dancers, school children even JCB drivers. Leading artists such as Billy Wynter, Amanda Lorens, Tino Rawnsley, Caroline Cleave and John Keys as well as C-Scape Dance Company alongside Motionhouse's full company will be working flat out for six weeks prior to the performance dates.

The event which is free (car parking charge of £10 goes towards the production budget) takes place at 5-7pm on Friday June 25th and 6-8pm on Saturday June 26th when the entire beach will play host to installations and visual theatre-based events. The audience will be able to walk with the performers from one installation and/or performance to the next or stay in one place where they can view the nearest section of the performances (listed below).

“I wanted to develop something that would make us reflect about ourselves,” explains Finnan. “The beach is about so many things; in evolutionary terms it”s where we”re from; it”s a fun place, but it can be dangerous, it”s a peaceful place but it can be busy and noisy too; it”s also a physical place where we develop new ways of having fun and challenging ourselves on the beach and in the water. I wanted to bring in all these elements of physicality, philosophy, art, movement, dance and sport “ and move it from one end of the enormous Watergate Bay beach to the other.”

Some of the exciting scenes the audience can see as they move across the beach:

Grumpy Heads Buried up to their necks in sand, the grumpy heads argue with each other and harangue the audience as they pass by.

Wind Field Across the beach a geometric field of two hundred windmills turns in the wind, drawing the audience through the centre of the installation. Performers on trampolines appear sporadically, above the sails of the windmills

Pirate Fleet A fleet of miniature pirate ships are stranded on the beach, the crews hoist their colours and dance between ships on gangplanks.

Botticelli”s Venus Among the rocks a set that mirrors the famous painting and a performance that reflects life in the depths of the ocean.

Surf Safari Down by the shoreline a choreographed surf lesson is sabotaged by a large group of small children armed with buckets of water

Still Life A shoal of fish wheel, veer, pause and swerve as a group of earnest painters try to catch them. The painters are never in quite the right place at the right time.

Creation Feast Halfway down the beach a long table is set for the feast of The Gods who arrive by surfboard, kite buggy and sea kayak.

Sandscape The audience is led through a city of giant sandcastles, built on the beach as the event unfolds further down the beach.

Machine Dance Beyond Sandscape dancers wait with JCBs (sponsored by Truro”s Acland Plant Hire) ready to begin the final piece that integrates people and machines.

<small>[ 01 June 2004, 12:38 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

Author:  kurinuku [ Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Motionhouse Dance Company

Making waves at the beach

The Independent
17 June 2004

Dancers attached to the arms of JCB diggers are poised to fly through the air with the greatest of ease on the beach at Watergate Bay, Newquay, Cornwall. It will be the grand finale of Machine Dance, a new piece by Motionhouse Dance Theatre that aims to "integrate people and machines".

<small>[ 18 June 2004, 04:27 PM: Message edited by: kurinuku ]</small>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Jun 25, 2004 1:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Motionhouse Dance Company

From This is Cornwall

A massive performance project to be held at Watergate Bay on Friday and Saturday is the result of a year-long process by The Works and Creative Partnerships Cornwall in collaboration with Watergate's Extreme Academy. Involving around 1,000 young people and adults from schools and community groups, the ambitious project is co-ordinated by The Works - the agency responsible for developing dance and theatre in Cornwall.

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Author:  kurinuku [ Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Motionhouse Dance Company

Viewfinder: Motionhouse Dance

The daily Telegraph
June 21, 2004

If summer is the silly season for newspapers, it is the time when dance events created by otherwise earnest choreographers become frivolous and lovably eccentric. It also lends itself to weird and wonderful photographs that make you want to join the Alice-in-Wonderland fun.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Motionhouse Dance Company

By Clifford Bishop for The Times.

The new Motionhouse show, Perfect, began its spring tour at the Warwick Arts Centre. The choreography of its director, Kevin Finnan, is always highly concept-driven.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Mar 20, 2005 8:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Motionhouse Dance Company

By Lisa Whitbread for The Stage

Touring its 16th show, Motionhouse has something very special in the form of Perfect. Conceived around the idea of time, the five dancers dart powerfully through energetic and animated contemporary dance piece.

Simon Dormon’s set of sand, paper and scaffolding is constantly manipulated as it peels back into ever changing settings. Here the technical elements are in balance with performance, working on a more collaborative basis. Mark Parry’s lighting and Dormon’s paper screen combine to play with the idea of shadow and Caroline Bridges’ filmwork interacts with the dancers as opposed to providing just a simple backdrop.

