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Tue 14 March - Wed 15 March

Illegal Dance

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Tony Adigun’s Avant Garde Dance present Illegal Dance, a multi-sensory dance theatre experience in which every audience member must decide where they stand, pick a token, rebel or conform! 

Following the success of Fagin’s Twist, this new story, Illegal Dance, explores a future where artistic expression is forbidden by oppressive regimes around the world. Dynamic contemporary choreography blended with innovative technical stagecraft portrays the tensions in a society that pits order against chaos, security against freedom, and individualism against collective will.

Collect your wireless headphones on arrival and join the preshow silent disco, a carefully curated mix of dance-inspiring anthems for all ages. In this show like no other, you, the audience, decide which of the two 3D audio soundtracks accompany your version of events; enjoy the original and rich sound score or opt for our B-side, layered with insights into the secret thoughts and narrative of the show’s distinctive characters. Switch sound scores anytime during the show at the click of a button. 

This mesmerising 80-minute show delivers laser-sharp ultra-HD projection beamed onto multiple surfaces. It will leave audiences of all ages marvelling as six dancers on stage become 60 through the magic of real-time kaleidoscopic video technology. 

For the select few who opt for a ticket to follow the way of the rebel, an unpredictable and exhilarating immersive experience awaits. 

The back story….

It’s 2030, and dance is a crime.

We should have seen it coming. We spent the first two decades of the new millennium gripped by fear. Facing the war on terror, financial turmoil, climate change, and global pandemics, an anxious public turned to big tech and invasive surveillance for a safety blanket – but at what cost?

While tax breaks were bestowed on the tech giants, funding for art lessons was cut. A generation of children forgot how to sing, paint, and dance, instead absorbing a curriculum of obedience, conformity, and compliance. 

One after another, societies around the world watched as their paranoid leaders criminalised the arts in the vain hope of quashing subversive ideas and dangerous acts of collective expression.

Every life is now defined by an irreconcilable tension between the desire for free expression and the desire for safety. A former dancer must hide her past to protect her daughter. A politician suppresses not just his fellow citizens but also his own ethics. Under pressure from the government, an activist leading his disciples in an artistic rebellion must confront an impossible choice.

In a world where morality is painted in shades of grey, vibrancy can be found in resistance: with dissent silenced, the expressive power of movement brings together artists of all disciplines. This disparate collection of creative souls must motivate and mobilise themselves and their communities in order to harness their collective power against oppression.

Director and choreographer Tony Adigun uses a synaesthesic blend of movement, music, and design to pull at tangled narrative threads, explore complex character relationships, and expose fragile morality.

Cast and Creative

Illegal Dance is commissioned by DanceEast and supported by Arts Council England

Choreographer – Tony Adigun

Performers – Sam Ford, Dani Harris-Walters, Ed Mitchell, Evelyn Hart, Ajani Johnson-Goffe, Gabby Sanders, Connor Gribben

Executive Producer – Prince Laryea

Artistic Consultant and Creative Collaborator – Sarah Gordon

Rehearsal Director – Emma Louise-Stansall

Composer – Jonathan Owusu-Yianomah

Additional programming – Aliz Original

Words – Maxwell Golden

Video Design by

Producer of video design – Nick Hilliel

Animators – Adam Smith, Tim Grabham and Neal Coghlan

Multimedia Programmer/Projectionist – Gary Oldknow

Costume Design – Ryan Laight

Lighting Design – Kieron Johnson

Dramaturgical Advice – Peggy Olislaegers

Production Manager – Botty Ward

Relighter – Zoe Ritchie

Creative Technologist – Christopher Hunt

Company Manager – Ellis Saul

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