Two Thirds Sky
"Artistic Director Lisa Spackman casts a spell on medieval market town 'Higham Ferrers'
The most refreshing part of this whole project was that it was a local Contemporary Dance sold-out performance whereby the audience was made up of people that could not be slotted into one category. As audience members, we were led by candle light down a mysterious path of intrigue to our first destination..." - DanceGround review (13th April 2015)
Read the full review here.
Eventide was an exciting choreographic process that took six months of planning (starting in summer 2014) and was created over three months. Drawing together a cast of over 70 people, including international professional performers and local community dancers, the piece took place across the ancient medieval town of Higham Ferrers, responding to the English Heritage site of Chichele College and Bede House. The work was presented as a series of torch-lit, promenade performances in April 2015, setting contemporary pieces against the glittering backdrop of stone and leaded glass; transforming the town’s historic buildings as part of an cyclical theatrical experience working in both outside and inside spaces. The performances also tied in with Higham Ferrers' 600 year celebration of the political maverick and Archbishop, Henry Chichele.|
Eventide is the first collaboration between Two Thirds Sky and producing partner The Castle, and was supported by Arts Council England, Northamptonshire Community Foundation, Dance4, Higham Ferrers Tourism, Business and Community Partnership, (together with English Heritage), the St. Mary’s church community, The Ferrers School and students from University of Bedfordshire.
Lisa Spackman – Artistic Director’s Note
Eventide: A historical backdrop
“My interest in early European painting, from the late Medieval to the early Renaissance has been a twenty year fascination. The worlds of Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder and later the works of Matthias Grünewald - with his twisted medieval style, have influenced both my understanding of art and my process as a dance maker. Movement in a sense for me, is both a painterly and collaborative experience; scribing images in space and transferring energy to create meaning. So making this work in a medieval town has allowed me to pick up on how (in this case), an ancient building functions historically - but also symbolically. It has fascinated me how certain images transcend time across 600 years.
When Archbishop Henry Chichele commissioned many of the spaces in Higham Ferrers in the 15th Century there was a very direct connection between church, state and people’s everyday lives. In response, this piece sometimes closely reflects certain stories or past events that have happened here, but in other places the resonance of the building itself becomes a backdrop for the creation of a new reality. More immediate references are in the monastic and scholarly functions of Chichele College – you will see the picking of Saffron as a recurring image; and it was grown in the gardens by the monks for an income. Also the building was used as a Tavern and a farm building.
In Bede House the work touches upon the turbulent relationships between 15th Century France and England. There is a figure of Catherine de Valois of France, who married Henry V; a marriage that was brokered by the town’s famous Archbishop, in an attempt to bring peace. But I wanted to also critique the feudal and religious dynamics of the time – we send up the 13th Century book of manners (The Book of the Civilized Man by Daniel of Beccles) which tells the reader how a ‘gentleman’ should behave. There are other more extreme ideologies though that for me are brought starkly into relief by the historical context of the buildings, such as the treatment of women at the time. We reference the lone “Bedes Woman”, who was supposed to humbly look after twelve ‘men of prayer’ in Bede House as well as the use of ducking stools in Canterbury - a macabre test to see if women were witches. Equally, heretics or those who spoke out against the religious status quo were often burnt at the stake – a chilling parallel with today’s religious or intellectual intolerance. The soundscape has come from a catalogue of pieces that I have wanted to work with for many years, from ensembles that draw upon ‘New Historicist’ composers. Eventide has allowed me to bring these pieces together – you will hear musical references to religious meditation, pilgrimage or imminent battle; sound-images that punctuate the sound and inspire separate, visual vignettes.”
Andrew Holmes - Performer
Effie McGuire-Ward - Performer
Kamila Domańska - Lead artist /performer
Laura Gibson - Assistant choreographer /performer
Louise Gibbs - Rehearsal assistant /performer
Marta Masiero - Performer
Gareth Risdale - Production Manager / Lighting Design
Natalie Lloyd - Costume
Amy Gale - Lead artist for The Ferrers school
Alex Leonard - The Castle, Participation and Engagement Manager
Theresa Haworth - Media and Documentation
Alex Jarrett - Technician
Jamie Russell - Pyro-Technician
Castle Youth Dance
Jasmine Lily Bayes
The Ferrers School|
Dance2 (Advanced Company)
Stage Management and Front of House team|
Kitty Benford, Alex Levene, Kate McBlain
Xanthia Ncube, Jack Lake, Jadene Giltrow and Baris Timur
With additional thanks to the voluntary staff of Higham Ferrers Tourism, Business and Community Partnership, Rolton Engineering, English Heritage, staff at The Castle Theatre and Mike Carter (Writer, Lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire).
