Inside Out Dorset will see free events staged over two weekends from 17 to 26 September at Moors Valley Country Park, Poole Old Town and Quay, Christchurch, Bridport and Weymouth,.
Postponed from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival, hosted by Dorchester based Activate, has commissioned three world premieres including Partnering With Earth, a performance poetry installation at the Symondsbury Estate near Bridport on 24-26 September. Created by theatre-maker performance artist Dave Young, aka The Shouting Mute, from natural and upcycled materials it features a soundscape of recordings made with local farmers, walkers, land managers, foresters and riders in conversation about climate change, and the poems he created from those stories. The recordings form a soundscape within the installation as a cast of Disabled performers and artists read Dave’s poems.
Dave said: “What surprised me was the matter-of-fact way the interviewees were able to talk about climate change and how much it’s impacting things locally.
“I’ve started to explore the question of what we need to do in order to change how we think about climate change as a human crisis, not a climate crisis. The installation explores the relationship we have with the natural world and climate change and perhaps inspires us to get outside, to listen and connect with the nature on our doorstep.
“I like access to be integrated within the performance – audio-description can double up as a storytelling tool; sign language can help with understanding body language; captions can be on the set as part of the visual design. Everyone can get something from the show in the moment.”
Dave has also written the narrative and lyrics for Planted Symphony, a new audio trail by Drake Music, the UK’s leading organisation working in music, disability and technology that re-imagines the original work and pays tribute to its composer Lucy Hale who died this year. It can be experienced at Radipole Park and Gardens, near Weymouth, from 24 to 26 September.
Dave adds: “As a disabled person I discovered the arts, performance and creative expression at a young age and joined local arts groups. For me, it has been a natural platform upon which to explore questions that are important to me. Right now, that’s about connecting with our beautiful countryside and holding each other accountable for giving it the care and respect it deserves.”
Created by disabled and non-disabled musicians, poets, storytellers and artists, Planted Symphony uses a smartphone app to tell the story with spoken word, music and lyrics of a herbalist who uses the natural world to heal, grown and transform. SUBPAC systems that convert sound into a full-body experience will be available for D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences.
Activate’s inclusive youth performance company, The Remix has joined forces with Dorset Youth Dance, Movers & Shakers and RISE Youth Dance to perform new choreography inspired by Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles and the glorious Dorset countryside, The piece, Tess, can be seen at Christchurch on 19 September and Symondsbury Estate on 26 September.
Directed by Anna Golding with choreographer Emily Aiden, Two and a Half is a new work from West Dorset community dance company Fingerprint performed by Forest, a new company of adults with different abilities, and mature dancers company Grace + Growl. The piece is inspired by the 2.5-degree rise in Arctic sea temperatures due to climate change and can be seen at Christchurch and the Symondsbury Estate on 19 and 26 September respectively.
In addition to showcasing work by disabled artists, it is part of Activate’s mission to make Inside Out Dorset’s sometimes remote locations as accessible as possible. Maps and walk-through films for each site can be found on the festival website and there are audio-visual descriptions for each artwork, as well as relaxed performances. On-site, volunteers will provide active stewarding and assistance; while accessible conveniences will include a Changing Places toilet.
For details of free events https://activateperformingarts.org.uk/whats-on/inside-out-dorset/
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