Protein’s (In)visible Dancing, a dance intervention originally conceived for street locations by and for International Dance Festival Birmingham in 2010, and a runaway success at five cities in England and Ireland in 2012, will be back in 2014 between May and September.
Each (In)visible Dancing project takes the form of a piece of contemporary dance/physical theatre about 30 minutes in length, specially created for a particular location by Luca Silvestrini, 6 Protein dancers and 6 apprentice dancers recruited at each place. It is performed twice a day over a period of up to two weeks in the same place; typically a busy, outdoor, pedestrianised shopping street or indoor shopping centre.
(In)visible Dancing projects seemingly grow out of everyday life, developing from what looks like ‘incidental’ strange behaviour on the street to a fully-fledged dance experience that engages with the architecture of the location. (In)visible Dancing then becomes Visible Dancing,a big-splash finale event engaging up to 80 local amateur/community performers in a high profile performance display on the final day of the project.
Made as a bespoke piece for each location it is commissioned for, (In)visible Dancing can be experienced in a myriad of ways – as a passer-by enjoying a brief event as street entertainment, as an avid watcher following the action as it builds daily, as a participant in the finale, or as an apprentice dancer co-devising and performing the work from beginning to end. Perfect for festivals, community celebrations, carnivals, shopping centres, and adaptable to surroundings and circumstances, working indoors, outdoors (even in inclement weather), (In)visible Dancing is down to earth, with broad appeal, attractive and capable of being enjoyed by people of all ages and walks of life.
(In)visible Dancing is both conceptually simple and artistically complex. It is structured around the premise of a journey from invisibility to visibility, which Luca Silvestrini realises in two ways: choreographically and in scale. Choreographically, each performance starts small and becomes bigger, an effect which is replicated at project level, with performances becoming steadily more articulate and recognisable each day. The scale of the work develops over its performance run, growing in number of performers from six dancers and one musician at the outset, to a dozen dancers and five musicians by the project’s mid-way point, and a mass happening with a greatly extended cast in the finale.
Audiences develop accordingly (the only performance advertised in advance is the finale Visible Dancing). At the outset, subtle shifts in activity on the street inspired by real life situations cause bystanders to stop and wonder what is happening. As the material grows in complexity, a crowd gradually assembles, until, as a fully-fledged performance reacting to different elements in the physical surroundings emerges, there is a large audience enjoying and interacting with the show. People who follow the work every day (because the performances coincide with their lunch hour for instance), get to see the piece getting stronger and stronger each day; they get to recognise the participants and anticipate the action, telling their friends to look out for it in the process.