Multi story Water was an interactive project involving local people in a creative conversation about the river and our relationship with it – using storytelling, games, site based performance, and walking tours.
A series of weekend events took place in and around the M32 Motorway during September 2012, these events culminated in a Site -Based performance. The audience were led in promenade style from the Eastville roundabout underneath the roaring motorway and to where the underpass meets the River Frome. Along the way they watched 9 site specific performances from local community groups that had been created on site using narrative drawn from true stories, gathered from local residents.
The show, named FLOW involved over 180 performers, including two groups of little one's 'the rainbows' and 'the beavers', two contemporary youth dance companies, 'Rise' and 'Kinesis', star Sweedish circus artist, Linn Broden, a choir, and the students from Bristol's Fda in Dance Theatre and Performance.
The River Frome has many stories to tell. As it flows through Eastville, it runs past homes and businesses, a school, under the motorway, and finally through sluice gates – where it disappears underground on its way to the city centre. The river connects different parts of the community, but do you feel connected to it?
Full Tilt were comissioned to produce a site based piece of aerial dance for the project. We worked closely with a group of local aerialists, teaching them new skills in harness based aerial dance. With them we then devised a 20 minute vertical performance for the supporting pillars that hold up the motorway. We had to create this in a studio, so chose a nice wall at Circomedia for our pretend pillar experience. We also worked closely with a group of students from Bristol's Fda in Dance Theatre Performace, The course is led by dance artist Julia Thorneycroft, is based at the Bristol Dance Centre, and is a University of Plymouth and City of Bristol College collaboration.
The day came together really well. We started at 6am, myself and the riggers, Max Morely and Ben Osbourne, rigged the truss and equipment for the show, whist Dr Jess took the rest of the team for a quick run and warm up before rehearsing all the ground based material. We then united and rehearsed the show a few times before it was time to perform it. Then derig and packing away of everything, just as night time fell. Not bad at all for a days work!
Here is a little slideshow of some of the performance images :-)