We here at Fierce are delighted to be part of Horizon – Performance Created in England, a vibrant new showcase for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe taking place during August. Commissioned by Arts Council England, the Horizon showcase is being delivered by a consortium made up of Battersea Arts Centre, Dance4, Fierce, GIFT, MAYK and Transform.
Nine new, tour-ready, performance works are to be presented in a range of digital settings, alongside seven new projects, supported as part of a ‘residency’ programme, which enables artists to play with new performance ideas across a range of formats and genres. The works across both the residencies and live performance strands celebrate artists who are working across performance disciplines and currently based in England – all born out of a new approach to build deep and sustainable collaborations internationally.
The performance programme includes works by choreographer and director Botis Seva, with BLKDOG, a haunting commentary on surviving adulthood as a childlike artist, as well as Future Cargo, the latest outdoor work by Requardt & Rosenberg. Janine Harrington is presenting her digital online version of the 2018 Screensaver Series, and installation artist Joshua Sofaer’s Opera Helps will use zoom to bring professional opera singers into audiences’ own homes for a one-to-one performance.
First presented at Contact in Manchester, mandla rae brings short film As British As A Watermelon, whilst theatre director Olivia Furber works with Palestinian filmmaker Ramzi Maqdisi on The Land’s Heart is Greater than its Map, a 20-minute presentation of their work which guides participants through the streets of their own town, with a soundtrack designed in the streets of Jerusalem.
Chinese Arts Now’s Every dollar is a soldier/With money you’re a dragon invites audiences to roam freely as avatars through an ‘after hours’ digital art gallery. Choreographer Seeta Patel presents a screening of their reimagining of Stravinsky’s iconic ballet ‘The Rite of Spring’ in the classical Indian dance style Bharatanatyam; and Tarik Elmoutawakilis’ Marlborough Productions will enable audiences across the globe to join their widely celebrated Brownton Abbey an evolving, international performance collective, centring and celebrating disabled, queer people of colour.
The Horizon residencies include The Dan Daw Show in which artist Daw will look at his relationship to his disability and to kink, and how power, pride and shame all intersect. Jo Bannon’s Blind Magic is a dance piece exploring the imaginative dance between sleight of hand, deception and dexterity present within magic shows, with a canny parallel to the experience of visually disabled people. Artist and producer Katy Baird will be workshopping Get Off – a funny, relatable and sometimes ‘wee bit grim’ performance that revels in excess whilst exploring ways in which it unites us.
PROJEKT EUROPA will be working on LET YOUR HANDS SING IN THE SILENCE, a planned performance for one actor to recreate their own personal family tree from memory presented by the international female-led theatre company. Performer Rachel Mars’ will use her residency to develop Forge – a new set of work about memorials, replicas, and human behaviour at spaces with difficult histories. Urielle Klein-Mekongo’s TRASH is to be a dark, musical comedy about two working-class black girls who decide to join the expanding industry of earning cash, pushing for financial success at all costs, from social media. Finally, British Flamenco dancer Yinka Esi Graves’s will be working on her first solo creation, The Disappearing Act, drawing on her experiences as a black flamenco dancer and the historical questions that have been raised along her journey.
The consortium partners have also been working with established independent artists to help shape the showcase, including Project O (Alexandrina Hemsley, Jamila Johnson- Small), Javaad Alipoor, Kirsty Housley, Sonia Hughes and Renny O’Shea. Associate partners reflecting different specialisms and art form focuses have also had input into the process, including Akademi, ATC, Bush Theatre, Circus City, The Cocoa Butter Club and Unlimited.