H2Dance 20 Strangers at Norwich Arts Centre – Marie Cooper

H2Dance: 20 Strangers at Norwich Arts Centre

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Norwich Art Centre
Norwich Art Centre © Copyright Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

I am so glad that I took the time to look at at the description of the ‘H2Dance – 20 Strangers’ workshop that initially popped up on my Facebook feed. The performances, being hosted by Louise Cole and run by Hanna and Heidi at Norwich Arts Centre today sound brilliant fun.

The class was described as exploring “What does community and integration mean?” But it was the details of the workshop that really had me hooked.

“Wearing silent disco head phones, you are invited to enter the stage rather than the auditorium and given instructions live through a series of choreographed meetings. You have permission to look, touch, assume and judge.
Choose how you respond, moving into lines, groups and pairs. You can use appearance, physicality and reactions as a guide to negotiate one another as you cooperate. Immersed in light and sound, you will experience being alone and together at the same time”

I had to grab a ticket and I was incredibly excited about having the time to go along and take part.  It was a fascinating concept. Everyone wore separate headphones and were given differing instructions, moving around on stage.

Some instructions were uncomfortable, some broke social conventions, some were straight -forward, some confusing, some isolating, some tested trust and biases and some….like the moment where people grabbed me and hoisted me far higher in the air than I would usually feel comfortable outside my own volition, were more than a little argh…what is going on!

I would have definitely gone to another performance if the opportunity arose to see how different people/sizes of group/familiarity affect the dynamic. And there was a glass of Cava thrown in by Norwich Art centre after the performance. I also bumped into Harriet, a fellow member of The Common Lot, there and we had many laughs during the performance. An exploratory, entertaining and brilliant evening!

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