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Author:  David [ Mon May 16, 2005 5:27 am ]
Post subject: 

Perfect - Motionhouse Dance Theatre
Bridge House Theatre, Warwick, Friday 13th May 2005

Motionhouse’s latest touring production, Perfect, came home last Friday when it was performed just down the road from their Leamington Spa home.

Perfect is about time, the way we witness it and how it affects our lives. Just as time has no beginning, when the audience walk in it is as if the work has already started. One dancer is already on stage as if asleep but having one of those fitful nights we all know where you cannot ‘switch off’ but toss and turn, your mind pounding away and full of thoughts.

As Perfect develops it seems to effectively comprise a series of scenes from everyday life and experience reflecting hopes, fears, love and anger. There are moments of peace and tranquillity but others where events seem sometimes to be out of our control and where time is running away from us.

The opening is danced in front of what turns out to be a paper screen, which is slowly peeled back to reveal Simon Dorfman’s constantly changing set, constructed around a rectangular frame used for other Motionhouse works, and the sand on which the whole piece is danced. First, the bottom three feet or so is removed to reveal several pairs of busy legs. All you can see of the dancers is the knees down, yet somehow the interaction is such that I, at least, felt able to almost put a story or complete scene to it.

The rest of the paper screen is eventually removed by first wetting it, then tearing it into vertical strips, then finally, in a very athletic section, the dancers tear it down and scrunch it up as if in a rage. But suddenly, the anger subsides and, suddenly realising what they have destroyed, it is quietly gathered up, some of the strips becoming flowers to be planted in the sand.

Other scenes follow; many using the company’s trademark physicality and contact work, moments of which are quite breathtaking. The only part of the evening that didn’t really work for me was the final section where the dancers take to the air using giant slings, sometimes alone, sometimes tangling with each other. The transition from what went before was less smooth and it occasionally seemed contrived. It did however add another dimension to the choreography.

Then suddenly, it is over. As often seems to be the case with very physical works, finding a natural ending is elusive. Perfect therefore never quite achieves perfection. It remains just out of reach. But maybe that is the point.
Overall however, Artistic Director Kevin Finnan succeeds brilliantly in drawing us into the world of those we are watching, maybe recognising similar scenes from our own existence. Perfect is fun, has something for all and perhaps most important is accessible. It is easy to relate to what is happening in front of us.

Apart from the set, slings and all that sand, there is a great score by Sophy Smith and Tim Dickinson, most of which was written in-situ in the rehearsal studio, making it an integral part of the whole creative process. Talking of being integral, at times the video projections by former Motionhouse dancer Caroline Bridges become part of the choreography. In one scene the dancers on stage are manipulated by her giant projected fingers; manipulated by something outside their control. Again, something we all have felt at some time.

Prior to the main performance, nine Year 9 boys (that’s 14-year olds) from Warwick School gave a high quality performance of Adrenaline, a ten-minute piece made as part of a short education project by the company. Based on the themes of anger and companionship, and making great use of contact skills and emotion, this showed the excellence of Motionhouse’s outreach work.

Perfect continues on tour, including performances at the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank on May 26th and 27th.

Author:  corrival [ Mon May 16, 2005 10:00 am ]
Post subject: 

Thank you David for your wonderful review.
Even though I saw none of the performance thanks to your review I got a great sense of the piece.
Again thank you :D

Author:  Article19-Michelle [ Mon May 16, 2005 11:09 am ]
Post subject: 

That's where we come to the rescue; ... erfect.php

a 7 minute video feature of Perfect,



Author:  corrival [ Fri May 20, 2005 8:16 am ]
Post subject: 

:D Thank you Michele. And thank you for the introduction to your web site.

Author:  Article19-Michelle [ Sat May 21, 2005 11:02 am ]
Post subject: 

You are very welcome, we are always trying to bring new video to the site so check back often!


Author:  kurinuku [ Tue May 31, 2005 2:53 am ]
Post subject: 

by SANJOY ROY for the Guardian

These sometimes corny theatrical ideas may have little to do with time, but no matter: the best part of this work is not about ideas but about physics and senses.

published: May 31, 2005

Author:  David [ Sat Jul 23, 2005 5:50 am ]
Post subject: 

Birmingham Hippodrome, 19th July 2005

Motionhouse performed "Chaser" as an appetiser to George Piper Dance's "Naked". A review is included in that for "Naked". Just follow the link.

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