Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones 

A synthesis of British Sign Language, Contemporary dance, Urban dance, and Butoh, Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones, explores language, communication and physical expression. Three remarkable dance artists, Charlie Dearnley, Chris Fonseca and Alex Rowland perform with a playfulness that invites connectivity through movement, postures, gestures and an array of stunning expressive dance sequences.

Choreographed by Nicole Vivien Watson - Surface Area Dance Theatre, who is influenced by the Japanese concept of Ma (), which translates as ‘interval’ or ‘gap,' the ‘go-between’. Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones looks at the entire body as a ‘listening’ instrument, capable of feeling, touching and seeing the colours and textures of sound, sound in space and sound meeting silence. The work is accompanied by an original sound score performed by celebrated musician Tom White and also includes a responsive series of striking, visual imagery created by artist Graham Patterson.

Behind the Facee of a Rock, Throwing Stones, Photography by Paul Miller, Leeds, 2018

The Mud Formed A Finger, Pointed & Raft 

Raft, Photography by Paul Miller, Workplace Gallery, UK, 2017. All rights reserved.

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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 Giraudeau, 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 interrogation 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

Auricular, 2014 - 2017 

Auricular, photography by Nicole Vivien Watson, Turner Contemporary, UK 2017. All rights reserved.

Auricular a multidisciplinary performance inspired by British Sign Language (BSL) sensory processing and communication. Auricular intends to construct an immersive sensory environment through dance, sound and BSL, evoking a state of being which plays between the sensual, physical and affected.

Dance City and BALTIC Centre of Contemporary Art (UK) firstly commissioned Auricular, in 2014 and 2015. With support from Arts Council England and partnering organisations, Auricular was then recently presented in April 2017, at CCA: Glasgow, Berwick Visual Arts and Turner Contemporary.

“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”. (Ref, Nicole Vivien Watson, 2015)

Auricular  is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Project Godie Live Events, August 2016

Co-Produced by Surface Area Dance Theatre and Adam Denton and Directed and Choreographed by Vangeline. Project Godie is a multi-platform exploration of the shared industrial, military and cultural heritage of the North East of England and Japan and is supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund.

Performing Artists: Molly Procter, Nicole Vivien Watson and Vangeline, Sonic Performance: Trans/Human, Costume Design and Creation: Katerina Dipla, Lighting Design: Louise Gregory

"It's more about movement than dance; and those movements have only been arrived at through long, drawn-out exercises in stripping away layer upon layer of socially conditioned thought and action to eventually reveal the twitching, pulsing sentient being suffocating underneath".

Review of Project Godie Live Events: Kopf, Biba. The Wire. (2016, November). On-Site. Exhibitions, installations, etc. p.83

Project Godie Live Events, photography by Aaron Guy, All Saint's Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2016. All rights reserved.

A Mountain of Black Stones, 2015 - 2016

A Mountain of Black Stones, photography by Nick Tsakanikas, Beton7, Athens, 2016. All rights reserved

A somatic live performance, that rests upon the interplay of sculpture, performed movement and sound. The environment of the performance is conditioned by a large and sculpted spatially - dominate the quantity of coal. Buried within the sculpture are four independent stereo units, amplifying a composed collection of sounds, constructed from a series of real - world and synthetic sounds, dissociated from the living environment of the performance space. Thereby making a distinction between contexts that are physically known to those that are abstracted.

Performances are choreographed to evoke metaphorical meaning, this experienced individually, by the audience, from the first moments of encountering the sculpture. The intention of the performance is to facilitate an immersive sensory environment, whereby the parameters of the viewer’s awareness becomes blurred. Supported by the Embassy of Norway, the Norwegian Institute of Athens and the British Council in Athens.

Performed by: Nicole Vivien Watson, Installation by Yorgos Maraziotis, the Sound performance by Klunks.

Selected Repertoire

Auricular 2017

By Vivien | Jan 12, 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…

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Still Life 2013

By Vivien | Feb 19, 2015

Still Life; A young man makes a person from mud only to find himself unsure of his actions faced with the responsibility of its life. Still Life Directed by Ben Jeans Houghton, is one of ten short films commissioned by BALTIC in partnership with Northern Film & Media and Channel 4 25 OCTOBER 2013 –…

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Immerse 2012

By Vivien | Feb 18, 2015

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…

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