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Email: connect@surfacearea.org.uk

Current Repertoire

‘Hand in Hand’ featured review published by Disability Arts Online

An excerpt from a recently published review of ‘Hand in Hand’ covered by Disability Arts Online (DAO). Sincere thanks to DAO for capturing the spirit of this extraordinary event so perfectly!

“The strength of this piece was in collaboration and accessibility which was integral right from inception and this played beautifully on stage – there was no BSL interpreter as an add-on. In moments of text, there were always two performers playing back and forth with each other, one using stunning flowing BSL and the other spoken English, with points of joint signing which would flow back into or out of the dance…”.

Congratulations to all involved in the ‘Hand in Hand’ project and many thanks to friends, colleagues and supporters for your continued encouragement.

Photographed by Paul Miller, Dance City, March 2019.

Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones

Dance artist Alex Rowland, Photographed by Paul Miler, Leeds, 2018.

Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones, exists as an enquiry and process of choreographic research, centred upon Nicole Vivien Watson’s understanding and knowledge of British Sign Language, Deaf culture and Butoh. 

Language, communication and physical expression through movement, are three of the principal interests Nicole has chosen to include in the present-phase of artistic developments, culminating in live performances, that will take place in the UK and beyond throughout 2020. In December 2018, the first of four periods of studio research took place in Leeds, during which, three dance artists, Charlie Dearnley, Chris Fonseca and Alex Rowland,  joined Nicole and musician Tom White and visual artist Graham Patterson to begin the first chapter of their shared journey. 

The opening or gateway, to the collective’s coming together, was supported by the introduction of Ma (間) as the group began to physically interpret the possibilities of Ma, responding with an assertive series of gestures, postures and settlements of physical contact, instigated by the proposition of using the entire body as a listening instrument, capable of feeling, touching and seeing the colours and textures of sound, sound in space and sound in silence.  

As a collective of hearing and Deaf artists, the group’s shared time and offerings of artistic and intellectual resources are providing and instigating new avenues of enquiry, which will be thought over, structured and reorientated within the choreography’s identity, encountered by future audiences and participants.  

THE MUD FORMED A FINGER, POINTED & RAFT

THE MUD FORMED A FINGER, POINTED & RAFT

 

8th of December 17, at CCA: GLASGOW

https://www.cca-glasgow.com/programme/surface-area-dance-theatre-the-mud-formed-a-finger-pointed-raft

 

20th of December 17, at  WORKPLACE GATESHEAD

http://www.workplacegallery.co.uk/events/65/ 

 

Two live 20-30 minute performances with a 30 minute intermission.

The Mud Formed A Finger, Pointed explores creation myth and Messy Play, while Raft is a navigation of self via astrology. Made in collaboration between Matthew De Kersaint Graudeau, Ben Jeans Houghton and Nicole Vivien Watson.

The Mud Formed A Finger, Pointed offers a study of the human body as an uncanny object that oscillates between figuration and abstraction, body and material, depicting an object becoming human, a human becoming an object and the protean states between.

Nicole Vivien Watson emerges from an industrial bucket, her body covered in dripping, viscous liquid. The work embodies a contemporary creation myth that melds object and subject, abject and sacred, non-human and human. By invoking the narrative imagery of creation myths where humans are formed from the earth, within the aesthetic of the fetish Messy Play and through the language of Butoh, the performance links our understandings of the contemporary body and our imaginings of a primordial past.

Raft explores inner and outer landscapes, through Nicole’s choreographed mapping and navigation of the solar system and the self performed on a sculptural Zodiac stage. Presenting a dialogue between the microcosm and the macrocosm, mapping the relationships between distant stars, the present individual and the planets, in an exploration and interogation of the esoteric and exoteric aspects of self.

Raft draws inspiration from: ‘The Archaic Revival’ – the invigoration of principles and practices whose efficacy was mislaid during the divorce of science and spirituality. ‘Alchemical Practice’ – the ritual arrangement of persons and symbols in the physical world to create a narrative dialogue that changes the conceptual and emotional world within us. ‘Self exploration’ – the quest to know oneself via a navigation of our emotional and historical experience of being.

 

The Mud Formed A Finger, Pointed & Raft is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

 

Where Our Roots Are Planted – Volunteer Dance Opportunity in partnership with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Guest producers Nicole Vivien Watson and Paul Miller are delighted to welcome San Francisco’s award-winning deaf dance artist Antoine to the region and we are looking for 20 volunteer dance participants to join him in a dynamic week of creative dance activities.

