Bodies In Flight: Gymnast
Developing their commitment to creating high-quality, innovative work in which flesh utters and words move, they explore this dedication from both the insider’s point of view – the trainee gymnast, and from the spectator’s – the admiration they feel in watching the achievement of physical mastery.
Using the gymnast’s training session as both source and structure, moving from basic warm-up routines to the display of gymnastic exercises, Sara Giddens has developed a micro-choreography revealing the beauty of the gymnast’s supreme attention to bodily task: the hand as it twists on the rings, the suspended high point on the parallel bars, the thousands of minute adjustments needed just to hold that ‘still’. This is placed alongside new writing from Simon Jones, set to music, composed by Jen Bell and Sam Halmarack, and sung by The Night Bus Choir. In parallel, video-maker Tony Judge of Creative Forum has created new video consisting of interviews and sequences capturing the training regime and micro- choreography of the gymnasts’ movements.
Bodies in Flight formed in 1990 to make performance that explores the encounter between flesh and text, and challenges and reinvigorates the conventional relationship between audiences and performers. The company (led by Sara Giddens and Simon Jones), are renowned for their innovative collaborations with sonic, visual and performance artists and have toured extensively nationally and internationally. Their work has been described as cutting edge and accessible, attracting a wide cross-section of audiences. Their work uncovers the hidden, unspoken feelings and passions in everyday events, making these experiences visible as choreography and poetry.
Following the huge success of the work in progress events and the selection of four films developed from the work shown on the 22 BBC big screens nationwide throughout Sumer 2012, Gymnast is having outings across the East Midlands and beyond.
Gymnast is produced and co-commissioned by Dance4 and co-commissioned by Ferment. It is supported by Arts Council England through grants for the arts and a Creative Innovation Research and Development grant supported by the Legacy Trust UK and the European Development Fund.
Photo Credit: Tony Judge