Arts - Strangers & Others, H2 Dance

A new immersive piece from award winning maverick performers and choreographers H2DANCE - two shows, tomorrow, October 18, at the Arts Centre

Strangers & Others is a playful performance without performers. Instead the audience are the protagonists in a show that asks how can we come together to co-exist and create understanding and empathy between social groups and cultures? At a time when global events seem to lead to increasingly fractured and isolationist societies, community and integration seem more important than ever.

The audience are invited to don headphones to receive live instructions from H2DANCE’s Hanna Gillgren and Heidi Rustgaard. The pair lead them through a series of choreographed meetings with permission to look, touch, assume and judge – and the trademark humour inherent in most of the company’s work is never far away.

Each performance will be different as, alone in their own headphone-controlled world yet moving within a group of strangers, each individual is free to choose how to respond. Witnessed only by the choreographers, appearance, physicality and behaviour will be their sole guides as they cooperate in silence. As the audience moves around they will create a constantly changing physical landscape of shapes and patterns as they come together or shift apart.

Immersed in light and sound, this is an experience of being alone and together at the same time. Who takes responsibility and when do actions have consequences? ‘We wanted to explore socialisation, tolerance, autonomy and exposure and freedom of choice’ says Heidi. ‘To see how a group of strangers follow the social codes and play their part’ adds Hanna.

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H2DANCE's work has been described by The Guardian as 'funny, sometimes brutal, and always entertaining'. There are two performances tomorrow, October 18, at 6pm and 8pm, at Colchester Arts Centre as part of the UK tour. Book here. See you there!