touch_app2019 | live performance | UK
In this new work commissioned by Croydonites, Salles explores the stories of people who contradict what society expects of them; who fight back against social norms. Some real, some fiction, some spoken words. The show plays with ideas about how different stories can or cannot change our perception of facts. Using their mobile phones the audience interacts with the performance using a specially built app. They are guided throughout the space, where they can choose what narrative would suit with their views, what position they would stand to witness the scene. Whilst the performers dare to enact a real physical journey of finding a narrative that suits them.
Conception Vinicius Salles
Performers Valerie Ebowa & Vinicius Salles
Graffiti Artist Dev
Design Milk Films Cafe
CROYDONITES FESTIVAL REVIEWS
by Harmony Nanton
Walk into a world of rebellion with Vinicius Salles’ interactive dance performance, Disruptive Narratives. This promenade piece, put on at the Croydonites Festival 2019 in the Braithwaite Hall, Katharine Street on 4th May 2019, allowed its audience the freedom to watch from all angles – perceiving whatever they chose.
The performance drops you in a world of defiance as you enter a space containing a wall of white boxes in the process of being sprayed with graffiti. To (perhaps) assist with the meaning behind the movement, there is audio via an app (the audience was instructed to bring our own headphones) which tells the stories of different individuals. The stories all represent a form of disruption within everyday life, whether that is someone with an accent attempting Shakespeare, causing ‘disruption and corruption of the musicality of the real language’ and being regarded as ‘distracting,’ or someone with autism who disrupts the regular flow of life – basically, ‘anything that challenges the norm’.
Because the audience is in control of what they chose to listen to and undoubtedly presses ‘play’ at different times, each movement is authentic in the sense that no one infers the same meaning from the same movement. Although it did not seem so at the time, I now feel as though the whole show was out of sync, but I have not decided if it was the dancers or the audience who were to blame. In this sense, I felt as though the disruption was unavoidable but beautiful.
I enjoyed the freedom to move around, the freedom to disrupt if I chose to or to simply watch the two dancers break up the stillness in the space. Personally I did not always completely understand every word of the audio. However, I got hints of the story at times; hearing certain words in places set me on paths on which the movement may not otherwise have taken me.
Dancers Valerie Ebowa and Vinicius Salles moved beautifully together and seemed to simultaneously melt and rise, form and transform effortlessly. Ebowa moved almost as if she lacked the common physical characteristic of bone structure – and instead possessed grace and power. At times I got lost in the words echoing in my ears, but at other times I was lost in the relationships forming in front of me.
Furthermore, I loved that the show was accessible to all by different means. There was audio, the option of reading the text on our screens and also the visual of the two dancing at arms’ length. The use of technology was brilliant and improved from the company’s last performance in the Croydonites Festival 2018, Glitch, which incorporated a simpler use of technology in the style of an online chat.
EXAMPLE | SCENE 5
press on the wave when the performers start to move
CHOOSE YOUR POSITION