PERFORMANCE – WORKSHOP

Surface Area Dance Theatre
Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones

UK-based dance company Surface Area Dance Theatre present a new dance performance centred upon an experiential understanding and knowledge of British Sign Language, d/Deaf culture, Japanese culture and Butoh.

Bringing together language, sensation, contemplation, and physical expression through movement and wearable technology, Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones is adaptive to each social and architectural environment in which it is performed. The work explores the concept of using the entire body as a listening instrument, capable of feeling, touching, and seeing the colours and textures of sound, sound in space, and silence.

Throughout the work, dancers perform with SubPacs, a form of wearable technology that translates sound into vibrations. This improves accessibility by creating an environment that is equally shared while inviting each participant to reexamine their perspectives of and relationships to sound. All dancers, both d/Deaf and hearing, wear a SubPac to foster a unified relationship to sound, movement, and the performed choreography. A number of SubPacs will also be available for the audience to try, whether d/Deaf or hearing.

This unique and contemplative performance was developed through choreographic research focusing on an experiential understanding of British Sign Language, alongside the mindfulness and connectivity present in the Japanese word Ma (間). Central to the dancers’ embodied movement research, this Japanese philosophy can be translated as a gap, pause or interval. Throughout the choreography the group physically interpret the possibilities of Ma through gesture, postures, and physical contact, searching for 間 and always performing with the philosophy in mind.

As ambassadors for the d/Deaf community, Surface Area Dance Theatre CIC are committed to promoting equality by building awareness and an understanding of d/Deaf culture, art, and language through their work. They deliver a diverse range of artistic and socially engaged activities.

Behind the Face of a Rock, Throwing Stones is directed by Nicole Vivien Watson and features performing artists Annie Dearnley and Christopher Fonseca and Ashling McCann, with set-design by Graham Patterson and sound by Tom White.

The project is supported by the Four Nations International Fund, John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, Tokyo Council and the British Council artists-in-residence at Ise Grand Shrine for UK in JAPAN 2019-20, Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, and the Barbican (UK),


Notes to Editors

Press Contacts

Nicole Vivien Watson: nicole@surfacearea.org.uk

About the artists Surface Area Dance Theatre is a UK-based community interest company working across live and digital performances, interdisciplinary collaborations, and international cultural exchange. They work to champion diversity and innovation in all they do; collaborating with artists, participants, and academics to develop an original, accessible dance language.

Over the last fifteen years the company has accomplished an extensive portfolio of engagements, delivered in partnership with patrons, charitable and cultural organisations, and institutes such as Barbican’s Open Lab in London, Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens, and the Ise Folk Dance Society in Japan.

SADT wants everyone meeting the company to feel respected and treated with dignity. They seek to nurture a sense of belonging and encourage an environment where people feel comfortable being themselves at work. They are recognised by the Department of Work and Pensions as a Disability Leader and champions for Disability Confidence within local and business communities.

Workshop –Tuesday 22nd of November from 16:00-18:00free entance

As ambassadors for the Deaf community, Surface Area Dance Theatre CIC are committed to promoting equality by building awareness and an understanding of Deaf culture, art and language through their work. They deliver a diverse range of artistic and socially engaged activities, including a free, GSL  accessible 2-hour workshop at the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation on Tuesday 22nd of November from 16:00-18:00. Led by Choreographer Nicole Vivien Watson and Sound Artist Tom White, participants will be introduced to SubPac wearable technology and experience a range of techniques and considerations supporting the exploration of media and technology in the arts.

*Workshop events are supported by Greek Sign Language interpreters

* Link to SubPacs https://subpac.com