Board Member - Call Out

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Interested in becoming a Neon Dance trustee? We're searching for individuals with a drive for culture and collaboration who have the commitment to contribute to our future strategic development!

Having embarked on a series of profile raising performances and commissions in 2018 we’re currently working towards becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). Interested in supporting Neon Dance develop as an organisation? Find out more about becoming a trustee here:

Setouchi Island Visit, Japan

Neon’s Adrienne Hart travelled to the Setouchi region of Japan in early February 2019. As a participating artist of Setouchi Art Triennale, she visited several islands in the Seto inland sea to find a site for ‘Puzzle Creature’, which will be performed as one of the many artworks during Setouchi Art Triennale’s Autumn season…

Teshima Island

Teshima Island

After a much needed post flight sleep, I took a boat with Hiroki Ohishi (Art Front Gallery) and Momoyo Homma (Reversible Destiny Foundation) from Takamutsu Port to Honjima island. We hired bikes and at first came across more cats than people! A friendly elder pointed out artworks and when informed that I was a visiting artist participating in Setouchi Art Triennale she requested ‘something spectacular’. The permanent Setouchi artworks on the island echo Honjima’s maritime heritage and we came across a beautifully preserved port town that was once a center of trade and shipbuilding during the Edo Period (1600-1867). 

Our next stop after a lunch of soba noodles was Takamijima island. Takamijima is suffering from severe depopulation and has less than 30 inhabitants. We came across two fisherman gathering their octopus pots and climbed empty cobblestone-walled paths to a former school. 

The next day we took a boat to Teshima island, home to Teshima Art Museum and permanent sound installation Les Archives du Coeur ("Heart Archives") by Christian Boltanski. Our hearts skipped a beat or two on encountering a wild boar and a short car ride to Shima Kitchen took in spectacular views. Monthly birthday parties are organised by Art Setouchi for the island people in the restaurant, which aims to connect people through ‘food and art’. Spending time on this magical island you would never have guessed that it suffered from illegal industrial waste dumping. After a court ruled in favour of the islanders in 1996, Teshima is very much a reversible destiny story! 

More about Setouchi Art Triennale.



Setouchi Triennale 2019

Neon Dance have been announced as one of the participating artists at Setouchi Triennale 2019, an international contemporary arts festival held every three years across 12 ‘art islands’ in Japan. Like many rural parts of Japan, the islands in the Seto Inland Sea have been suffering from depopulation in recent decades, while their remaining residents have been aging at a rapid pace, causing a wide range of problems. One of the festival's main goals is to counteract these trends and revitalize the region in a sustainable and creative way by bringing contemporary art and tourism onto the islands. The festival features over 150 artworks by artists from both Japan and overseas, many of whom make use of abandoned homes to host or even become their art installations, helping to reinvent the area as a haven for world-class art. More info coming soon!

Youth Review / PuzzleCreature

Libby an ACE Youth group dancer and current member of Birmingham Centre for Advanced Dance Training reviews Neon Dance / PuzzleCreature after attending our 17th October performance at the Patrick Centre in Birmingham…

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PuzzleCreature was a fascinating fusion of arts pulled together to create an inspiring trio accessible to an extensive amount of people. The concept of the piece came from architectural designs by Arakawa and Madeline Gins; these often looked into science and experimenting, but most famously their expedition which explored the theme death. Within the piece the use of British and Japanese sign language alongside spoken description was a great asset as it made it an expression of inclusion which in itself is something to be celebrated.

From the moment we arrived outside the theatre we knew this was not a normal performance. As we entered the inflatable dome and were able to explore the ‘stage’ and sit anywhere you pleased; we could get up close to the artefacts hanging from the ceiling, much like molds of different body parts which later were incorporated into the choreography. The incredible set design set the imagination free before the dancers even entered the immersive space.

The dancers climbed into the set with absolute composure where they shared the stage with their audience members. The articulate movements alongside the dancers impressive technical abilities allowed for mesmerising choreography including complex contact work, with their bodies intertwining organically yet fluidly. The artefacts were wearable and came into play as they seemed to manipulate the dancers and influence how they moved individually and in partner work which I found thoroughly intriguing.

We then stepped out of the dome and joined the dancers on top. Slightly deflated, they used the remaining air in the set beneath them to manipulate and send ‘wave-like’ impulses across the space; it cleverly acted as an catalyst for more movement, which I thought looked physically extremely effective especially as the audience were invited upon the dome so you really felt a part of the performance.

I really enjoyed the experience as not only have I never been involved in anything like this, the movement style and inventive set designs really grabbed my attention and made me really invest in the whole production. I’m fortunate enough to be working with the choreographer Adrienne Hart in April 2019 as part of the Birmingham CAT programme so I am intrigued and excited to learn more about the work and embrace some of these concepts for myself as a dancer.

Catch our final tour date at Swindon Dance on the 16th November!

Cultural Connectors Respond

At the beginning of September we recruited a series of Cultural Connectors between the age of 18 - 24 and gave them the brief to find inventive ways to encourage their peers to watch Neon’s latest work PuzzleCreature. We had a fantastic group join us from around the UK and we’ve been loving their unique responses to the work. We’re really happy to share a few responses and reactions to PuzzleCreature below. Explore Youtube dance poetry, textile wall hangings, postcard designs and a graphic artwork, all responding to the PuzzleCreature performance experience. A massive thank you to Izzy, Rin, Lucia, Jorja, Arseca, Christiana and Abbey for taking part.

Where was I? Being within a structured space: my response to 'PuzzleCreature', a new multi-disciplinary dance performance inspired by the death-eluding architecture designs of Arakawa and Madeline Gins. The piece was choreographed by Adrienne Hart. I worked with the company as a Cultural Connector, and saw a performance at The Place, London on 13th October.

Graphic artwork by Rin Terada.

Graphic artwork by Rin Terada.

A postcard design inspired by PuzzleCreature, created by Saiko Otake.

A postcard design inspired by PuzzleCreature, created by Saiko Otake.

Neon Dance’s ‘Cultural Connectors’ has been a paid opportunity made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England Project Grant funding.

'Drum Pyramid' premieres on Fluid Radio

A track from PuzzleCreature’s score premieres on Fluid Radio!

Neon Dance commissioned composer Sebastian Reynolds to create new work PuzzleCreature’s score for 8 speakers. ‘Drum Pyramid’ (stereo mix) is now available to stream online exclusively via Fluid Radio and features guest percussionist Greig Stuart.

Watch PuzzleCreature live:

5th/6th Oct – Tramway, Glasgow
10th – Cornerstone, Didcot
12th/13th – The Place, London
17th/18th – DanceXchange, Birmingham
16th Nov – Swindon Dance, Wiltshire

The Funambulist interview

Neon's Artistic Director has been interviewed in the upcoming issue of The Funambulist magazine due out in early September. The Funambulist is a digital and printed bimestrial magazine dedicated to examine the politics of space and bodies, with new images taken from our Puzzle Creature creation process, issue number 19 "The Space of Ableism" can be ordered now! ✨