Art and science collide in electrifying dance and circus extravaganza at Hornchurch theatre
PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 23 May 2019
Dan Tucker © 2017
An acrobatic dance performance that combines science with art is coming to Hornchurch next month.
Motionhouse is bringing its touring dance-circus show, Charge to the Queen's Theatre.
The company's artistic director, Kevin Finnan, told the Recorder: "My objective is that I wanted to make a work of art that's incredibly visual, engaging and one that would create a really spectacular show on stage.
"It's a mix of dance, circus and film.
"The idea is to bring to life an amazing world for the audience to engage in to the stage.
"Audiences today want to be engaged and to have their attention grabbed from the start."
Charge explores the energy in human bodies and its relationship to the world around us through the use of choreography, extraordinary acrobatics and 3D projections.
The dancers takes the audience on a journey by moving from scenes of urban spinning environments to being inside the human heart to the domestic setting of someone's home.
Kevin worked with professors at the University of Oxford to find out more about the mechanics of energy and how electricity was discovered in human beings and the world around us.
"I spent a lot of time with [the professors] as they educated me about how electricity moves through the human body," said the artistic director.
"What really excited me is that whenever people think about electricity and energy, they think about light switches and how we need to change our relationship with electricity.
"But nobody thinks about the human body as an electrical system. If we weren't processing electricity we wouldn't have empathy or be able to feel love.
"The fantastic thing about science is that it's all about discovering the unknown - that's where science and art meet. Artists are scientists too."
Founded in 1998 and based in Leamington Spa, Motionhouse was started by Kevin and his partner Louise Richards, a former performer and now an executive director of the company.
Motionhouse is passionate about producing innovative and creative shows.
This goal has resulted in shows where the dancers perform alongside diggers and JCBs using giant sandcastles and in 2017, the company performed a massive aerial piece with where they worked with aeroplanes and skydivers.
In Charge, the dancers lift, soar and jump not only off each other, but also the set in Hornchurch, which is the same height as a fully grown giraffe.
Speaking about working with the dancers, Kevin said: "It's been really exciting developing this physical language where we go beyond what dance used to be.
"We like to think we're quite unique as a company and the dancers have really enjoyed rising to the challenge."
Kevin is also known for his movement and direction of the London 2012 Paralympic Games' Opening Ceremony.
He described it as, "the most incredible experience".
"It was amazing to work with over 3,000 people and to be part of a team creating a story that we were all really proud of," said Kevin.
"We thought the stories were really reflective of who we were and it was wonderful to share them with the world.
"It was one of those things were you take it on and you know you're doing the biggest thing in your life."
Following Charge, Motionhouse will be turning to the theme of identity for its next performance which is set to take to the stage next summer.
Kevin explained that the project involves the company interacting digitally with young people by asking them questions about their identity.
Charge will also continue with another tour in the summer of 2020.
"The tour has been going really well. It's a really popular show and we've had tremendous feedback.
"We've never been to Hornchurch before and we're really excited to go there and see what the place is like and engage with a new group of people."
Charge will be showing at the Queen's Theatre in Billet Lane on Tuesday, June 11.
Visit queens-theatre.co.uk or call the box office on 01708 443 333 to book tickets.