This cross-cultural performance is a collaboration between State of Emergency and South African choreographer Gregory Maqoma of Vuyani Dance Theatre, performed by a company of five dancers, with an original score by Steve Marshall.
Inspired by the similarities between the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site on England’s south coast and the Skeleton Coast of Namibia, Desert Crossings is an exploration and reflection on two very different places, united through a shared history of the rocks on which they stand.
Desert Crossings toured in the UK, South Africa, Canada and Germany during 2011 and 2012 with the support of Arts Council England and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team, and brought to the stage dancers Lerato Lipere, Keisha Grant, Sade Alleyne, Gerrard Martin, Carl Harrison, Jerome Wilks, Laura Flanagan, Grace Hann, Vanessa Guevara and singers Elroy "Spoonface" Powell, Tempo O'Neil and Steve Marshall.
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“Rarely have I witnessed a dance piece so unforgiving in the energy it demands, yet the performers are ceaseless in their commitment, intensity and passionate articulation of the choreography.” Sarah Wilkinson, The Stage
“Maqoma and his collaborators, including the composer Steve Marshall and an admirable cast of five, aspire to heights and depths from which bigger but more timidly conceived performances might shy away. Desert Crossings remains a sensory pleasure.” Donald Hutera, The Times
“The memory of time is broken by individual outbursts and muscular vocabulary which turns human flesh into tumbleweeds or fossils of primordial memory, creating a journey across vast deserts, seas and mountains.” Gregory Maqoma
“Desert Crossings puts the vastness of geological time into perspective while delving deep into what this means for human culture.” Sue Davies OBE, Chair of the Culture Committee of the UK National Commission for UNESCO
Photo of Sade Alleyne by Barry Lewis
Photo of L-R: Sade Alleyne, Carl Harrison, Gerrard Martin, Keisha Grant & Lerato Lipere by Irven Lewis