Marc Brew: For Now, I am...

Marc Brew is an award winning Glasgow-based Australian performer, director and choreographer. His latest solo work ‘For Now, I am…’ will have its London premiere on Thursday 10 March at Sadler’s Wells followed by performances at Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh (16 March), Mac-Arts Centre, Galashiels (23 March) and The Lemon Tree with Claire Cunningham, Aberdeen (23 April).

For Now, I am... is a tender and intimate work engaging with Marc’s body as it is now for the first time since his car accident 18 years ago and has been widely critically praised for its “…Harrowing beauty and luminous, life-affirming spirit.”

We spoke to Marc ahead of the tour to find out more about this powerful piece. 

Marc Brew 'For Now, I am...' Photo: Susan Hay 

Tell us a bit about ‘For Now, I am…’?

For Now, I am… is my second solo which will form part of a trilogy. The first being Remember When. 

For Now, I am... takes the audience on the journey of my personal rediscovery after a car accident that left me paralysed from the chest down in 1997; painting images of hospital beds, examinations, the realisation of what had happened to me and the evolution of my body and spirit as I learnt to accept my form as it is now.

Featuring fierce physicality and tender expression with visual projections by VJ Jamie Wardrop, an original score composed by Claire McCue and lighting design by Andy Hamer, For Now, I am... explores what it is to be broken, reborn, purified, and to reconcile being in the world in an entirely new way.    

For Now, I am... is an elegant and revealing choreography. Stripped back for the first time since my car accident, the work engages directly with my body as it is now. The piece investigates and exposes my changed form and the growing strength and resilience as the journey of the work unfolds.

Your last solo piece was in 2008, why did you feel it was the right time to create a new solo work?

I had many people tell me that they missed not seeing me perform as I create company work which I am not in and am commissioned to create work for ballet and contemporary dance companies around the world. So I felt it was time and I was in the right place physically and mentally where I wanted to look at creating a new solo work that was autobiographical and about the body. I wanted to share a part of my journey of rediscovery with people and share the beauty of difference and how my body and physicality has changed and evolved over time. I wanted to give the audience the permission to examine and I no longer wanted to hide behind clothes to disguise my difference as for now, this is who I am. This is me and I accept and share this with you. The audience are also connected to the work emotionally drawing on their own life experiences. It was the right time to make this work and I am grateful for the opportunity to share this very personal work.

Marc Brew 'For Now, I am...' Photo:Susan Hay 

What do you hope audiences take away from ‘For Now, I am…?’

I want the audience to be moved and have a connection with the work. Although it may be heavy and difficult to watch, I hope they see the positive, strength and beauty and the environment we have created with stunning images and a gorgeous musical score that takes them on a journey that may resonate with their own lives and experiences. 

What inspires and influences you as an artist?

People, relationships and life experiences inspire and influence me as I always strive for my work to be real and human and connect with people. I am also very influenced by many great artists and choreographers and the collaborators I work with. 

Marc Brew 'For Now, I am...' Photo: Susan Hay 

What do you have in store for the rest of 2016? 

I keep trying to produce and tour my work in the UK but it seems I am destined to have a gypsy life as my international work keeps growing which is exciting but it would be great to be supported and have opportunities to continue my company work in Scotland. 

This year I'll be involved in events including Australia's Performing Arts Market, touring For Now, I am... with an opening at Sadler's Wells, London on 10  March, I'll begin to make Brewband, my new music and dance collaboration, in April and following that I'll be at the AXIS National Convening in New York which seeks to advance the field of physically integrated dance. In June, I'll be heading to Brazil to finish 'MayBe' which will hopefully be performed in Rio, Sao Paulo and in Scotland and in July I'll be heading to Oakland, California to facilitate the AXIS Summer Intensive and then lead a week of masterclasses for the Catalyst programme in Sydney. In the Autumn I've been commissioned to work with a group of elders and their company GOLD in Australia and I'll be touring For Now, I Am... there and I'll also be developing new work as part of a UK/Korea collaboration supported by the British Council and I'll hopefully end the year with performances of For Now, I Am... in South Africa.

Photo credits: Susan Hay

Tour Dates

Marc Brew performs For Now, I am...:
Sadlers Wells, London, 10-11 March
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 16 March
Mac-Arts Centre, Galashiels, 23 March
The Lemon Tree with Claire Cunningham, Aberdeen, 23 April

Marc Brew received funding through Creative Scotland's Open Project Fund.

This article was published on 24 Feb 2016