We are delighted to present out first Scratch Night of 2023 – SCRATCH NIGHTS X CIRCUS!
Presented as part of our Artist Development programme, join us for an evening of new and experimental work from five circus artists who are definitely one’s to watch.
Scratch Nights offer an evening dedicated to the development of brand-new work. A chance for artists to put early ideas in front of a live audience to see what sticks; it’s about now rather than never, it’s about the spit without the polish. You might be seeing the early beginnings of ideas that will one day turn into fully formed pieces.
These informal nights bring new live work to audiences and create a supportive platform for artists to experiment, take risks, test ideas on stage, and share new work with peers and wider public This event has been curated in collaboration with Turtle Key Arts and Ockham’s Razor.
Tickets are Pay What You Decide starting at £0 or suggested minimum of £5. Donation points will also be available on the night.
We are delighted to present the following line-up of artists:
I AM. AM I by Louiseanne Wong
FRUITOPIA by Zinnia Oberski
BUTTERFACE by Vee Smith
SKEW-WHIFF by Myles Mac Donald
GIRL WITH CURL by Gabbie Cook
I AM. AM I
By Louiseanne Wong
I Am. Am I is a work in progress exploring the struggle with social norms, unlearning how the artist was ‘conditioned’ in Hong Kong. The artist questions labeling theory, some given, some self-identifying (e.g. from-from, foreigner) and visually represents this by peeling off layers to show who ‘I am’. Aiming to raise awareness of social inequalities novelly by storytelling using contemporary circus and physical urban expressions.
About Louiseanne Wong
Louiseanne (she/they) is a movement artist, dancer, choreographer and coach with Esprit Concrete. Her roots are from Hong Kong, and she holds a Bachelor of Music (University of Manchester) and an MA in Choreography (Trinity Laban, London). Her training is in dance (contemporary, hip hop, namely but not limited to Krump and breakdance foundations), soft acrobatics, Parkour and Art du Deplacement, as well as Chinese Pole.
Louiseanne’s expertise and passion allows her to combine Art du Deplacement with Dance and Circus as a means of self-discovery, always circling back to the question ‘Who am I?’. She sees her movement practice to explore topics and storytelling such as authenticity, identity and heritage, and how these affect an artist’s relationship to oneself and others.
She believes in the concept of working on the self to in turn help others better, and to express oneself as authentic as possible, meeting and managing the struggles of being human as part of the process. She views the body as non-gender, holding a humanistic view to the communities she meets, learning how to hold hard but important conversations better in order to keep timeless topics going. She has a wide understanding of the body in both athletic and artistic contexts, having performed in various multidisciplinary works both indoors and outdoors around the world.
Sound Artist: Lee Payne
Movement therapist: Dr. Kasturi Torchia (Esprit Concrete)
Movement director & Outside Eye: Aline David (Barber Shop Chronicles NT, Dance Nation Almeida Theatre)
Mentor: Rachel Clare (Crying Out Loud)
Dramaturgy support: Daniel York Loh of (Kakilang Arts)
Twitter: @louiseannewong Instagram: @louiseannewong Facebook: wonglouiseanne
By Zinnia Oberski
This piece is a new, curious exploration of the comedy potential of fruit. Is it a part of nature? A reward? An effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle? In a journey of pleasure, play and failure, FRUITOPIA looks at a few possibilities of how fruit can be used on stage – hopefully with comedic effect, but if not then at least with a healthy dose of vitamin C.
About Zinnia Oberski
Zinnia is a performer and maker who has an extensive movement background, predominantly in circus. She uses elements of physical theatre, dance and performance art to break the traditional circus aesthetic of the superhuman and focus on a strength that can only be accessed through vulnerability. Zinnia’s physical work is a communication which is less literal than words and therefore well suited to conveying ideas that relate to the subconscious or the animal brain.
Zinnia works in a holistic way, treating mind and body as one instead of as two separable entities. Having come from a background involving hard physical training she seeks to find a balance between strength and softness, in movement and in intention, seeking a way which challenges the bodymind without traumatising it. She is exploring the work of sports researcher Stacy Sims and her findings about how women can train in a way that works in harmony with the menstrual cycle.
Zinnia’s creative work is multi-artform and makes use of many different styles and techniques. She takes influence from circus, physical theatre, contemporary dance, ritual, performance art, butoh and satire to make authentic work that travels beyond the purely visual. Examples include ‘Falling Up’, an educational piece made in collaboration with the Institute of Physics Scotland, ‘At your Service’, a humorous act which the audience can interrupt by using their mobile phones and ‘Dreams of the Small Gods’, a full length solo show exploring the primal power of wild woman.
