RUN by 2Faced Dance Company
RUN brings together work by three female choreographers from across the globe in an exploration of the human instinct for fight or flight.
“RUN is very visceral and gritty,” says Tamsin Fitzgerald, 2Faced Artistic Director, “It’s an hour and a half of physically adventurous contemporary dance with a hint of other styles of dance within that.
“There is a link that runs through all three pieces. It sounds quite dark but it’s that exploration of the human soul. Each piece looks at how we exist as humans and how easy it is to fall into the dark side. So Rebecca Evans’ piece takes inspiration from horror movies and looks at fear and our relationship to fear. Mine looks at social consciousness and our inability to stand up for our own strong beliefs. And Lenka Vagnerová’s piece is about angels who fall to earth and are stuck between heaven and hell.
“It is fairly current in terms of what is happening in the world at the moment. We didn’t set out to do that but I think people will find it very relevant to today.”
Tamsin’s decision to commission all three works from women follows 2Faced’s launch of The BENCH – a project specifically aimed at providing opportunities for female choreographers.
“The BENCH came about because I had done a lot of work encouraging more men and boys into dance and I had sat on hundreds of panels over the years talking about how we encouraged men into dance,” explains Tamsin.
“Then I was having a conversation with our company’s dancers and we were talking about choreographers and we listed maybe 30 or 40 male choreographers but when we came to female choreographers we could only name about six or seven who had got to a certain level.
“That started my brain ticking and I thought I would look into this a bit more. There had been a lot of debate about the lack of highly successful female choreographers but not really a lot of action – there wasn’t anything that really encompassed training, commissioning and networking. I’ve always been the kind of person who rolls up their sleeves and decides to tackle an issue when they see it. If you don’t agree with something then you do something about it.”
Thanks to funding from Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The BENCH is now entering its second year and Tamsin has realised the shortage of females creating high profile dance is certainly not due to lack of talent.
2Faced Dance is already reaping the rewards of The BENCH because one of the choreographers for RUN, Rebecca Evans, is a Fellow.
“Rebecca was on the first year of The BENCH and there was a commissioning opportunity at the end with the chance to pitch ideas and work,” recalls Tamsin. “The panel was me, our producer Phil Hargreaves and Brendan Keaney, Artistic Director of DanceEast who were commissioning Run. Rebecca’s pitch was excellent and full of ideas. She’s worked a lot with digital which is something different for the company and will be really exciting in this show.”
RUN features two pieces of original music composed by Angus MacRae and Tomáš Vychytil and, in many ways, it continues 2Faced Dance’s evolution as a company.
Tamsin says: “RUN is a development of our work stylistically and really shows us improving. We’ve got an exceptional company at the moment – all of the dancers are very different but gel really well together. It’s a more mature work which keeps pushing us in the right direction.
“It’s always important to have good work regardless of the gender. It is important, women need opportunities to have their work seen and audiences need the chance to see that work, but overall the important thing is that the work is of a high quality.”
Interview by Diane Parkes