- What is FOUND?
Found, most simply, is a dance show. However instead of being on a stage, it happens outside in various locations around town. It’s also not just one dance show, but several – we have over 10 pieces being performed throughout the week. It’s also a bit different because you don’t need to buy a ticket, you just turn up. But we also won’t tell you when or where it’s happening, so it’s up to you to find us! Each performance only lasts about 5 minutes long but together they form the collective work of Found. It’s kind of like, for want of a better word, flash mobs, although think less jazz hands and more contemporary pop-up performances.
- What was the inspiration behind this year’s topic, ‘human connection – what it means to be human’?
I’m fascinated by people. Whether that’s people watching or my interactions with others or observations about larger society, I just really find humans completely mind-blowing. It’s also what I study, (human geography and social psychology) and the more I learn about it, the more I am interested. I want to explore this artistically through my chosen language of dance. In fact, I suppose all of my work is about humans. A couple of years ago I made a show called fate: in three parts which was about the impact of fate on people and their lives. The next piece I’m working on is about the relationship and differences between humans and technology. I guess I’m always trying to answer that question – what is it about the human experience that is so unique? It’s such a broad question that it served as a good stimulus for the choreographers to work from – there are so many possibilities and I didn’t want to limit them, but I also wanted the pieces to be vaguely connected to a similar theme.
- What is your choreographing process like?
Found has a team of four choreographers and I know we all work completely differently. For me, this really depends on the piece. For the duet I made, I started off by giving the dancers a creative task and some limitations on what they could and couldn’t do, some parameters to play with and just told them to improvise. We filmed it so I could show them what I liked and we just explored ideas until we started piecing something together. Occasionally I just give them instructions and say, “do this”. For the trio, we just played the music over and over. I had an idea of what I wanted the piece to look like and a theme / narrative to stick to. I just started improvising and making up moves on the go – I worked in collaboration with the dancers, getting them to do the same and we built it up slowly. This one was more of a traditional routine.
- Why did you choose to produce FOUND as a part of On the Rocks?
I love On The Rocks. I think it is so cool that the largest student-run arts festival in the UK is in our little seaside town! Although my chosen medium is dance, I love art in all forms and a festival that celebrates that is something I want to be a part of. I also wanted to help make OTR like other bigger arts festivals in that I wanted to bring the street performance aspect to the bubble. If you’re at the Edinburgh fringe festival, you can’t walk down a street without running into art of some kind. I hope that FOUND acts in a similar way for St Andrews. Some members of the public and the student body won’t know that On The Rocks is happening, especially as a lot of the shows and events are in the evening. I wanted to create something that they couldn’t ignore. If you see a group of people dancing as you come out of your Monday morning lecture, that’s a pretty obvious sign that something unusual is taking place. My hope is that the pop-up performances will get more people involved in dance and the festival overall. Additionally, being part of OTR means that we get to collaborate with other artists, shows and societies and contribute to the larger arts community here.
- Do you have any hints for where and when we could see the shows?
That would be telling! Not specifically, no, as that’s part of the show. We want to pop up to unaware audiences so that people can be surprised by art and dance when they are least expecting it. However, our first piece of advice is to keep checking our Instagram and Facebook (@found_otr) as we’ll be posting hints there every day. But for now, we’ll say that for the most part we’ll be in fairly obvious locations – we want to be Found! Also, we’d recommend going to see Revolt She Said, Revolt Again – we’ve heard that’s going to be good. Oh, and you might want to get an ice cream at some point! If you do find us, send us a snapchat @found.otr and we’ll repost you on our Facebook page. Good luck!
The Found team is here to prove that while some are still afraid of contemporary dance, they can make it fun and accessible for all audiences. While it seems like it will be a collection of enjoyable performance art pieces, it is also a movement that we can all learn something from. Unpredictability is key here, because rain or shine, or whether there’s one person watching or 20, Found will still perform, which makes it all the more exciting! After their successful run last year, they are prepared to make it even bigger and better this time around. The performances will occur every day from April 6th-15th as a part of On The Rocks, and we’re eager to stumble upon Found.
Artistic Director – Alison Thomas
Choreographers – Charmaine Hiller, Juliana Zaharevich, Agnes Valovics and Alison Thomas
Producer – Emily Hepher
Graphics – Hannah Longworth
Preview by Lauren Golledge
Photography by Charmaine Hiller