A project in collaboration with
nofit state circus
Directed by Kevin Finnan
Circus direction by Paul Evans
Twenty oversized blocks, fashioned to resemble giant breeze blocks, double as both the performance equipment and the set. Continually deconstructed and reformed, they create an infinite variety of shapes, structures and equipment to play on, move with and explore.
What happens when the equipment becomes the starting point for a physical exploration? When dance and circus collide? When they converge, rub against each other, blend into one another?
The constant shifts of forms echo the transitory nature of our city centres, the changing landscapes of our environments and within this context, creates for a platform on which the bodies talk about change, barriers, obstacles, repetition, failures and successes.
“The modern city is a nest teeming with activity. Human life streams through this hive of activity. Block is about living in the city its contradictions and its challenges.
Living large, living fast and sometimes living in the cracks, this extraordinary cast keep on their toes to thrive and survive in the world of blocks. The tower block, the urban block, danger, love and excitement streaming through the day.”
“NoFit State and Motionhouse have been looking for opportunities to work together for several years and BLOCK is the ideal project for this exciting collaboration. The desire to join forces to create a project for public spaces echoes the two companies’ commitment to making work that is accessible, provides a platform for audience development whilst pushing at the boundaries of their artforms.
The fusion of house styles creates a new theatrical language mixing circus and dance in an extraordinary and seamless way. Fusing the fluidity of dance with spectacular circus to continually reshape the modular staging negates the need to perform “acts”, allowing the skills to be fully integrated in the movement vocabulary, creating a new and exciting form.
The initial starting point was to create a new piece for outdoor events and festival, but the easily transportable nature of the stage design, combined with the strong themes running through the piece give the work a versatility, making it easily adaptable to venues and unconventional spaces.”
BLOCK began life as a research project under the direction of Paul Evans for NoFit State’s resident trainees and was showcased to an invited audience of arts professionals in Spring 2013. The initial research focused on developing a set of “blocks” and beginning to investigate their potential within a performance context.
The strong potential of BLOCK convinced the company to take the project forward, but with a slightly different approach to their usual creative methods, and, in 2014, NoFit State approached Motionhouse about creating BLOCK as a collaboration between the two companies, with the show directed by Motionhouse Artistic Director Kevin Finnan assisted by Paul Evans as Circus Director.
A first R&D took place in early 2015 to explore the meeting ground between the companies and investigate the artistic concepts of the show. BLOCK will be created in Winter 2015/2016 and will tour from Spring 2016.
BLOCK has been designed to respond to the two companies’ vision for creating work that is accessible and environmentally friendly in an effort to create a piece for new horizons.
It can be presented in a variety of contexts and environments, from ultra urban to totally rural, each time changing the impact on the visual landscape adding new meanings to the piece.
A versatile project, BLOCK can be presented as a centre piece for festivals, street and site specific events and one off celebrations, launches and openings.
- light, tourable, low tech
- a daytime performance
- for 500 – 1500 people
- low cost, low impact
- can be performed up to 2 times a day in different locations
- 4 NoFit State Circus Performers
- 3 Motionhouse Dancers
- Kevin Finnan (Motionhouse) Artistic Director
- Paul Evans (NoFit State) Circus Director
- Ali Williams (NoFit State) Creative Producer
Download the Block dossier here.
Commissioned by Without Walls, Stockton International Riverside Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Out There International Festival of Circus & Street Arts.
Co-production Archaos, Pôle National des Arts du Cirque Méditerranée and Le CITRON JAUNE, Centre National des Arts de la Rue.