Artistic Director Lucy Bennett visualises dance through a cinematic spectrum. She puts emphasis on allowing the audience to observe the nuances of each dancer and become absorbed in the remarkable dynamics that their interactions create. The starting point of her devising process is the personal experiences that her dancers bring to the studio. These stories give Bennett’s work originality and a human quality, making it appealing to audiences who want to see intriguing personalities on stage. The company's work seeks to offer a window into a parallel world where human interdependence, strength and vulnerability play out with poetic realism.
Stopgap Dance Company values a pioneering spirit and is committed to making discoveries about integrating disabled and non-disabled people through dance. Difference is our means and our method. As a charitable organisation, Stopgap openly shares its skills and knowledge through performance, professional training, community outreach and publications. The company creates work for the widest possible audience because it wants to shift perceptions about difference and inspire everyone to achieve their potential.
Slowly suffocating in each other’s company, a group of individuals seek escape in a bash of riotous rock-n-roll. However, their wild disorder descends into playground politics and reveals some uncomfortable truths. In this cinematic and evocative production StopGAP Dance Company creates a compact world of riddles that question our notions about unity and co-existence.
Artificial Things features dancers David Toole from DV8’s award winning film Cost of Living, with Laura Jones, Chris Pavia, David Willdridge and Amy Butler. The theatre design was inspired by a series of strange and intense paintings by a Serbian artist Goran Djurović, re-imagined by Anna Jones from Curious Space. Chahine Yavrovan’s stunning but disquieting lighting enhances the interplay between light and shadow, with strong highlights sitting next to deep colours. Artificial Things is accompanied by unnerving and simmering scores by Christopher Benstead, Jim Pinchen and Andy Higgs. Yoshifumi Inao, former Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company, is the guest choreographer for the opening scene.
The Awakening is a quiet but simmering disruption in outdoor spaces. Choreographed by a learning disabled dance artist, Chris Pavia, the production examines how we respond to being trapped and what we might imagine freedom to be.
Choreographed by Chris Pavia, danced and devised by Amy Butler, Hannah Sampson, Nadenh Poan and Tomos Young.
With experience of initiating collaboration between disabled and non-disabled dancers, Stopgap is committed to sharing its knowledge as widely as possible. To take its expertise to professional dancers, teachers, students and members of the community, it delivers creative learning projects and produces publications that offer insight and guidance on all aspects of its work.
The range of projects on offer are:
Workshops (for disabled or non-disabled professionals or community members wanting an introduction to dance)
Masterclasses (for professional disabled and non-disabled dancers)
Professional training for teachers: How to teach disabled and non-disabled dancers together
Pre- or post-show talks
Lectures (academic or for general public)
Residencies (for disabled and non-disabled professionals or for community members wanting an introduction to dance)
"Alongside this flurry of movement, there was an emotional depth that pervaded the work." ****
"Acrobatic and captivating storytelling, colorful performance with speed, clarity and humour."
Sundsvall Tidning, Sweden
"Everything about the immensely watchable work speaks of channeling individual traits – needs, as well as strengths – into a performing unity that has humour, risk, invention and innovative movement."
"What estimable performers! The security and daring with which they move, and the emotional honesty they bring seems second nature." ****