Edinburgh Showcase 2017: ‘SEXBOX’ by Impermanence Dance Theatre

We started Impermanence not long after graduating and we knew we wanted to be making our own work. We weren’t quite sure how and we knew we
wanted to be working with lots of different people and people from different backgrounds
and working in different disciplines, so, we basically had been setting up experiments
over the past six years for how we can collaborate and how people can come together to make work. So when we set out on this
process for making SEXBOX we didn’t know exactly what would emerge. We wanted to find a way, through chance
procedure of setting up set tasks each day in the studio – so some days we might have
seven tasks over a day – to combine these elements and see in this experiment what would emerge. A new theme that came through during that was quite a futuristic world. One of the main themes of the piece
was the music of Ursula Bogner. She was a housewife in Germany and a pharmacist but she was also making her own music in her back garden, she had like a little shed that she made into a studio and from the 1960s onwards she was
making quite experimental electronic music and combining her own singing voice and lots
of different kind of synthesised elements that created this really textural and vibrant music. It’s got this strange sort of sci-fi world
but it’s also very charged and it’s got this kind of dark, rhythmic,
electronic, sexual intensity about it. So the music was very exciting and then finding out
about her interest in Reich’s radical ideas it felt like within there that they held something of a subject which felt it could talk about what sex means to all of us and give enough of a sense of a world and a landscape to look into that. I think the piece has a resonance with
what is going on in the world at the moment because it does have an important look at liberation
and how you can try to challenge forms of oppression, and this piece is looking at
lots of different kinds of relationships and lots of different kinds of love and connection and I think it’s encouraging people to feel a bit more free about how they express themselves
and express their love. We decided to stage SEXBOX in the round
as a choreographic limitation to ourselves so we’ve always tried to put the work in different
places and see how we respond to that. So staging it in the round, meant that we were
having to think very differently about the image that we were creating with our bodies
on the stage in terms of having a 360 view of it. We found that audiences have responded
quite excitedly to the piece, quite a few people have said it feels like how people imagined
in the past the future might look like, which has been quite a funny take but I think definitely
we were trying to go for some form of futuristic world and it also feels like audiences have
enjoyed how we’re kind of telling a story – a Bogner and Reich story –
through the piece. It uses some of their voice and their music and their research and I think it feels like you’re taken on a journey
of discovery about these two people.


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