We spent three high-intensity days in research and development at the beginning of July 2018, exploring the challenges of dancing in an industrial space. Dancers Vidya Patel and Eva Escrich González were joined by musicians Nao Masuda and Bernard Schimpelsberger to develop choreography and sound for a forthcoming work by artistic director Shobana Jeyasingh.
Southbank Centre’s Plant Room presented unusual physical opportunities and tests, not least the imposing machinery that fills the space, limiting movements but also acting as the setting for a juxtaposition of metal and skin.
Percussion and drums were used to emphasise the huge, humming equipment, recorded and looped to produce an atmospheric soundscape. Bernard’s drumming emphasised Vidya’s kathak-influenced movement beautifully.
The contrast between Vidya and Eva’s dance styles was mirrored by the machinery, which separated the space and created a series of spaces to frame the movement.