‘Dreams of the Small Gods’ played at Edinburgh Fringe 2022 as part of the Made in Scotland showcase and won the Summerhall Autopsy Award 2022.
Instagram: @zinniao.circusart Website: www.zinniao.com
By Vee Smith
Butterface, noun derogatory
An attractive woman with an undesirable face
Example: “She’s a total Butterface. She’s hot: But. Her. Face”
An examination of expectations, transgressions, self-acceptance and validation, Butterface is a playful and provocative performance that challenges assumptions about the female body on display. It’s an ugly thing to want to be beautiful, but we do it anyway.
About Vee Smith
Vee is a Scottish circus and performance artists, graduate of the National Centre for Circus Arts and a Leverhulme Award recipient. She has created work for Resolutions Festival, The Camden People’s Theatre, The Wandsworth Arts Fringe, Live Art Development Agency and
the Festival of Erotic Arts. Her solo work focuses on interrogating concepts of privacy, intimacy, transgression and vulgarity of the female presenting body.
Twitter: @vendettavain Instagram: @vendettavain Facebook: /VendettaVain
By Myles Mac Donald
SKEW-WHIFF is an absorbing mix of juggling and surrealism that is an expansion of the universe, and deeper technical research that explores both the restrictions, and possibilities of juggling whilst being attached to the floor. I want to bend and subvert the audience’s expectations, and transport them into a surrealist environment, rich with atmospheres, nostalgia, absurdity and juggling, leaving space for improvising, and the drifting and changing of focus to coincide with devising and performing with neurodiversity.
About Myles Mac Donald
Myles was born in Jersey Channel Islands, and is a curious, light-hearted and playful individual who was awarded a first-class BA Hon’s degree at the National Centre for Circus Arts in London 2022 where he specialised in juggling. He has just completed the Artistic Development within the Circus at the Stockholm University of the Arts, a course lead by Benjamin Richter that aims to facilitate a deeper consciousness and broadening of your own creative methods and processes. “All I’ve ever wanted to do is make things, things out of anything. A big part of my juggling and object research, is developing unconventional patterns using different body parts and movement qualities to aid in the marriage of technical and creative juggling with movement and storytelling”.
Instagram: Fukkoffmyles Facebook: /mylesmacdoanldsworld YouTube: MylesMacDonaldCircus
GIRL WITH CURL
By Gabbie Cook
Girl with a Curl is a public service announcement about how women have been historically educated to disregard and internalise their anger, conveniently maintaining the patriarchy and ensuring that violence remains on the side of the oppressor. I feel gaslighted by the current narrative of ‘female empowerment’ – where women are encouraged to overcome their pain and convert it into resilience, in order to be validated by society.
My long-term aim is to create a full-length solo show combining acrobatics, Chinese pole and physical theatre. For the purpose of the scratch night, I’ll perform several sketches that may or may not be linked incorporating acrodance, text and physical theatre directed through the lens of dark comedy and satire.
About Gabbie Cook
Gabbie is a dance and circus artist specialised in contemporary dance, acrobatics and Chinese pole; working as a performer, teacher and movement director.
She started artistic gymnastics at a young age and competed to an elite level before going on to train at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, graduating in 2014.
Throughout her career she has worked for a variety of Dance, Circus and Physical Theatre companies covering a broad spectrum of performance genres. Previous shows with UK companies include work by Acrojou, Becky Namgauds and Tom Dale Company. Most recently, she has been working with various companies in Spain including, DelsAltres (Valencia) and Zero en Conducta (Barcelona).
She has toured work nationally and internationally for theatre audiences, street theatre festivals and under the circus big top at Glastonbury and Shambala Festival. She has also worked extensively in children’s theatre, beginning with a Swedish tour with Region Teatern, in 2016/17, before moving on to work with Superfan (Glasgow), and most recently at The Place (London) with Dance and Theatre company Anatomical.
In 2019 she was commissioned by Glastonbury Festival and Bristol Circus City to present a full-length work at both festivals, created under company name Sneaky&Raptor and in partnership with Nat Whittingham. Other projects in progress include co-directing and starring in a feature length film ’These Things Aren’t Mine’ with Barney White and this summer she’ll be touring with Highly Sprung, and Capicua an all-female collective based in Catalunya.
Alongside performances, Gabbie has been the movement director for Hikapee Theatre and Strong Lady Productions, later this year she will be choreographing for new work by Ellie Dubois. Teaching is also a huge part of her practice and her workshops have been requested by several higher-education institutions and professional companies such as; Accademia Dimitri, Circomedia, Fourth Monkey, Creat Circ, 2Faced Dance and Mimbre.
Instagram: @gabbie_ck Website: www.gabbiecook.co.uk