Still in the City: intimacy and grace through the eyes of dancers, musicians and young children

Still in the City

An intimate way of being with the city

in urban space


An interactive contemporary dance and live music show that looks at new possibilities in how we inhabit urban space with more openess and playfulness, and how and where we experience contemporary dance.

in 2015 Still in the City toured to Norfolk and Norwich Festival at The Quaker House Norwich, , Tanz Fabrik Berlin and OPENEaling, London, in a shop front as a score with 3 dancers and one live musician.

After a baby came into rehearsals in 2015, in 2016 Still in the City opened in research and touring to pre-school children 0-4 years and their families as well as our regular audiences.

Matthews asked the question - How can we open to urban space?  And how can children between 0-4 help us to do that?

What came was a completely improvised show where the company built their own capacity for stillness and clarity inside themselves, and for chaos, pure honesty and the unexpected on the outside, in the shape of 0-4 year olds.

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Feedback from our audiences



‘Beautiful. Mesmerising. Intriguing, Moving’

‘Compelling and completely absorbing. It was wonderful to watch the interaction with the children, completely uninhibited’ 

‘Charming funny and beautiful ‘

‘Accessible, challenging, conceptual, engaging, unconventional, exciting, boundary-shifting. The dancers had a great sense of audience and space. Thank you!'

Hayley Matthews on what inspired the making of 'Still in the City' and the later integration of pre-school children

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Company Musician Hej Jones on working on 'Still in the City' 2016 tour

Being part of the incredibly well conceived and produced ‘Still in the City’ was somewhat of a revelation for me. I have worked with young people for many years (although this was the youngest target age group I have worked with) and have always been motivated by the ethos I picked up whilst living in Brasil - that Art (and specifically music in my case) is not something that one should always enjoy passively, there is huge scope for involvement, participation and genuine inclusion in its presentation and/or performance.

From minute one of the rehearsals, throughout every performance and even post performance Hayley delved deeper into and expanded upon this ethos more than any other Artist with whom I have worked. The overriding fundamental of the rehearsals was to give us (especially the dancers) the tools with which to create an environment in which the audience members felt comfortable to engage… without the need for any persuasion, cajolement or overt invitation. On the face of it, an almost impossible sounding task, to deconstruct (if only for a moment) the invisible wall between audience and performer that seems to have developed over centuries of theatre... almost impossible, and yet through Hayleys' vision and her powerful, perceptive and intelligent direction we achieved exactly that to varying degrees… in every performance. The benefits of encouraging this participation were written all over the faces of those audience members who broke through the wall in the short term and I strongly suspect will have a long term impact upon their appreciation, enjoyment, understanding of and ultimately, future involvement in Art.

As a resident of Norfolk I have worked here for the past 25 years, during those 25 years this is without doubt one of the most unique and inspirational projects to emerge from the county. I very much hope that it will prove to be a catalyst for renewed and continued development of this and similar projects in the region.


Still in the City also has a touring live music and film exhibition, that projects films from the show onto the fabric of inner cities, accompanied by live viola, piano and percussion.