Lisa has developed a substantial profile in dance performance and production. Early performance credits include touring with Bock and Vincenzi, Sue Cox, Ersatz Dance, and V-TOL dance company and delivering education projects for young people for Richard Alston Dance Company and Yael Flexer. After graduating with MA Choreography (Middlesex University), she became Senior Lecturer at University of Bedfordshire, leading the BA Performing Arts program, developing BA Dance and authoring MA Community Dance Leadership. She has also contributed to the University of Northampton’s Dance curriculum since 2011. For over a decade Lisa has championed youth and community practice in the UK, authoring resources for Youth Dance England and BBC Education. In 2005 she founded Two Thirds Sky to develop her own professional work and has received both Arts Council Funding and good critical reception. She was assistant choreographer for Mark Murphy creating a work celebrating the year opening of the Trinity Laban Building and was movement director for Out of Joint’s Sliding with Suzanne at the Royal Court. Artists that Two Thirds Sky have collaborated with include; Kerry Nicholls, Shane Shambhu, John Ross and Henri Oguike.
Assistant choreographer and Performer
After graduating with a BA Hons degree in Dance, Laura has worked with a number of professional and community organisations. In 2005 Laura became a founding member of Two Thirds Sky, performing in all of the company's work to date, including The Size of Thought (by Kerry Nicholls) and Hold at Edinburgh Fringe (2011). She has performed at various theatres and venues with the company including The Place, London. In January 2009 Laura worked on a feature for the BBC series Tough Guy or Chicken and some of her recent work includes the dance film The Water Rail (2014) by TTS. Laura has worked with various choreographers throughout her career, including Kerry Nicholls and Shane Shambhu, and since 2003 has worked with the Richard Alston Dance Company, delivering workshops nationally. Laura has also worked on ACE funded youth dance projects with Henri Oguike and Arc Dance. Dance United (Yorkshire) recently commissioned her work Behind the Wall (2014) to be a part of their repertoire. Laura is also an established technique teacher and facilitator and delivers training in Universities and Conservatoires nationally including Stella Mann College of Performing Arts.
Rehearsal Assistant and Performer
Originally from Somerset, Louise Gibbs trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. During her training she performed works by Alexander Whitely, Jose Agudo and Andrea Buckley. She formed a small collective of Dancers and Jazz musicians called Eavesdropping (on private conversations), performing improvisational works with the notion of conversing through a kinetic and musical connection. Since graduating, Louise has worked with Gary Clarke as part of his LUSTRUM project. She has also performed her Solo work and become a company dancer with the eNGine Collective. She has taught and choreographed to all ages within the community and become Choreographer for Lincoln University Dance Collective. Relationships between music and dance are a huge inspiration to her work and is fascinated by the concept of deriving movement through somatic practice; using anatomy and visualisation as a basis for choreography. Louise is also a fully qualified Pilates Instructor.
Lead Artist and Performer
Kamila Domańska, was born in Poland in 1987, and is a Northamptonshire based dance artist. Originally trained in Ballroom and Latin, she danced in one of the biggest schools in Poland, (Astra Szczecin), and competed in the National Championships in both 2005 and 2006. In 2008 she undertook a BA (Hons) Dance at the University of Northampton and developed her experience in; contemporary technique, dance theatre and contact improvisation. She was part of the undergraduate Playgrounds Dance Company in 2012/13. She joined Two Thirds Sky in September 2013 as a graduate dancer to develop dance performance and leadership. In 2014, Kamila was fortunate enough to be a soloist in the ground-breaking work by Rosemary Lee Under the Vaulted Sky shown at the MK International Festival. She performed in an all-female version of Decipher for Two Thirds Sky as part of The Castle's program of studio performances for the Nene Valley Festival. She currently runs her own studio, teaching a variety of ballroom, Latin and commercial work to young people and adults in Northamptonshire.
