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Contemporary dance for our times: a powerful female perspective. ENSEMBLE bring Home Solo to Brighton Fringe in a double bill of female soloists

Contemporary dance for our times; a powerful female perspective. Ensemble bring Home Solo to Brighton Fringe Festival in a double bill of female solos with Tess Letham’s How to Survive the Future.

Brighton Spiegeltent, May 22 - 23 2018, 8pm

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As the second stop on an exciting international tour, before taking in London and New York, Ensemble bring their brand new work, sparking from a sell out premier to Brighton Fringe and the beautiful Spiegeltent, May 22 - 23 2018.

In a double bill with Tess Letham’s How to Survive the Future the show promises a heady mix of powerful yet delicate feminine strength, authenticity, freedom, intimacy and a recipe for survival with the essential ingredients of humour, vulnerability and resilience.

Home Solo is Ensemble’s second full length show and Matthews’ first solo show. Home Solo expresses grace, unveils quirks and unites us in the pursuit of feeling at home in our own skin.  It’s a show for anyone who has ever wanted to get home.

Devised and performed by Norwich-based Matthews, contemporary dancer and choreographer and Hej Jones, composer and multi-instrumentalist Home Solo weaves spoken word, dance, song, percussion and guitar, unravelling in an intimate journey.

Home Solo: A Political Act. Matthews says:

“The show also feels to me like a re-imagining of boundaries, which feels poignant now, in the context of today’s politically charged debates about our borders in the UK. For me, the re-imagining, the way through this political turmoil, has to start with the individual. We have to learn to sit with ourselves, the suffering, the hurt, the anger, the beauty and to develop good boundaries and to be comfortable in our own skin (our own border line), before we can even think of beginning to relate to others, and our political border lines. To do this we need to develop independence, interdependence, resilience and we need to be ok with utter vulnerability, with only our skin; no fort, no wall, no political boundary to protect us. This suggestion, is the political act of Home Solo, a poetic suggestion, that we need a different approach”

Home Solo: A personal act

Matthews said: “I started making Home Solo at a time and in a place where I didn't feel at home at all, after a bike accident left me unable to dance for some time. It’s been about coming home to myself, to my body, and to my life as a dancer. Feeling at home in your own skin as a dancer is the biggest challenge, even having had serious accidents, heartache, loss, it’s somehow harder. And I keep doing it. Not because I’m a glutton for punishment. I think what drives me  (I imagine all the people I know at this point who will roll their eyes or check my grammar– that’s the judgement part!), is that to be a dancer means we have to deal with all the being judged stuff, which is so hard for all of us, on a hugely magnified level; I hate being judged and I try more and more not to judge others, or myself, I think this is the basis of compassion; listen yes, disagree yes, reflect back yes, say no yes, but not judge.  Some very basic part of me has a need to get good at it, being judged. I think in many ways that’s what births a dancer, and most of us have a drive for it really early on, we need to find worth, a right and a confidence to stand as we are, and be seen, and deal with judgement like water off a duck’s back.”

Read Matthews’ full blog post Feeling at home in your own skin as a dancer, how the f**k do you do that


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Home Solo Copy

An intimate, powerful female solo performance by Hayley Matthews that weaves contemporary dance and spoken word with the slick, authentic and original music from multi-instrumentalist Hej Jones.

A show for anyone who has ever wanted to get home...

“Particularly at this moment in our social history, we need artists of this calibre making work as engaging and insightful as this.” Pasco-Q Kelvin, Director of the Norwich Arts Centre

“Beautiful, moving.” Audience member

Matthews maps the journey back to feeling at home in her skin after a bike accident left her unable to dance for some time. It led her to start writing poems, which form part of the soundscape and structure of the show.

The performance brings to life the different aspects of being at home in your own skin: allowing yourself to be vulnerable, building resilience, searching for safety, being able to be with others, resting, expressing yourself, making space for both suffering and beauty, and allowing the light of hope to shine in.


Home Solo also reflects contributions from the local and international community about what it means to be at home with who you are and where you are, and integrates their voices and ideas into the performance.

The music is performed on the enchanting butone, acoustic guitar and with recorded voice forming the basis of a powerful synthesised drum solo, as well as opening up a beautiful full length song written together by Matthews and Jones.

The audience is seated close to the performers in this 50-minute show and can see the grace and the beauty as well as the stumbles and hard work of being performers – and of being human. And we hope have space and time to journey with what home is, and to be in their own skin, bathed in movement and sound.

Co-commissioned by Norwich Arts Centre, funded and supported by Arts Council England, Dance East and Norfolk County Council


To book tickets visit Brighton Fringe

About Ensemble

ENSEMBLE is the company of Contemporary Dancer and Choreographer Hayley Matthews. We sever the dividing lines between performers and audiences, art and health, dance and reality. We create powerful, touching, intimate dance and interdisciplinary performance that builds deep relationships with local community and reaches and integrates audiences.

Based in Norwich, UK

www.ensembledance.org    Facebook     @ensembledanceco


For more information, photos or interviews please contact Ensemble company manager Roxanne Griffiths on roxanne@thefreelancecreative.com or Hayley Matthews on 07813964134

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Hayley Matthews