Aquinas College was lucky enough to hold a performance by collaborating artists Antony Briggs and Josh Hawkins. This wasn’t your usual sit back and relax performance, it was an immersive, site specific piece; the intended performance space being the out-door area by the canteen, but due to the rain this was moved indoors to the theatre!
The audience were asked to write down a worry or something that was on their mind on a piece of paper, fold it and hand it to the dancers before entering the performance space. The audience then had to wear wireless headsets and stand in the centre of the room. Everyone nervously entered the space and stood in a circle. Not knowing whether the performance had started or not, dancers shuffled around the space, weaving in and out of the anxious audience.
Random noises by the dancers were spoken and even shouted into the microphones and it was clear that the audience felt very uncomfortable at this point. As the piece went on a narrative of the struggles and worries of one dancer were expressed to the audiance through the headsets. He narrated a scenario about being laughed at by others; a memory from his childhood. As the narration went on the faces and body language of the audience then changed. It was clear to see that people related to the fears and worries that were being expressed by the dancers.
During the middle of the piece, the dancers spoke out words that had been previously written down by audience members. This expressed the idea, that problems can be shared and one person’s problems may be the same as someone else’s.
At the end of the performance the dancers led each audience member from the circle inwards towards the centre of the space, to all join closer together. It was then clear that by this point everyone had relaxed and an unspoken bond could be felt with everyone in the room.
The students then took part in a creative session with the dancer’s, looking at the theme of anxiety and worries in society. The students created some fantastic work and thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.