Where Our Roots Are Planted is a week long project taking place during the day from Monday 9 October – Friday 13 October.  Volunteers will be given a contribution each day of £15 towards their travel and refreshments.

You don’t need lots of dance experience, just lots of enthusiasm! We are looking for people who are 16+, deaf and hearing, dancers and non-dancers.

For more information and to apply, please download and complete the application form below.

We also welcome applications by video and please watch the YouTube links below to find out how.

Dance Participant Application Explanation Film: http://bit.ly/2vbZ7go

Application by Video Explanation Film: http://bit.ly/2xxPPrH

The deadline is Friday 8 September at 5pm and please send applications to movingartmanagement@gmail.com

We would be grateful if you could share this exciting opportunity far and wide with your networks also, thank you!

Surface Area Dance Theatre’s 10th Anniversary

In June 2007 Surface Area Dance Theatre was officially incorporated as a Community Interest Company; to mark this special occasion we are presenting an evening of work in celebration of our 10th Anniversary.

Highlighted performances include:
• An excerpt of Auricular returning to the region after touring in April 2017 to CCA Glasgow, Gymnasium Gallery Berwick and Turner Contemporary.

• The staging of Project Godie by Vangeline, Director of the New York Butoh Institute.

• The reimagining of Nullius (2008) choreographed and performed by founding dance artists Joel Daniel and Molly Procter.

Director Nicole Vivien Watson has thoughtfully selected the programme of repertoire to create a dynamic evening of performances, to be followed by a live-set from the widely appreciated Electropop duo Face+Heel.

Surface Area Dance Theatre CIC including collaborators, members and advisors have chosen to donate all proceeds from the evening’s performances to The Children’s Society, in support of SCARPA, which works with young people who run away and are at risk of sexual exploitation and is a charity close to our hearts.

“Our work is designed to help young people make better choices, develop resilience, reduce missing episodes and reduce risks. It is not ‘one size fits all’ and we have a number of resources focusing on topical issues including online safety. We also recognise that sometimes young people need time to engage with a trusted worker and we pride ourselves on having a persistent approach”.

https://www.dancecity.co.uk/performance/65496/surface-area-dance-theatre-10th-anniversary-celebration/

Auricular 2017

Auricular is a multi-disciplinary performance art piece inspired by British Sign Language (BSL), sensory processing and communication and intends to construct an immersive sensory environment through dance, sound and BSL; it evokes a sense of being, playing between sensuality, physicality and the affected.

Dance City and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead firstly commissioned Auricular in 2014 and in 2015. Now with support from Arts Council England and partnering organisations Auricular will be presented in April 2017 at CCA Glasgow, Gymnasium Gallery, Berwick and at Turner Contemporary.

Directed by Nicole Vivien Watson in collaboration with the artists involved, Nicole comments “British Sign Language is a language of movement, space and expression. As a movement researcher and choreographer, I am fascinated by the depth and clarity of a language that does not rely on the spoken word”.

Illustration by Yorgo Maraziotis: All rights reserved

Auricular 2017

 

Auricular is a multi-disciplinary performance art piece inspired by British Sign Language (BSL), sensory processing and communication.

Auricular intends to construct an immersive sensory environment through dance, sound and BSL; it evokes a sense of being, playing between sensuality, physicality and the affected.

Dance City and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead firstly commissioned Auricular in 2014 and in 2015. Now with support from Arts Council England and partnering organisations Auricular will be presented in April 2017 at CCA Glasgow, Gymnasium Gallery, Berwick and at Turner Contemporary.

Directed by Nicole Vivien Watson in collaboration with the artists involved, Nicole comments “British Sign Language is a language of movement, space and expression. As a movement researcher and choreographer, I am fascinated by the depth and clarity of a language that does not rely on the spoken word”.

play4Listen Auricular composed by :zoviet*france:

 

photo 5 18thFeb

 

Immerse 2012

A soundscape installed into the waiting room of Durham train station for the duration of BRASS 2012

BRASS Durham International Festival 6 -22 July, 2012

Surface Area Dance Theatre in partnership with media artist Benjamin Freeth created Immerse as an alternative to tradition. Intricately placed brass sensors were attached to Nicole’s body, listening to muscular tensions. What is heard are a series of recorded captions, translating internal dance movement to sound.
Through a process of devised experiments Nicole and Benjamin used the brass sensor technology to create a unique musical score. An immersive audio landscape where waves of sound wash over and beyond, traveling and connecting to the listening audience.

With thanks to Durham Council, Culture Lab and Arts Council England