Performers will dance till they drop

A troupe of performers have saved the last dance for a local audience as it shimmies, jives and tangos into Findhorn next month.

Manchester-based, award-winning theatre and performance company Quarantine brings the first-ever 12-hour performance of its critically acclaimed show Wallflower to Universal Hall on Friday 22 March.

Wallflower is a marathon of dance and memory; a game that alters according to its players. Spanning a lifetime of music, fashion, politics, friendships, parties, love and loss, it is a show about how dancing can shape our lives.

From midday to midnight, seven performers will try to remember every dance they’ve ever danced. Some of them are professional dancers, some are not. Some might tell you that they can’t dance at all. 
There are memories of dancing alone all night at a party; of whirling across the stage at the Paris Opera Ballet; of silently, slowly revolving with a new lover on a canal boat at night; of a repeated tic – a bodily habit that feels like dancing; of walking alongside their mother; of racing with a dog across a beach; of dizzily spinning children; of weeping and dancing; of hitting the mark for Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker … 

Epic 12-hour performance

This tour has seen Wallflower performed across the UK in two forms: a 90-minute show and a 5-hour durational performance. The tour comes to an end in Findhorn, with a very special event: the first ever 12-hour performance.  It promises to be an epic, exhausting marathon from midday to midnight.

The performers are joined on stage by a DJ, a disco-ball and a single chair. One performer sits in the audience, documenting every memory and adding it to an ever-expanding archive, a vast record of hundreds of dances, which is exhibited alongside the performance, beginning with dances from early rehearsals… To date over 3,000 dances have been recorded. 

Ahead of the performance, Quarantine has been in Findhorn asking local people to share their own remembered dances. These were recorded in images and text and will be displayed – alongside remembered dances collected across the UK – on a dedicated website and at Universal Hall during the performance, painting a portrait of the local community.

To see portraits of people remembering dances in the other locations that Wallflower has toured to visit:

‘Live self portraits’

Wallflower director Richard Gregory says: “We’ve been touring Wallflower over the past four4 years and grown to realise that the longer its duration, the bigger, richer, more complex and perhaps satisfying it becomes – for audience and performers. So, for the first time, we’re presenting a 12-hour Wallflower in Findhorn. Half a day. Something fascinating happens when time gets stretched like this – those doing it and those watching somehow settle into the shifts in tone and rhythm, accepting and enjoying how the work moves from sharing the banal universality of the everyday, to be punctured by explosions of extraordinary experience. These are live self-portraits. It’s an ongoing process of tangling and untangling personal histories. As we look at the portrait of another, we might also somehow see ourselves.”

Karl Jay-Lewin, Creative Director, Dance North added: “The first ever twelve-hour performance of Quarantine’s Wallflower is a real coup for Dance North and Scotland. What interests me is the way in which Wallflower manages to touch and inhabit a variety of different worlds – dance, theatre, music, art, the importance of one-to-one relationships, and the importance of building communities. This is an epic piece by an award-winning theatre company who rarely present work in Scotland, and we’re delighted to host them in Findhorn.”    

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