In the middle of addiction with intimacy
BOOTH is dance, projection, music and a new intimate experience for the audience.
BOOTH was researched over 1 year by six ENSEMBLE artists from dance, photography and music at a rural addiction recovery centre in Norfolk, UK, alongside residents at the centre. Two residents, David and Steve joined the artists in making and performing.
BOOTH offers a felt experience of addiction - which lurks largely in an unseen, distant, conceptual space that is ‘not me’. We are interested in proposing that we all have addictions, and that rather than talk about addiction, we need to feel it, to truly integrate it into society and recover through deep connection with others. During the making process ENSEMBLE artists acknowledged their own addictions and felt into these as a whole community of researchers and makers at the Turn Around Stays Project.
BOOTH has a feeling of uncertainty, shadow, struggle, competition, temptation, hesitation, expectation, desire, violence, strength and helplessness. It invites audiences into the belly of the work to move in the space with us as movement, light and sound unfolds. It invites audiences to be part, not to look at.
As a film it is best shown on a big screen with surround sound. As a performance it is best experienced in a gallery or large white walled space.
BOOTH currently has a 30 minute running time, with plans to develop into an hour long live performance.
Researched, made and performed by dancers Hayley J S Matthews and Teresa Manjua, photographer Al Simmons, Composer Jack Hurst, Musician Hej Jones and participant performer/makers, David Furness and Steven Goodley from our creation community at Finchams Farm, who worked with us as equals. Co-Directed by Martin J Gent with choreography by Adam Benjamin. Concept, Direction and Creative Producing by Hayley J S Matthews.
BOOTH Maker/Performer Bios
Al Simmons - Filmmaker and Photographer. Simmons shoots landscape, documentary and portraiture. Over the last few years, he has worked with Matthews on video projects for Ensemble’s Still in the City as well as Ensemble HOME exhibition at Dove Street Studios in Norwich, which captured people and spaces and how they overlap, and was presented using large scale photographic prints. Alongside this, Simmons works as an assistant for commercial photographers.
Hej Jones – Multi-instrumentalist. Jones is a composer, guitarist, bass player and percussionist. He has worked extensively in Rio de Janeiro, performed at the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games and is currently Musical Director with Norwich Samba and freelance musician/Composer. Jones has worked on Ensemble shows Still in the City and Home Solo.
Jack Anthony Hurst - pianist and composer. Hurst studied music at Goldsmiths, jazz performance at Birmingham Conservatoire and an MA in Composition for Screen at the Royal College of Music. He works as a performer, composer and teacher, based in London and worked on Ensemble show Still in the City.
Martin Gent - Theater Practitioner, Visual Artist, Designer and Director. Gent also works in process based leadership facilitation and conflict resolution, and in consultation for big business in empowering people to work creatively, has co-lead a BA Honours in Spatial Arts and was founder of dA dA dumb collaborative performance company. Gent joins Ensemble for the first time with Booth, as Rehearsal Director.
Teresa Manjua – Contemporary Dancer. Manjua comes from Portugal to work with Ensemble for the second time. We recruit her for her passionate and real performance style, her ability to relate to audiences in communities and to bring her embodied philosophical outlook on dancing.
Hayley Matthews - Contemporary Dancer, Choreographer, and Artistic Director of Ensemble. Matthews has worked as a Dance Artist since 2009, committed to high quality relatable dance performance & embodied performance research. Trained independently in dance with mentorships with Adam Benjamin (Candoco) & Frances Nii Yatey (Ghana) & with Cando2, she continued to train in the UK & Europe with P.A.R.Ts, Russell Maliphant, Ben Duke, Charles Linehan, Kirstie Simpson. Matthews has worked with Dance Umbrella, Creative Partnerships, East London Dance, Sadlers Wells, English National Ballet. She moved to Norwich & founded Ensemble in 2015. She is trained as a Rolfer (structural integration therapist) with practices in Norwich & London. Her practices in dance and Rolfing inform one another
Adam Benjamin - Dance Artist, Adam Benjamin is a choreographer and improviser. A founder member of ‘Five Men Dancing’, he has performed and taught with Kirstie Simson, Rick Nodine, Kim Itoh, Jordi Cortés and Russell Maliphant. He was joint founder/artistic director of CandoCo Dance Company (with Celeste Dandeker) and has made work for community groups and professional companies around the world including Vertigo Dance Company and Scottish Dance Theatre. In South Africa, shortly after the dismantling of apartheid, he founded Tshwaragano Dance Company and also choreographed for Remix Dance Project in Cape Town. In Ethiopia he developed the integrated strand for the Adugna Dance Theatre Company. Adam has been a Wingate Scholar, an Associate Artist at The Place and a Rayne Fellow (2006-8). In 2013 he was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. Adam is working on some movement direction and choreography for BOOTH.
We are grateful to Arts Council England, Finchams Farm Turn-Around Staya, Awards for All, Studio Wayne McGregor and WCCM for their support for this project.