Welcome to Bodies in Flight
Click to Enlarge LIFE CLASS
Life is a performance. Every morning we get up and put on our costume. We go to work, we go to school, we play our part - the worker, the student, the good citizen. Preparation for this role starts young: when we first look into our mother's eyes. Come and play, there's a good boy/girl [delete as appropriate].

Using social dance and the occasion of the tea dance, Life Class celebrates our greatest, most memorable, most requested role - our selves, and asks how we ended up playing this part ... in this scene ... with these lines, making these moves on... And who's this playing opposite me? Who are you? In this new performance work, Bodies in Flight goes back to basics to explore the building blocks of our identities, how the call of the other and the response we make makes us who we are: makes us us.
Three decades of work from Bodies in Flight will be on show at their 30 year exhibition in Bristol
Exhibition dates: Friday 8th February - Friday 1st March 2019
Wickham Theatre Bristol
Bodies in Flight, in collaboration with West St Stories, presents:

This free-to-download 30-minute audio-guide takes you on a journey through time along West St, from its thriving past to dreams of its future, weaving together the voices of old and young residents with an original soundtrack, that conjures up the busy commercial artery that was West St, before stepping on into the future to the hopes and dreams of the younger residents of West St.

Download the free audio walk here:
Start: corner of West St and Palmyra Rd.
When you arrive at the start, press play on your player and follow the narrator's instructions.

Duration: 30 minutes. Distance: 0.5 mile. Commissioned by Know Your Bristol On The Move.
Made by Bodies in Flight: Sara Giddens (direction), Neil Johnson (sound artist & music), Simon Jones (direction & narration).Narrator: Tom Wainwright.

Thanks to Stef Brammar and Alan May of West St Stories and the residents of Bedminster who shared their memories.Thanks to the students of Luckwell Primary School who shared their ambitions and reflections.
Bodies in Flight in collaboration with Jen Bell and Tony Judge - present their 17th performance/installation project GYMNAST.

GYMNAST is a performance project with multiple outputs, made in collaboration with composer Jennifer Bell and the Night Bus choir (Bristol) and video-maker Tony Judge. Part oratorio, part sports display, Gymnast has been realized for the big screen, galleries, gymnasia and theatres, as installation and/or performance: a meditation on the spectator’s relationship to the expert trained bodies of elite athletes, it was originally conceived as part of the London Games 2012 Cultural Olympiad and was included as part of the BBC’s Big Screens programme.

GYMNAST has been shownat MAYFEST Bristol, the Creative Hinckley Gallery, Surface Gallery, Nottingham and Bristol Arnolfini.

GYMNAST - a response to the London 2012 Olympic Games - explores the athlete's determination to acquire the skills necessary to achieve physical excellence.

Click to Enlarge
GYMNAST has been co-commissioned by Dance4 and Ferment, and supported by Arts Council England through grants for the arts and a Creative Innovation Research and Development grant supported by the Legacy Trust UK and the European Development Fund.

Click to Enlarge DREAM ➝ WALK CARDIFF

This version of Dream→walk is sited in the central retail district of Cardiff and marks thirty years since the Miners’ Strike (1984-5) by exploring the Connected Communities Festival themes of engagement with place and space, specifically how layers of history are sedimented into a specific location by not only its built environment, but also its inhabitants’ everyday use of buildings and streets.

Through interviews with and readings by members of the Butetown Riverside Grangetown Communities First Group, the project also explores how artistic collaboration can contribute to local inhabitants’ understanding of those histories and senses of place, in Bodies in Flight’s case, by opening up spaces within the public for personal reflection and engagement.

Off to Skeggy!

Freed from the daily grind for a day, a week or a fortnight in caravan or B&B! Fun in the sun, sea and sand!

Accessible for any age group, the walk will took you through the heart of Skegness to the beautiful coastline, exploring through a sensory mix of soundscape, movement and performance the funny, intimate and sometimes profound experiences we all have when we holiday by the seaside.

The walk lasted 35 minutes. The audience were provided with a headset to experience the specially composed soundscape whilst being guided by the performers along this dream walk.

Presented in partnership with the SO Festival 2012, the work was commissioned by Dance4 and Big Dance Hub Partnership as part of Big Dance 2012.
One Sunday afternoon two walkers arrive in town in search of a rest and a well earned pint. They soon realize something is up: things look different – cars, shop-fronts, people’s clothes. Neil and Tom set out to walk the High Peak Trail on the 19th September 1973 and now find they may have taken a wrong turning off the old railway track. So, begins a time-travelling performance-walk that takes you through the streets of Wirksworth. Following the performers and listening to a specially written text and soundscore through earpieces, the audience explored the many layers of history under their feet and etched in the buildings around them.

Bodies in Flight have performed their audio-walk in Nottingham, Bristol and Singapore to great acclaim, and now bring to Wirksworth their unique focus – inviting us to see the everyday afresh:

The entire city was a stage and unexpected beauty lurked in its malls, shophouses and graffiti. (Straits Times, Singapore)

I don’t think I will ever walk through the city in the same way again. (Nott Dance blog, Nottingham)

Bodies in Flight presented ‘Dream-Walk’ in 2011 as part of the Wirksworth Festival.
DREAM ➝ WORK continues our fascination with engaging and re-sensitizing the audience-spectator's involvement in the performance by taking the work on to the streets. By siting the work in the midst of the daily commute to work we are following one of our core practices: that each work must speak directly to its audience-spectators by way of an everyday situation or experience.

Dream-work was shown during the nottdance09 Season in Nottingham.
Dream-work was experienced during Mayfest 2010 - Bristol's festival of contemporary theatre.

DO THE WILD THING! REDUX [mixed media installation]

Last shown at ARNOLFINI,BRISTOL, 8-30TH DECEMBER 2012 and included four new works:
[digital prints and embossed prints on Japanese paper]
STILL MOVING: MOVING STILL [live performance intervention on 8th and 9th December]
MUSE [print and mixed media installation with live performance on 8th and 9th December]

Bodies in Flight formed in 1990 to make performance about the encounter between flesh and text, challenging and reinvigorating the conventional relationship between audiences and performers. Their eighth project Do the Wild Thing! (1996) was the first to be led by a specific research concern: to explore this encounter between discursive and embodied practices by means of a series of separations of what is heard and what is seen. This was achieved both in the rehearsal process, structuring how the collaborators worked together, and in the performance itself, determining design and the relation of choreographic to textual and musical elements. As such, the project marked a key shift in Bodies in Flight's work towards exploring both the performance as event and the collaborative process.

For Do the Wild Thing! Redux, four of the original collaborators, this time working independently, return to the archival remains of this peepshow about desire and voyeurism to produce new works each in their own medium – dance, photography, text and video.
Bodies in Flight is one of the most interesting performance companies operating in the UK at the moment. Their productions are often collaborations between performers, musicians and visual artists set in motion to present installations, interactive video projects as well as performances that seek to break down the barriers between stage and audience. Their work is always thoughtful and genuinely pushes at the boundaries of stage conventions that have in the UK remained predominantly conservative. Essentially, what I find so challenging about their work is that it can be seen as an on-going investigation into the very nature of interdisciplinary collaboration.
Skinworks (edited highlights from British Theatre Guide) Review by Jackie Fletcher (2004)
Email Bodies in Flight for more details of the new show