15 terms


Who is the choreographer?
Since 2003, Lucy Bennett has learnt to expand the dynamic interaction within a company of markedly diverse dancers.
Defined and encapsulated her love of telling 'human stories' through dance.
As a dancer, Lucy worked with various choreographers in her lifetime.
Since 2012, she has been Artistic Director and changed Stopgap into a company that can conceive original ideas between collaborator, whilst taking leadership of the creative process.
When was the first performance?
5th February 2014, UK premiere.
What is the dance style?
Inclusive contemporary dance (incorporates disabilities).
Who is the company?
Stopgap Dance Company creates exhilarating dance productions for national and international touring.
The company employs disabled and non-disabled artists who collaborate. They have a pioneering spirit and are committed to making discoveries about integrating the two through dance by making inclusive works.
Their motto is "difference is our means and our method".
What is the choreographic approach?
Lucy Bennett uses a collaborative approach with her choreography and Stopgap's dancers are encouraged to contribute through choreographic tasks. Much material from scene 3 is driven by Laura Jones' wheelchair and has been translated by the standing dancers.
What is the stimulus?
The starter for AT as a whole was a snow-covered urban landscape with an isolated figure perched on a collapsed wheelchair. The figure is being observed from afar as if through a snow globe. Mysterious paintings by artist Goran Djuruoic also influenced the design, costume and choreographic images within all the scenes. The dancers' personal experiences provided inspired for the choreographic tasks.
Who are the dancers?
Two male and two female.
What is the choreographic intention?
Scene 3 is the final section of 'Artificial Things'. The undertone of the scene is about the characters coming to terms with life's limitations i.e. we all live with confinements and we're subject to the gaze of "the other". The characters acting out this sorrowful but peaceful scene are still constricted within a snow globe that signifies these ideas. Within the scene however, the characters find a resolution by coming together, and as the scene comes to a close, they surrender to the fact that we all have to live with individual regrets.
What is the duration?
20 minutes.
What is the structure?
'Artificial Things' consists of three scenes. The first scene shows the underlying tension between the characters, and the second scene is exciting but violent, where the characters seek liberation from the suffering austerity.
This leads to a tragedy, and scene three is its aftermath, where the characters are more pensive.
Scene three opens with two duets. The first is ground-based contact work involving a dismantled wheelchair. The second duet was influenced by the dancers improvising around the idea of inviting touch, and leading and following.
The group then unites and use ground-based contact work to stay connected whilst manipulating the dismantled wheelchair.
The trio of Amy, David Willdridge and Laura begins to find harmony whilst dancing with one another and Laura's wheelchair. Following Laura's lead they explore the movement of the chair, and each dancer takes responsibility for the wheelchair. The trio eventually gathers around David Toole, who has been watching from the vitrine (glass cabinet), and they re-enact portraits of past family photos influenced by the paintings of Djurovic. They find stillness as if frozen in the snow globe.
David Toole leaves the group as the music 'The Sunshine of Your Smile' begins and finds a lonely spotlight. He dances a simple solo focusing on facial expression and physical storytelling to the song that his father used to sing when he was young. This solo is a tribute to his father.
David returns to the group and is frozen in time with the other characters as the scene comes to a close.
What is the aural setting?
For scene three Andy Higgs wanted to create a futuristic atmosphere acknowledging that time had passed and that the old ways had broken down. He used the whole of the piano both inside and out to create a cold, ambient sound. He also used the sound of the paper snow and incorporated other sound effects such as a distant rumble, wind and footsteps through snow. Elements of the song 'The Sunshine of Your Smile' were mixed into the atmosphere often sounding distorted or as if drifting in on the wind. The final section uses the full version of the song.
What are the costumes?
Designed by Anna Jones, the costumes are a wash of blue and green, merging with the backdrop. It looks as if paint is running from the garments, which is reference to being stuck in one of the paintings by Djurovic. Outer garments worn in previous scenes, such as jackets and jumpers, are removed in this scene to show that time has moved on.
What is the lighting?
Designed by Chahine Yavrovan. For much of the piece the lighting focuses in on one or two spots. It opens out in the middle, with a blue wash and warm and cool side lighting before closing down to another spot for the final solo.
What is performance environment?
Proscenium arch.
What is the staging/set?
Designed by Anna Jones. The set is influenced by several paintings from the 'Unknown Secrets' collection by Goran Djurovic. It consists of a crudely painted heavy backdrop in which paint looks as if it is running down the canvas. In scenes one and two this is painted with brightly coloured strips, which are removed for scene three to create calmer visuals. This scene change signifies the change of mood. The vitrine is on its side with a snowdrift inside the cabinet. Paper snow is scattered on the ground in a diagonal from the vitrine to Laura who is downstage right. In front of the vitrine there are two stools and a headless suit on mannequin legs perched on a third stool. The dance floor is a light grey and around the edge is a wooden frame reflecting the colour, shape and restriction of the vitrine. This emphasises the fact that the audience is looking into the snow snow globe of artificial things.