Last year we were delighted to secure the continuing support of State of Emergency as an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation. We appreciate this endorsement and will continue to work hard in 2015 to deliver a high quality and wide ranging programme of activity.
LOVE & SEX
Our touring production for 2014 took us into new territories, working in collaboration with new partnerships Brook (sexual health service for young people) and the University of Durham. We devised a full length show exploring issues of love and sex in a challenging and entertaining show choreographed by Colin Poole and Alesandra Seutin with music by Steve Marshall and the original Jazz Warriors. The show toured nationally to 16 venues with a workshop programme and education pack for schools, developed in consultation with Brook.
‘Love and sex are complex matters. It is no easy feat to encompass all of its complexities within a dance, especially when that dance is intended for a 13 – 15 year old audience whose knowledge and expectations of the matters are influenced and warped by social media and a vast catalogue of uncensored explicit content. But State of Emergency have done just that
Review Bella Fortune
This year also saw the start of a fruitful collaboration with The Albany Deptford where we will be commissioning choreographer Freddie Opoku Addaie to create a brand new work with an inclusive cast of disabled and able-bodied performers and to support and mentor an emerging disabled choreographer to develop their skills. This performance project will also include a two week community residency.
The SABD gained momentum this year with our quarterly gatherings in London. A cross -generational affair with established and new artists sharing methodology and approaches, discussion and debate and supporting and sharing of ideas make for a lively and positive atmosphere. The networking sessions are always a welcome addition with artists connecting and planning new ventures as a result. We aim to build on the Strategic Alliance model to regional hubs across the UK in the future.
This year we delivered our Emerging Artistic Directors Retreat which saw 11 young leaders and potential leaders take time out to focus on their development with a three day Retreat in the beautiful grounds of Dartington. With practical workshops developing their artistic practice and coaching and business skills they emerged refreshed, revitalised and with a plan of action to move forward.
‘The Retreat affirmed my strengths and gave me confidence to power on with excitement regardless of any obstacles’
Our Re-Position talent development programme London group have gone from strength to strength this year. Their leader, Vicki Igbokwe has created a new work with them that they showcased at Cultural Explosion at Richmix and The Harbour Festival, Bristol. They were also fortunate to work with South African choreographer Nyaniso Dzedze through our collaboration with UK Arts Afrovibes Festival. He created a new work that they performed at the Afrovibes launch in London at Stratford Circus and then supporting work by South African artists Nelisiwe Xaba and Themba Mbuli at The Albany. We also moved the company’s weekly sessions to a new venue at WAC, with whom we are now working in partnership. This promises to be a fruitful development and we are looking forward to the future. The Bristol young men’s Re-Position group had new work choreographed on them by Winston Pyke and performed at Breakin’ Convention at Colston Hall in Bristol last Spring.
‘An amazing opportunity to work with a South African choreographer. The performance experience blew me away!
Re-Position London group member
The end of last year saw the launch of Research and Development for our ambitious international production for 2016- Where is Home? choreographers Vicki Igbokwe and Alesandra Seutin with South African choreographer Nyaniso Dzedze worked alongside Musical Director Steve Marshall to explore key themes of the show. Working in the USA in collaboration with CalArts, we will be delivering a Summer school with young people next as part of the project and will be auditioning dancers in South Africa as well as the UK for the R&D. This is a positive outcome of our years of international development.
Black Dance Archive
2014 saw the launch of our pioneering Black Dance Archiveproject. Scoping the collections started in earnest and Bullies Ballerinas was the first complete collection to be catalogued at the National Resource Centre for Dance. We are now working with our other partners- principally the Black Cultural Archive, but also Birmingham Museums and Record, Leeds University Library, the V&A, Trinity Laban and the National Resource Centre for Dance to collect 28 collections in total. We also delivered some fantastic activity to animate the archive, particular highlights included a Boy Blue schools workshop programme, a Tavaziva Dance commission with Woking Dance and our Revisited History Event in partnership with Breakin’Convention. The BDA project continues until April 2016.
2014 began with the composition of an original soundtrack for State of Emergency’s touring theatre production, Love&Sex. SoE Founder and Musical Director Steve Marshall collaborated with Alan Weekes and Kenrick Rowe of the original Jazz Warriors to create a ground breaking score combining jazz, soul, blues and electronica. After the UK tour of Love&Sex, in early summer a new collection of recordings was made with the Patten brothers, called Dark Matter, which is due for completion in Spring 2015. June saw State of Emergency’s annual visit to Los Angeles as part of the UKT&I/BPI LA Sync Mission. During the mission, significant relationships were initiated between SoE and CalArts University, the Grammy committee and CUSP Association. The album Anatomy Of A Soul was completed and mastered at The Premises Recording Studio, London in September. This project is a review of 20th century music styles and features musicians from SoE’s thinktank including Tony Green (guitar), Rodger Griffiths (bass) and H Daniel (drums). In October, SoE attended WOMEX 2014 in Santiago de Compostella, sparking off relationships with festivals in South Korea, India and the Netherlands, and in November it was the Billboard Conference for Music in Film & Television, hosted by Universal Studios, Burbank CA. The year ended with a bang, as State of Emergency achieved success both in the games and film industries, having music placed in Grand Theft Auto 5 and the new German movie production, Visions of Paradise.