Andrew Holmes received his BFA in Dance from San Diego State University where he graduated with the Outstanding Dance Student Award. He has trained under Faith Jensen-Ismay, Melissa Nunn, Pat Sandback, Leslie Seiters, and Joe Alter. In San Diego he danced for Malashock Dance, Mojalet Dance Collective, Michael Mizerany, Angelica Bell, and Jaime Nixon. Andrew has been fortunate enough to dance in numerous venues in San Diego as well as Germany, Switzerland, Arizona, and New York. This is his first opportunity to be dancing with Two Thirds Sky.
Marta was born in Verona, Italy, where she combined dance training with classical studies in Literature and Philosophy. After graduating from London Contemporary Dance School in 2011, Marta completed her Postgraduate studies with Scottish Dance Theatre under the direction of Janet Smith. As a freelancer she has been involved in a wide diversity of dance projects, performing nationally and internationally. Choreographers with whom she has worked include; Darren Ellis, Ben Wright, Ben Duke, Sally Owen, Robert Clark and Thomas Small. In the last few years Marta has been developing her interest in physical theatre, exploring a multidisciplinary approach to performance while deepening her curiosity around the body and its expression.
|Effie McGuire Ward
Effie is a graduate of Stella Mann College and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Her first professional performance experience was with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company in Counterpoint (a site-specific piece in the fountains of Somerset House) which was later filmed for Sky3D. Other choreographers she has performed with include; Lea Anderson, Gary Clarke, Helen Parlor, Urja Thakore and Gary Lambert. She also was a performer and leader with Rosemary Lee on Under the Vaulted Sky for the Milton Keynes International Festival in 2014. Alongside this, Effie has been a company member of Ffin Dance since 2012. Eventide is Effie's first piece with Two Thirds Sky.
Lead Artist and Dance Teacher at The Ferrers School
Amy trained at Liverpool John Moores University and graduated in 2007 with a BA Hons Degree in Dance: Choreography and Performance. Since then she has performed, choreographed and taught across the South of England including working with young people likely to offend, dancing in fashion shows, and performing and choreographing as a ‘dancer in residence’ at South Street Theatre in Reading, Berkshire. This included running ‘Street Games’ Dance projects with various local authorities, and touring with ‘ACE Dance Company’. She is currently Dance Teacher at The Ferrers School in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire, and director of highly successful ‘Enigma Dance Company’.
Production Management and Design
Gareth has spent the last 12 years working as a freelance Production Manager, designer and technician for live events and performances. He has extensive experience in realising indoor and outdoor theatrical experiences, delivering for large scale events including festivals, television, film, coporate events and dance performance; with past credits including major festivals across Europe for acts like Lady Gaga, Calvin Harris and Fatboy Slim, international sporting events and national tours; in everything from intimate studio spaces to major theatre and arenas.
Photographic and Video documentation
Theresa studied dance in Germany before continuing with a BA (hons) Dance, at University of Northampton. Here, she specialised in screen dance and photography and developed her independent research project after shadowing re-known dance photographer Rachel Cherry. Now working as a professional practitioner for Braiswick Photographic - she combines commercial work with independent projects, creating imagery for various dance and theatre organizations; including Two Thirds Sky, The Core at Corby Cube and the dance faculty at the University of Northampton.
Costume Design and Performer
Natalie attended Birmingham City University studying costume design and then Millinery at the London School of Fashion and Art, before graduating with a BA (Hons) in Dance at University of Northampton. Whilst studying she created costume for choreography, and for film. Natalie won the undergraduate ‘In-motion’ screen dance prize. On top of her passion for costume and dance, Natalie is a qualified yoga teacher and also teaches the popular vernacular dance, Lindy Hop. Other performances include; dancer in Inspector Lindsey Murder Mystery (2008), and performer with the Attic Cats Dance Company, London. She has also carried out both production and dramaturgical work for Ijad Dance Company, London and Alkamie Digital Dance Theatre, Hertfordshire. Natalie has for many years run her own business creating clothing lines in the style of ‘by-gone’ eras. She sells her pieces at fairs and events nationwide.