8th Apr, 2020

Break dancing crew premiere new work at Coventry's Shop Front Theatre

Catherine Vonledebur 10th Mar, 2020 Updated: 10th Mar, 2020

SHIFT is a new work created by three acclaimed breakers and performers to be performed in Coventry this month.

It is the second piece to be commissioned as part of award-winning Theatre Absolute’s new three-year project Humanistan and premieres at Coventry’s Shop Front Theatre in City Arcade on March 18 until March 21.

Jamaal O’Driscoll is a dancer/breaker from Birmingham and previously worked with Theatre Absolute on co-choreographed piece Neosis; while Coventry-based Marius Mates is a dancer originally from Romania, who has worked with organisations including the Paralympics UK 2017, BBC Breakin convention and The Place, Sadler’s Wells.

They are joined by French born choreographer Mickael Marso Riviere, the founder of Company Decalage and Bboys Attic, whose credits include T-Break for Birmingham International Dance Festival, Matches with Guy Nader and Hokiri for Acosta Danza.

Marso said: “We all belong to the same crew but usually just come together for competitions or short gigs. This project is very different and sets us on a new journey with our creative practice. We’re incredibly excited to work together at the Shop Front.”

Humanistan will include eight new commissions over three-years and is an ambitious series taking inspiration from the thoughts on nation and society from writers such as Benjamin Zephaniah, Francois Matarasso and Ben Okri.

Chris O’Connell, Artistic Director Theatre Absolute said: “We are really excited to see how Jamaal, Marius and Mickael respond to our artistic provocation. The close proximity in the Shop Front Theatre between artists and audiences, its affinity to experimental work that will merge ‘breakin’ and theatre, is sure to provide an evening of blistering physicality.

“SHIFT is the second of 8 commissions over three years as part of the Humanistan programme of work. We are inviting artists/performers to create and tell positive stories, provoking us to consider that if the social and political systems that surround us are arguably failing, this should not be allowed to define our experience of being human. I look forward to this on-going conversation.”

Future commissions include a new one-on-one performance from the acclaimed Scottish artist Sharron Devine, and a new work written by Coventry poet Katie Walters.

SHIFT premieres on 18 March and runs until 21 March at Theatre Absolute’s Shop Front Theatre, which is housed in a former fish and chip restaurant in Coventry’s City Arcade.  Tickets are £9 or £7 Concs and available via: theatreabsolute Performances take place at 7.30pm.

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