Dancing diggers with SURGE and Motionhouse

Diggers and dancers

What happens when you combine an internationally acclaimed outdoor dance company, ten physical performance practitioners and three choreographed JCB diggers?

Glasgow-based street arts, physical theatre and circus development organisation SURGE discovered exactly what when they hosted a three-week professional development residency for 10 Scottish-based emerging performers with Motionhouse’s Director Kevin Finnan.

Motionhouse is one of the leading dance theatre companies in the UK and Kevin Finnan was Choreographer and Movement Director for London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony, so this was an unparalleled development opportunity for the promising Scottish practitioners that took part.

The residency resulted in the world preview performance of an exhilarating new performance, Fragile, in Glasgow at SURGE’s annual festival in partnership with Merchant City Festival. Fragile saw the professional and emergent performers working with the JCB diggers in a breath-taking demonstration of strength and agility that explored and celebrated the relationship between movement and emotion. 10,000 audience members had the chance to enjoy four free-of-charge performances.

Subsequent performances of Fragile took place at BOing festival in Canterbury featuring the Scottish performers creating further opportunities for them to strengthen their practice and expand on their performance experience.

Since taking part in the residency several of the Scottish practitioners have taken further exciting new steps in their career. Natalie McCleary, who had previously primarily been a performer, has been engaged as movement director on several projects including at Glasgow Tramway and Zinnia Oberski has gone on to create her own work which was showcased at SURGE’s pitch event in May 2016.

This article was published on 30 Mar 2016